Location: Range Management ResearchTitle: Mobile phone use associated with higher smallholder agricultural productivity in Tanzania, East Africa
|QUANDT, AMY - New Mexico State University|
|SALERNO, JONATHAN - Colorado State University|
|NEFF, JASON - University Of Colorado|
|HARTTER, JOEL - University Of Colorado|
|BAIRD, TIMOTHY - Virginia Tech|
|Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff|
|MCCABE, J. TERRENCE - University Of Colorado|
|XU, EMILIE - Non ARS Employee|
Submitted to: Journal of Rural Studies
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2020
Publication Date: 8/6/2020
Citation: Quandt, A., Salerno, J.D., Neff, J.C., Hartter, J., Baird, T.D., Herrick, J.E., Mccabe, J., Xu, E. 2020. Mobile phone use associated with higher smallholder agricultural productivity in Tanzania, East Africa. Journal of Rural Studies. 15(8): e0237337. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237337.
Interpretive Summary: This paper uses empirical research in four communities in Tanzania to explore associations between mobile phone use and agricultural yield. Results show positive assocations between mobile phone use for agricultural activities and higher maize yields. Farmers also had positive perceptions about mobile phone use increasing profits, and decreasing costs and time requirements of farming.
Technical Abstract: Mobile phone use is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, spurring a growing focus on mobile phones as tools to increase agricultural yields and incomes on smallholder farms. However, the research to date on this topic is mixed. Drawing from research in four villages in Southern Tanzania, this research explores farmers’ perceptions about the impacts of mobile phones on agricultural productivity, and the associations between mobile phone use and agricultural yield, while controlling for site and demographic factors. Results show positive associations between mobile phone use for agricultural activities and higher reported maize yields. Further, farmers have positive perceptions about mobile phone use increasing agricultural profits (67% of respondents) and decreasing the costs (50%) and time investments (47%) of farming. Our findings suggest that there are opportunities to target interventions at increasing phone use for agricultural activities in ways that facilitate access to timely, actionable information to support farmer decision making.