Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Netflix-inspired tools can reap rewards for farmers

8 December 2019. Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) co-founder and board member, Michael Kremer, is a 2019 Nobel Laureate for Economic Sciences.

In announcing the award, the Nobel Committee stated that Michael Kremer and his co-laureates Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee have “considerably improved our ability to fight global poverty. In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research”.

Michael Kremer delivered his Prize Lecture on Sunday 8 December 2019, at the Aula Magna, Stockholm University. He was introduced by Professor Torsten Persson, member of the Economic Sciences Prize Committee.

Scientific Background on the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 UNDERSTANDING DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ALLEVIATION (45 pages)

"Social scientists have an important role to play for scaling up innovations"

"The Nobel prize will contribute to a 50 million USD fund to benefit strong researchers and institutions in the developing countries on the Experimental Approach to advance science and inform policies to address poverty and develop and scale innovative solutions 
to address human needs"

"We need also innovation in the Funding institutions"

The video starts @ Kremers' mentioning Development Innovation Ventures (DIV)


Precision Agriculture for Development
Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) is a global non-profit organization that harnesses technology, data science and behavioral economics to provide targeted information to empower farmers in developing countries to improve their lives.
  • Listen in to the  CEO, Owen Barder, and co-founder, Michael Kremer, discuss PAD’s use of mobile technology to empower smallholder farmers with actionable information on the BBC’s Digital Planet program.
Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is USAID’s open innovation program that tests and scales creative solutions to any global development challenge: by investing in breakthrough innovations driven by rigorous evidence.
  • SPOUTS of Water: Affordable, Locally-Manufactured Ceramic Water Filters - South Sudan, Uganda $150,000 Funds Raised
    SPOUTS of Water has been producing and distributing over 45,000 ceramic water filters to Uganda and South Sudan since February 2015. The factory in Uganda is currently producing around 2,000 filters each month under full operations. With financial support, it hopes to increase production and sales to over 3,000 filters each month.
  • One Acre Fund Financing and Services for Smallholder Farmers. One Acre Fund is a social enterprise that supplies financing and training to help smallholders grow their way out of hunger and build lasting pathways to prosperity. They offer a complete bundle of services, using a market-based model that helps One Acre remain financially sustainable and expand to reach more and more farmers every year.
  • myAgro: Mobile Layaway for Smallholder Farmers. myAgro's mobile layaway platform enables smallholder farmers to save for seed and fertilizer purchases during the planting season when they have the greatest need for cash. When a farmer buys a myAgro card, a text message with the card’s code and amount is sent to myAgro’s database, and myAgro allocates the amount to the farmer’s account.
  • Essmart (India) has reached over 60,000 rural customers through the commercialization of life-changing technologies. By visiting a local village retail shop, rural households learn about new products that address many of their needs. By purchasing one of these products, they are able to reap that product’s benefits. For example, customers that purchase a solar lantern are able to generate significant cost savings on kerosene, which often account for up to 30% of their monthly income. Customers that purchase a water filter are able to reduce their chances of waterborne illnesses, therefore improving their health and reducing the cost of medical care. Customers that purchase an improved biomass cookstove are able to reduce their fuel consumption and breath easier when cooking.
12 December 2019. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - What does online streaming giant Netflix have in common with smallholder farmers? Both can benefit from sharing data, according to one of this year's Nobel prize winners.

Much as entertainment service Netflix bases recommendations on what viewers have watched, mobile phone-based tools could be used to mine information from some of the world's poorest farmers in return for customised advice.
"The growth in mobile phone use means such crowd-sourced information could be easily distributed, helping small farmers improve yields. Some of the real gains from this will come from customisation. If you can customise information so farmers are getting information on the weather for their particular local area, for the crops they grow, if there's an outbreak of a pest ... you can start to see some of the potential.Michael Kremer, co-winner of the 2019 Nobel in economic sciences.
A rush of innovation aimed at helping the smallholder farmers who provide most of the world's food has seen the development of a range of phone-based agricultural advice tools by governments, companies, and non-profit organisations.

Farmers who use the services see their yields raise by an average of about 4% - and technology developments will make them even more effective, predicted Kremer and two co-authors in a research paper published in the journal Science on Thursday.

The services could also offer a chance to gather information for far-flung and disparate smallholders which highlight shared issues or opportunities, they said, and allow the tools' creators to hone their advice in response. Farmers could be incentivised by the offer of advice tailored to the information they send, said the paper.
"A farmer who reports a bug attacking their crops could be used to warn other farmers and create a map of the infestation. The spread of digital advice tools is growing rapidly and could have a real impact on small farmers. There's two billion people who live in households engaged in smallholder farming – almost a third of humanity and two thirds of the world's poor. Right now, the number of people who are reached is a small fraction of the potential. There is a lot of interest and a lot of growth in this area because more and more of the farmers have phones and more and more will have smartphones over time."
Further readings:
  • Raissa Fabregas, Michael Kremer, Frank Schilbach (December 2019) Realizing the potential of digital development: The case of agricultural advice
  • Banerjee, AV, E Duflo and M Kremer (2016), ‘The influence of randomized controlled trials on development economics research and on development policy’, in The State of Economics, The State of the World, conference at the World Bank.
  • Banerjee and Duflo (2011)  Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
  • Duflo, Esther, Michael Kremer and Jonathan Robinson. (2011). “Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya.” American Economic Review 101(6): 2350-2390
  • Duflo, Esther, Michael Kremer and Jonathan Robinson. (2008). “How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya.” American Economic Review 98(2): 482-488. 
Further presentations

After a short introduction, the lecture begins at 1:45. Field experiments and the practice of policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment