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Abstract

We conducted a bidding survey by calling 461 farmers on their mobile phones and asked their bidding prices for a 10 kg bag of two submergence-tolerant rice varieties. We delivered seed bags to farmers whose bidding price was higher than a pre-fixed price. The sample farmers were selected from panel data conducted in 2013 and 2015. We found that farmers who experienced floods in 2015 bid for a higher price for Swarna-Sub1, one of the two submergence-tolerant rice varieties. The farmers who had indicated shortage of Swarna-Sub1 seeds in the 2015 survey were more likely to participate in bidding for Swarna-Sub1. Regarding the bidding process, the timing of phone bidding mattered. Farmers participated in phone bidding more in the morning, on holidays, and later in the planting season. The results in the paper suggest a possible use of mobile phones for marketing new rice varieties and other agricultural inputs.

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