Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Using ICT to reduce transaction costs in agriculture through better communication

This paper on Using ICT to reduce transaction costs in agriculture through better communication: A case-study from Sri Lanka considers the specific role of information and communication technologies [ICT] in reducing transaction costs in agriculture by enabling timely and affordable communication. Segmenting transaction costs in to several components, the paper isolates the costs associated with information search as the specific costs that could be influenced through ICT.

Analyzing the findings of a case study among a group of smallholder vegetable farmers in Sri Lanka the paper identifies the specific information needs of these farmers along the agriculture value chain starting with the decision on the crop to be planted and ending with the sale of produce at the wholesale market and measures the information search costs associated with this group of farmers.

The paper concludes by indicating the possibility of dramatic reductions of transaction costs with the use of ICT to reduce information search costs to enable greater farmer participation in commercial agriculture as opposed to subsistence farming that continue to force so many farmers in developing countries in to poverty.

Harsha de Silva and Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara, 2008, 20 pages. This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada

Friday, 14 November 2008

Why is local content creation by farmers so important?

Interview during the MobileActive 2008 World Summit (Johannesburg, South Africa) with Mary NAKIRYA, Program coordinator BROSDI, Busoga Open Source & Development Initiative, ICT enabled rural development. CELAC - Uganda.

Mary explains how the project Collecting & Exchange of Local Agricultural Content (CELAC) enables farmers to voice record their own innovative techniques and how they disseminate their experiences with radio/CD players during group sessions.

Mobile phone conferencing among farmers

Interview with Mary Nyakira of BROSDI/CELAC Uganda during the MobileActive 2008 conference in Johannesburg South Africa.

Mary explains how the mobile phone conferencing works and how farmers are enjoying it. It contributes to a particular form of democracy and transparancy.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

The advantages of a voice QAS system over text based (sms) systems

Interview with Gopal Gobiratnam of OneWorld about the success of LifeLines India: the audio based Questions and Answers System (QAS).

Gopal explains what the advantages are of a voice system over text based (sms) systems and the difference between India and Africa.