Friday, 8 July 2016
Access to mobile internet can positively impact farmers’ lives: Vodafone report
KOLKATA: Mobile internet access via smartphones can lead to a 50% increase in a small farmer's revenue in India, especially if the correct inputs — read agricultural information — are used, telecom company Vodafone said in a report. "A 1% increase in yields can lead to a 0.6%-1.3% reduction inpoverty in India, having a greater impact than prices alone," said the report, 'Towards a more equal world: the mobile internet revolution', on the potential of mobile internet access in tackling inequality in developing markets. Written by independent experts, the Vodafone report looks at how the shift to smartphones and data services in emerging markets represents a turning point. Small farmers, it says, typically have limited access to internet resources, services, information, markets and social networks. The report underscores that mobile internet access through smartphones can positively impact the lives of small farmers in developing economies like India, especially when the intensity of information needed in agriculture is increasing. These can be in the form of "reliable weather information, which can guide farmers on when to plant and harvest" while "increased price transparency" could help them obtain better prices for their crops.