The Little We Know: An Exploratory Literature Review on the Utility of Mobile Phone-Enabled Services for Smallholder Farmers

2018 | H. Baumüller

Published in the Journal of International Development 30( 1): 134–154.

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Abstract

Mobile technologies could help to improve service delivery to smallholder farmers, but whether such services are fulfilling their potential remains poorly understood. To address this gap, this article presents an exploratory literature review regarding the impact of mobile phone-enabled services on farmers in developing countries. The review highlights a dearth of empirical evidence in this area. Findings suggest that farmers benefited through improvements in production planning, management of weather-related risks, and greater ease in receiving money. The review also points to several methodological shortcomings, notably the reliance on perception data and the failure to assess impacts in relation to usage.