Research by members of our team found that the introduction of a low-cost, mobile phone-based agricultural extension system among 1,200 farmers in the state of Gujarat had positive and significant effects on agricultural yields and efficient input use in cotton cultivation. As a result of using this service, farmers’ marginal net income increased by an estimated $100/year/farmer and yields rose by 8.6 percent for cotton and 28.0 percent for cumin, all at a cost of less than $10/year/farmer.
Yield increase for cotton
Yield increase for cumin
Income increase per farmer/year
Building on these successes, we rolled-out our initial service in April 2016. The service, called Krishi Tarang—which means “agriculture wave” or “vibe” in Gujarati and Hindi—started with only 200 farmers, and grew to over 40,000 farmers by mid-2017. Krishi Tarang provides farmers with free, customized information in two ways: via weekly voice messages sent to a farmer’s mobile phone and a direct response to any agricultural question that a farmer logs.
It is with these farmers that PAD continues to test and refine ideas to optimize information content and delivery methods. A/B tests and other forms of evaluation are built into our daily operations.