Transformative Potential of Agricultural Mobile Market Information System in Tamilnadu, India: An Exploratory Study

Transformative Potential of Agricultural Mobile Market Information System in Tamilnadu, India: An Exploratory Study

P. Senthil Priya (PSG College of Arts and Science, India) and N. Mathiyalagan (PSG College of Arts and Science, India)
DOI: 10.4018/jictrda.2012010103
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Abstract

The agricultural sector is the largest and most critical economic sector and a developing country like India, with its economic backbone as agriculture, is highly dependent to sustain its population. To compete with other agricultural economies, a need exists to create effective linkage between the seat of agricultural production and market forces involved in the provision of goods to the consumers within India. A strong network communication must be established between the various stakeholders of agricultural trade to facilitate a balance between demand and supply. With the advent of mobile phones, internet, and other Information and Communication Technologies, new possibilities and multi-dimensional factors that create instant communication between the target groups have emerged and these ICT tools could be used as a source of agricultural information dissemination to the farmers. This paper analyses mobile based agricultural Market Information Services (MIS) that deliver critical market price information to farmers in Tamilnadu, India. The study also provides an overview of the ICT based mobile market linkage systems and analyses the operability of such projects. The study also assesses the benefits of such projects in providing relevant information to the farmers and the emerging opportunities for rural farmers to make constructive use of the e-agriculture projects.
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Introduction

Agriculture is the main source of income for around 2.5 billion people in the developing world (FAO, 2003). In most of the semi-peripheral nations, the agricultural sector is the largest and most critical economic sector. The Indian agricultural sector provides employment for about 65% of the total labor force, accounts for 27% of the GDP growth, contributes 21% of total exports and also provides raw materials to several industries (Malhan, 2007). The impact of the agricultural sector is wide-ranging and extends to economic growth, food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods, rural development and the environment. Moreover, the poorest half of the population benefits significantly more from agricultural growth than growth in other sectors of the economy (UN, 2008; World Bank, 2007).

India has a dominant position in world agriculture, with the second largest arable land bank in the world and it ranks in one of the top three producers of rice, wheat, coarse grains, fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee and jute. India also has some of the largest livestock populations in the world which combined with the large farming sector ensures that agri-business remains the overwhelming contributor to the economy from both monetary and employment perspectives (Malhan, 2007).

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