An assessment of mobile phone-based dissemination of weather and market information in the Upper West Region of Ghana

Etwire, P M and Buah, S and Ouedraogo, M and Zougmore, R B and Partey, S T and Martey, E and Dayamba, S D and Bayala, J (2017) An assessment of mobile phone-based dissemination of weather and market information in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Agriculture & Food Security, 6 (8). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2048-7010

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Abstract

Abstract Background The rapid growth of mobile phones in Ghana has opened up the possibility of delivering timely and useful weather and market information to farmers at costs lower than traditional agricultural extension services. In this paper, we assess the usefulness, constraints, and factors likely to influence farmers’ decisions to patronize mobile phone-based weather and market information. Methods We rely on primary data from 310 farmers in the Upper West Region, an understudied part of Ghana. We subject the data to three types of analysis. First, we model farmers’ decision to patronize mobile phone-based weather and market information by estimating a binary logit model. Second, we use descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing to analyse the level of usefulness of mobile phone-based weather and market information. We disaggregate the analysis by sex, income status, and age group. Finally, we use qualitative analysis to summarize the constraints associated with the utilization of mobile phone-based weather and market information. Results We find that contact with agricultural extension agents and farmer-to-farmer extension services significantly influences farmers’ decision to patronize mobile phone-based weather and market information. Regardless of sex, income status, and age group, farmers generally rate mobile phone-based weather and market information as very useful. We identify inexact information, complex text messages, information that are too costly to implement, and poor infrastructure as the constraints to the utilization of mobile phone-based weather and market information. Conclusion In order to improve the utilization of mobile phone-based weather and market information, disseminators of mobile phone-based information such as Esoko should constantly update and provide client-specific information. Improvements in mobile phone networks and related services will enhance the utilization of mobile phone-based weather and market information.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agricultural extension, Binary logit, Esoko, Ghana, Mobile phone, Weather and market information, ICT, Information and Communication Technology, SMS
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Agricultural Extension
Others > African Agriculture
Others > ICT
Others > West Africa
Others > Digital Agriculture
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2017 05:49
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 05:49
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/10145
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40066-016-0088-y
Projects: UNSPECIFIED
Funders: CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS)
Acknowledgement: This work was funded by the CGIAR Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS), which is a strategic partnership of the CGIAR and Future Earth. The CCAFS Program is carried out with funding by CGIAR Fund Donors, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), and the European Union (EU); with technical support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The authors are also grateful to all farmers who participated in the survey. We are thankful to Vincent, Rahinatu, Thomas, Bawa, Maxwell, Peter, Anslem, Mavis, and Hashim for collecting and inputting the primary data
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