The Developmental Contribution from Mobile Phones Across the Agricultural Value Chain in Rural Africa « The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries

  • The Developmental Contribution from Mobile Phones Across the Agricultural Value Chain in Rural Africa « The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries – Bjorn Furuholt and Edmund Matotay provide a study on the impacts of mobile telephony throughout the agricultural value chain in rural Tanzania. They identify five dimensions of mobile phone use, namely access to timely information, more transparent and efficient markets, advance warning, access to services such as mobile banking, and facilitated communication and coordination. These differ in salience throughout the year. Mobile phone use is linked to improved information quality, with some farmers cross-checking e.g. price information, resulting in improved bargaining power. Coordination is facilitated, in particular improving the supply of labor and farming tools; in some cases, farmers collaborate to e.g. rent tractors together, benefiting from economies of scale. Access to information about the weather, road conditions, and communication with relatives also decreases vulnerabilities.
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The Developmental Contribution from Mobile Phones Across the Agricultural Value Chain in Rural Africa « The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries

  • The Developmental Contribution from Mobile Phones Across the Agricultural Value Chain in Rural Africa « The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries – Bjorn Furuholt and Edmund Matotay provide a study on the impacts of mobile telephony throughout the agricultural value chain in rural Tanzania. They identify five dimensions of mobile phone use, namely access to timely information, more transparent and efficient markets, advance warning, access to services such as mobile banking, and facilitated communication and coordination. These differ in salience throughout the year. Mobile phone use is linked to improved information quality, with some farmers cross-checking e.g. price information, resulting in improved bargaining power. Coordination is facilitated, in particular improving the supply of labor and farming tools; in some cases, farmers collaborate to e.g. rent tractors together, benefiting from economies of scale. Access to information about the weather, road conditions, and communication with relatives also decreases vulnerabilities.
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2011-07-15

  • Examining the Usage and Impact of Transformational M-Banking in Kenya « Internationalization, Design and Global Development – Olga Morawczynski analyzes mobile banking in the example of Kenya's M-Pesa. She finds that usage is impacted by several factos, including nationwide crisis (the 2007-08 post-election violence), seasonality (farm cycles increase demand for funds), and seasonal pricing in shops. She argues that mobile banking reduces vulnerability, generates additional income as transaction costs are saved, and extends networks. Vulnerability is reduced firstly as it becomes easier to solicit capital and have funds instantly available, both in the short term, e.g. for victims of election violence, and the long term, e.g for farmers funding acquisitions; secondly as mobile phones enable the maintenance of social networks: money sent home by urban migrants has a practical and symbolical function, creating a 'safety net' to rely on in times of crisis; but social networks are also weakened as mobile transactions replace visits in person. Morawczynski thus questions whether existing relations are amplified.
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