Updated Apr 23, 2019

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Mobile Phone Agriculture Extension: Using ICT to Reduce Outreach and Monitoring Costs

Part of Innovations for Poverty Action

Mobile Phone Agriculture Extension

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Rood Blauw

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Stage 1 : Ideation

High outreach and monitoring costs represent key challenges to agricultural extension in developing countries. The increasing penetration of mobile phones in rural areas throughout the developing world has the potential to largely reduce these problems. Tailored messages in the form both of short message services (SMS) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can play a key role in diffusing information about the best and novel farming practices reminding farmers about best timing to undertake specific tasks receiving inquiries and feedback from farmers.

Registered in Kenya.

Focus Areas:

Agriculture and Technology

Agriculture and TechnologySEE LESS

Implemented In:



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Innovation Description

To develop and implement a cellphone based agricultural extension.
How does your innovation work?
By partnering with a large contract farming company in Kenya, Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA) will develop and implement cellphone based agricultural extension working with twenty thousand sugar cane farmers. IPA will use the company's administrative database to rigorously evaluate the impact of this model on crop yields thus conducting a rigorous large-scale evaluation at very low costs.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Should the pilot be successful. the partnership has the potential to immediately scale up to target a significant proportion of the ninety thousand farmers contracted to the company. The low marginal cost also implies high degree of scalability to other stakeholders. including other private companies in the agricultural sector.


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