Information, market creation and agricultural growth
The role of information and communication technology (ICT) in economic development has become a much-contested topic over the last decade.
Although anecdotes exist about the impact of information provided through ICT, we know little about the effects of providing real-time information to farmers on productivity, farm incomes, changes in agricultural practices, and reduction in transaction costs. Some fear that with ICT, a technological disparity will arise, and existing socio-economic inequality and poverty will be further exacerbated.
This project investigated the impact of ICT on rural welfare in the Indian state of Karnataka by giving selected farmers from some villages new information on key agricultural related services. Data from surveys and randomised experiments were used to study the impact of information dissemination on agricultural practices, household incomes, social network, risk coping mechanisms and caste disparity.