PAD is a non-profit organization with a mission to support smallholder farmers in developing countries by providing customized information and services that increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability.
We are working on a new model for agricultural extension: reaching farmers with personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones. We implement this model in collaboration with partner organizations and governments and gather evidence on its impact. We aim to improve the lives of 100 million farmers in developing countries with our services and support to existing systems.
Using two-way communication and information aggregation, we offer farmers useful information customized by geography, market, and farmer characteristics. As farmers realize the benefits of this service, they have incentives to contribute accurate information into the system that will improve our recommendations over time. We incorporate insights from behavioral economics and social learning theory and make use of A/B testing and machine learning techniques designed to identify what types of information and delivery mechanisms work best for farmers.
Our model is to impact the lives of farmers through two channels:
- The PAD Lab is where we design and operate a service for farmers, either as part of a research pilot or an on-going operation. These spaces serve as a “sandbox” for us to rigorously test ideas while at the same time providing a valuable service to the farmers we serve. We currently have labs in both India and Kenya.
- The PAD Partnership model is how we scale the ideas that work. Here we partner with governments and organizations with a shared vision of building, operating, and evaluating a service to farmers. We lend our expertise to co-develop these systems, to perform data analysis, to design pilots and experiments, and to offer advice on system improvements. We currently work with partners in India, Kenya, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Ethiopia.
Learn more about our lab settings and partnerships.