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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Smallholders and Micro-enterprises in Agriculture: Information needs and communication patterns
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://lirneasia.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ME-Report-final.pdf
Agriculture in developing economies often employ the largest share of the workforce
yet contribute the least to GDP when compared to the Industry and Services sectors.
The reasons for this low productivity are numerous: land fragmentation; lack of postharvest
infrastructure; low technology utilization; weak market linkages; absent or
inefficient markets; information and knowledge asymmetries (or lack thereof). This is
further exacerbated by overall socio-economic structural deficiencies such as lack of
access to finance and crop insurance.
Smallholder agriculture often constitutes the largest segment of agricultural
producers in developing countries. Increased performance of agricultural
smallholders is sine-qua-non for inclusive development not just in agriculture but
also at a more broad-based level. The 2010 Growth Report by the Commission on
Growth and Development mentions utilization of knowledge and integration into
global value chains as two of the characteristics of high growth countries. Given this
context, the information and knowledge needs as well as the communication
patterns (specifically the use of ICTs) were investigated using an exploratory nonrepresentative
survey of smallholders and agricultural micro-enterprises (only
collectors, traders, commission agents and retailers of agricultural produce) in
Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

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