Location: Range Management ResearchTitle: Mobile phone use and agricultural impacts among female smallholder farmers in Tanzania
|QUANDT, A - San Diego State University|
|SALERNO, J - Colorado State University|
|BAIRD, T - Virginia Tech|
|MCCABE, J - University Of Colorado|
|XU, E - University Of Colorado|
|Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff|
|HARTTER, J - University Of Colorado|
Submitted to: Progress in Development Studies
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2021
Publication Date: 9/15/2021
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/7421969
Citation: Quandt, A., Salerno, J.D., Baird, T.D., McCabe, J.T., Xu, E., Herrick, J.E., Hartter, J. 2021. Mobile phone use and agricultural impacts among female smallholder farmers in Tanzania. Progress in Development Studies. 6(1):43-54. https://doi.org/10.19268/JGAFS.612021.4.
Interpretive Summary: The aim of this research was to better describe the associations between gender, agricultural productivity, and phone ownership and use given current gender disparities. The results showed that both men and women are using mobile phones for agricultural activities, however women are more likely to rely on others for access to a mobile phone. It also showed that many women have positive perceptions of the benefits of mobile phones and trust mobile phones for conducting agricultural activities, and phone owners had higher self-reported yields (for both men and women) than non-owners, suggesting a possible link between phone ownership and increased yield. The results also contribute to bigger-picture ideas that even women who do not personally own phones, still use phones and benefit from their use for agricultural activities. Our results suggest that, at least in our study areas, women are prime beneficiaries that should be targeted in future ICT-based interventions for agricultural productivity, and that while more research is needed, mobile phones may be one tool to decrease the agricultural gender gap. However, ICTs are no panacea for reducing poverty and improving agricultural productivity, and they need to be supported by investments in physical infrastructure, electricity, and improved education.
Technical Abstract: Despite evidence that mobile phones can improve agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, few studies have examined gender disparities in mobile phone ownership and use, and their associations with the gender gap in agricultural productivity. Using empirical survey data from Iringa, Tanzania, the aim of this research is to better describe the associations between gender, agricultural productivity, and phone ownership and use. Our study finds that many men and women are using phones to conduct agricultural activities, and virtually all male respondents used their privately-owned phones, while only ' of female respondents did, with the rest relying on their husbands’ phones. Further, many women had positive perceptions of the benefits of phones and trust phones for agricultural activities. Lastly, phone owners had higher self-reported maize yields (for both men and women) than non-owners.