There are many farmers in the church that I pastor. So I thought this might be interesting to some people. Who would have thought that cell phones and local area wireless internet could change the life of rural farmers.
Farmers, Phones and Markets: Mobile Technology In Rural Development:
My latest article for TheFeature is about the mobile revolution among small-scale farmers in the developing world:
What would a small-scale farmer in Africa, Peru or India want with a mobile phone or a Wi-Fi kiosk? Market information. Timely knowledge about who is buying potatoes today, what the buyers are willing to pay and where they are located can be vitally important to those who are just getting by.
Markets aren’t only for the rich. Certain kinds of information, however, convey advantages to those have the right data at the right time. Until recently, only the relatively wealthy had swift access to relevant market information. The cost of technologies that connect people with economically useful price data has declined steadily, however, from the tycoons of the early 20th century with their home ticker-tape machines to the day-traders of recent decades with their desktop PCs, and now, to farmers in developing countries who are beginning to own mobile phones. With more than 320 million mobile subscribers in China already, and 150 million mobile phones among the 200 million phones projected for India (where mobile phone use already exceeds land line use) by 2007, the mobile phone looks like tomorrow’s most likely access device for agricultural market information.