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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment



Direct2Farm proves the case for mobile-based agro-advisory services in India (PDF)

Smallholder farmers in India are largely dependent on other farmers as their main source of agricultural information, with government extension services geographically limited and agricultural dealers not always trusted to provide impartial advice. 

  • Between January and July 2015, 400,000 farmers in six Indian states were registered to receive free agricultural information in the form of SMS and voice messages via CABI’s D2F service.
  • Information delivery, which took place between January 2015 and June 2016, was highly targeted, based on farmers’ location, language, choice of crops, livestock and farming practices.
  • Between September and November 2015, the D2F service carried out 714 information campaigns coinciding with critical periods in the farming calendar, comprising around 10 million voice messages.
  • Around 90% of D2F users reported being highly likely to share the messages they received and to recommend the service to others. Of those who shared information, 86% said that the person they shared it with had also reported it as useful.
  • In telephone interviews, around 80% of users reported acting on the information received. Actions included getting soil tested, responding to weather predictions and buying recommended varieties of seeds, fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Over 70% of active users reported increased productivity and reduced losses as a result of acting on the information received. Smallholder farmers reported getting a better price for their crops in the market. Information regarding the weather was found to be particularly useful.