The use of mobile phones in poverty reduction and development has ignited much interest over the past decade. To take advantage of the rapid expansion of mobile phones in developing countries, businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organisations are increasingly turning their attention to the delivery of services through mobile phones in areas such as health, education and agriculture. This paper examines how such m-services could be and are already being used to facilitate agricultural technology adoption among farmers in developing countries, including accessing, using and generating income from new technologies. The paper argues that m-services could help to overcome some of the obstacles to technology adoption by facilitating access to information and learning, financial services, and input and output markets. Existing studies assessing the impacts of mobile phones already point to the potential benefits for poverty reduction and rural development. However, there is a risk that the poorest and marginalised may fall behind. Further research is needed to understand how their particular challenges could be addressed through m-services and other support activities, and how they might become active players in the demand for m-services. Such research will need to draw on various disciplines to allow for an analysis of the economic, social and biophysical dimensions of the users, farming contexts and technologies.
mobile phones m-services agriculture technology adoption poverty