Cookies on CABI

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Search this site
Sign up for the CABI e-zine Newsletter
Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Mobile technology: case study

Mobile technology: case study

The growth of mobile use in developing countries, rural regions in particular, provides an opportunity to deliver critical, information-based agricultural services directly to smallholders. Access to the right information, applied correctly, can increase productivity and improve livelihoods in many farming households.

We work with farmers, mobile operators, content providers, extension services and industry bodies to provide mobile services across the whole agricultural supply chain.


Woman using mobile phone

Using mobile technology to help farmers make better agricultural decisions

Smallholder farmers are often unable to access information or public advisory services on a regular basis, but mobile technology is providing an answer. With a growing number of people in the developing world now using mobiles (already up to 40%), CABI is enabling farmers to get timely and targeted agricultural advice. We are bridging the information gap that conventional public extension services cannot span.

Theni Jakhammal using her mobile phone

Reaching 1.9 million smallholders by phone

Agriculture is key to the economy of developing nations, so it is important that farmers here can acess public advisory information. We aim to reach even the most remote smallholders with useful information and are already reaching 1.9 million farmers through our mKisan project. The benefits of using mobile phones to deliver agricultural advisory information is that the data can be updated easily, so the information being passed on to farmers is as current as possible.

Mobile phone connecting seller and buyer

20% of rural customers fall below the poverty line

We provide content and quality assurance through the Direct2Farm database, as well as providing advice on seeds, soil and different markets. By reaching the poorest smallholders, the CABI team are maximizing the incomes of the people who need it the most.


67% of users younger than 29 

The majority of users are under the age of 29 which suggests that young people are more open to receiving agricultural advice via mobile. A survey also showed that around 30% of these customers did not own land and were either students or labourers. These statistics highlight the importance of us providing information on starting up a smallholding and which product and market is best for each smallholder.

Optimizing Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA)

Soil fertility across much of sub-Saharan Africa is poor, which is a major constraint to improving farm productivity and farmer livelihoods. To combat this there is now wide recognition of the need to integrate increased fertilizer use with other aspects of soil fertility management. This project aims to contribute to improved efficiency and... >>

Expanding our Direct2Farm project

Agriculture is extremely important in developing countries, employing around 40% of the workforce. In India, it contributes almost 20% of its GDP. Fears abound that the population will grow quicker than farmers can grow food. Helping them to grow more crops and lose less to pests and diseases means giving them access to practical information to... >>

mNutrition: Addressing hidden hunger through mobile messaging

One in three people in the developing world suffer from ‘hidden hunger’, or micronutrient deficiency, due to a lack of information on proper nutrition. This is a major cause of illness, poor growth, reduced productivity and impaired cognitive development. To help combat the problem, CABI and its partners in the DFID mNutrition initiative are... >>

CABIcore - re-engineering the CABI Knowledge Business

For over 100 years CABI has created and disseminated vast amounts of information relating to agricultural research and problem-solving. But much of this content can’t be interrogated or integrated with recent content to generate new knowledge and insights. This programme aims to transform CABI’s knowledge management platforms, providing... >>