Memo from a small-farm expert: Not all farmers are the same

Mobile Technology

Memo from a small-farm expert: Not all farmers are the same

Carlos Sere, IFAD's chief development strategist. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilri/6331979668/sizes/m/in/photostream/">ILRI (Flickr)</a>.
Carlos Sere, IFAD's chief development strategist. Photo: ILRI (Flickr).

Different small farmers farm for different reasons.

That's one of the most important points made by Carlos Sere, the chief development strategist of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, in a Q&A published November 1 by Inter Press Service:

The decision or choice to adopt new technologies is often quite complex for farmers, especially because they engage in agriculture for a variety of reasons such as generating income, providing for their own food consumption, buffering the impact of possible insecurity or shocks affecting other sources of income (for instance informal employment), and so forth.

Investment in the development of new technologies for adoption by small farmers should be guided by an understanding of the incentives and risks confronted by different types of farmer groups.

As more and more groups look for ways to serve mobile technology to poor farmers, it'll be important for them to keep in mind the different ways different sorts of farmers are likely to use it.

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