Can Mobile Communication Technologies Enhance Knowledge and Technology Transfer for Improved Agricultural Productivity in Developing Nations? A Preliminary Macro-Economic Assessment in Kenya

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/244839
Title:
Can Mobile Communication Technologies Enhance Knowledge and Technology Transfer for Improved Agricultural Productivity in Developing Nations? A Preliminary Macro-Economic Assessment in Kenya
Author:
Vancel, James Hugh
Issue Date:
May-2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Agriculture is central to the economy of Kenya, but as the population dependent on the same land grows, farmers have been compelled to develop more intensive practices to produce similar yields as in the past. Investments in agricultural research and technology facilitate this intensification and have historically resulted in substantial gains. However, efforts to promote effective transfer of new technologies and methodologies have been stifled by financial challenges to traditional agricultural extension delivery approaches. Extension services involve significant face-to-face contact in farmer fields, through farmer field schools, or at regional events. However with rising costs, the demand for more mobile and adaptable mediums is apparent. This study examines the potential for new methods of knowledge and technology transfer and diffusion of innovation within Kenya, most notably the use of mobile phone services. In order to frame the potential of such services, a national level macro-econometric analysis was undertaken to assess the effects of investments in agricultural research on agricultural gross domestic product. These results were then overlaid on an analysis of 14 case studies examining the effects and challenges of agricultural extension in East Africa. Three potential services, Awaaz De, FarmFox, and Community Knowledge Workers (CKW), were then assessed on a capabilities standard in the context of the rise of the mobile communication markets in Kenya for potential application to extension services. The results indicate that agricultural research is strongly correlated with growth in agricultural GDP and that effective extension services have strongly facilitated that in the past. However, limited flexibility, lack of farmer input, and high costs limit that potential contribution to growth. Mobile communication services may be part of the solution; capabilities of Awaaz De, FarmFox, and CKW are promising, but further research is needed to accurately recommend a service for Kenya’s extension services.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Degree Name:
B.A.
Degree Level:
bachelors
Degree Program:
Honors College; International Studies
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleCan Mobile Communication Technologies Enhance Knowledge and Technology Transfer for Improved Agricultural Productivity in Developing Nations? A Preliminary Macro-Economic Assessment in Kenyaen_US
dc.creatorVancel, James Hughen_US
dc.contributor.authorVancel, James Hughen_US
dc.date.issued2012-05-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractAgriculture is central to the economy of Kenya, but as the population dependent on the same land grows, farmers have been compelled to develop more intensive practices to produce similar yields as in the past. Investments in agricultural research and technology facilitate this intensification and have historically resulted in substantial gains. However, efforts to promote effective transfer of new technologies and methodologies have been stifled by financial challenges to traditional agricultural extension delivery approaches. Extension services involve significant face-to-face contact in farmer fields, through farmer field schools, or at regional events. However with rising costs, the demand for more mobile and adaptable mediums is apparent. This study examines the potential for new methods of knowledge and technology transfer and diffusion of innovation within Kenya, most notably the use of mobile phone services. In order to frame the potential of such services, a national level macro-econometric analysis was undertaken to assess the effects of investments in agricultural research on agricultural gross domestic product. These results were then overlaid on an analysis of 14 case studies examining the effects and challenges of agricultural extension in East Africa. Three potential services, Awaaz De, FarmFox, and Community Knowledge Workers (CKW), were then assessed on a capabilities standard in the context of the rise of the mobile communication markets in Kenya for potential application to extension services. The results indicate that agricultural research is strongly correlated with growth in agricultural GDP and that effective extension services have strongly facilitated that in the past. However, limited flexibility, lack of farmer input, and high costs limit that potential contribution to growth. Mobile communication services may be part of the solution; capabilities of Awaaz De, FarmFox, and CKW are promising, but further research is needed to accurately recommend a service for Kenya’s extension services.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen_US
thesis.degree.nameB.A.en_US
thesis.degree.levelbachelorsen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHonors Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineInternational Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
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