LIRNEasia’s Lead Economist Harsha de Silva had a dream. It was that information would reduce price volatility and waste in agricultural markets and that both consumers and producers would benefit from better functioning markets. Unlike Jensen who studied the effects of price information communicated through mobiles on the market for “wild” fish and Akers who studied mobiles’ effect on grain markets (a little more complicated than fish, because the decision to grow or not is now a factor and because transportation costs are not negligible), Harsha picked perhaps the hardest of markets: small-scale production of perishable vegetables and fruits.
Sri Lanka’s top celco Dialog Telekom is offering a trading platform based on short message services (SMS) that can help farmers to sell their produce and create a forward market for agriculture produce, officials said.
“The Dialog TradeNet agricultural trading platform service is offered free of charge to users, but normal call charges and SMS charges will apply,” Hans Wijayasuriya, chief executive at Dialog Telekom, said.
“We want to penetrate the entire farming community with this service.”
More details will follow.
(Photograph courtesy of Sameera Wijerathna, Dialog Telekom PLC)