Improving the efficiency and inclusiveness of agricultural value chains is central to LIRNEasia’s current research. NYT reports on Nokia’s efforts in this area. Unfortunately for little countries, they are focusing only on big markets.
On Saturday at dawn, hundreds of farmers near Jhansi, an agricultural center in central India, received a succinct but potent text message on their cellphones: the current average wholesale price for 100 kilograms of tomatoes was 600 rupees ($13.26).
In a country where just 7 percent of the population has access to the Internet, such real-time market data is so valuable that the farmers are willing to pay $1.35 a month for the information.
What is unusual about the service is the company selling it: Nokia, the Finnish cellphone maker, which unlike its rivals — Samsung, LG, Apple, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson — is focusing on some of the world’s poorest consumers.