Impact of Information and Communication Technology-based Market Information Services on Smallholder Farm Input Use and Productivity: The Case of Kenya

Information asymmetry has traditionally constrained smallholder farmers’ access to markets. Past studies indicate that it inhibits adoption of modern technologies that have the capacity to enhance productivity of smallholder farms. Hence, farm productivity and agricultural transformation is stifled, leaving smallholder famers in grinding poverty. Improved smallholder farmers’ access to markets via an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platforms could reverse this scenario. This study evaluates the impact of participation in ICT-based market information services (MIS) on farm input use and land productivity in Kenya, using Propensity Score Matching technique. It finds that participation in ICT-based MIS project has a positive and significant impact on the use of seeds and fertilizers and improves land and labour productivity, but has a negative and significant impact on the usage of hired and family labour. These findings highlight the need for scaling up of the coverage of ICT-based MIS to enhance smallholder productivity and market access.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-29

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