Technological and Institutional Innovations for Marginalized Smallholders in Agricultural Development

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Agricultural Service Delivery Through Mobile Phones: Local Innovation and Technological Opportunities in Kenya

  • Heike BaumüllerAffiliated withCenter for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn Email author 


The rapid spread of mobile phones across the developing world offers opportunities to improve service delivery for smallscale farmers. International and local companies have already started to capitalize on these opportunities although many mobile phone-enabled services are still at an early stage. Kenya has emerged as a leader in m-service development in Sub-Saharan Africa. This chapter assesses the key factors that have helped the local innovation scene to emerge and reviews existing agricultural m-services that provide Kenyan farmers with access to information and learning, financial services, and input and output markets. The potential impact of m-services is illustrated with the example of the price and marketing service M-Farm. Finally, the chapter assesses current mobile technology trends to offer an outlook on potential future applications.


Mobile phone Kenya M-service Innovation Smallholder farmer