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Project tests new ways to deliver climate messages to farmers’ cell phones

November 25, 2013

By Surabhi Mittal/CIMMYT and Dharini Parthasarathy/CCAFS South Asia

Farmers in India are now participating in a new project which aims to tailor phone messages to farmers' real needs with the hope of real impact on their crop yields. Photo: M. DeFreese/CIMMYT

Farmers in India are now participating in a new project which aims to tailor phone messages to farmers’ real needs with the hope of real impact on their crop yields. Photo: M. DeFreese/CIMMYT

This blog post was originally posted by CCAFS here.

What kind of voice-based messaging service will farmers pay for? An eight-month pilot study by CCAFS and CIMMYT is working with farmers in India to find out.
One of the big questions that should be exercising minds at the current Climate Talks in Poland is how smallholder farmers can better manage climate risks. One solution that has been discussed at length – and tried widely – is using mobile phones to deliver climate-related information to farmers; it is seen as being an efficient, cost-effective and quick way to get targeted messages to large audiences such as smallholder farmers.

But are the gains from this type of information dissemination as obvious as they appear?
Does writing or recording a message, punching in a number and pressing send really transform farmers’ abilities to cope with erratic weather events or their willingness to adopt climate-smart agricultural practices?

Read the full post here.


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