Since 2009, farmers in Sri Lanka, have been able to benefit from a new service called Tradenet which provides agricultural market price information through mobile phones. The service is a joint initiative between Sri Lanka’s largest mobile phone operator (Dialog Axiata PLC.) and a not-for-profit called Govi Gnana Seva (GGS). GGS which means “Farmer Knowledge Service” has since 2003, been collecting and dissemination wholesale agricultural produce trade information.
An evaluation of this new service by LIRNEasia found that farmers were able to get livelihood benefits by using this system. With timely access to accurate and actionable market price information, farmers are able to choose the right time to harvest and take their crops to the market. This enables them to get a premium on price they get for their crops by selling their produce in the markets when supply is low. Furthermore the service has created demand for agricultural extension services, as farmers armed with an increased understanding of market price dynamics decide to be more flexible in their crop choice decisions. Hence this services has been aiding in coordinating market demand and supply in a country, well know for its high intra, inter and season price volatilities in agricultural produce.
In this video, two such farmers talk of their experiences with this new services and how it has benefited their livelihoods.
This research was funded by ENRAP, a joint initiative of IDRC and IFAD.