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Abstract

We use a survey of 6,927 rice farmers, conducted in 2015, in eastern India and examine how rice farmers use mobile phones to obtain information about rice varieties. We find that about 10% of sample farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh received phone calls from seed firms, extension agencies, NGOs, and local seed dealers about rice varieties. More than half the calls were made to registered farmers with charges. Farmers located farther away from the nearest market were more likely pay for such calls. Furthermore, we find that about 26% of the farmers with paid calls purchased seeds of at least one rice variety that they never planted before, while the same percentage was less than 16% among farmers who did not receive calls about rice varieties.

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