New ICT Solutions to Age-Old Problems: Case of the IGP India Project
Developing and facilitating farmers’ relationships with end markets has been a development challenge for many decades. Information and communications technology (ICT) solutions have been tested in many projects as a practical way of solving several issues in this domain. Whether using voice mail, text messaging, radio, Internet, or software-based solutions, ICT provides practitioners with manifold options to improve information flows within value chains.
More affordable technologies are available to farmers around the world than ever before, and better ICT solutions—rendered in local languages—are now feasible. India, with its highly developed ICT sector and huge base of smallholder farmers, presents a perfect environment for developing an ICT-based solution for linking small, dispersed farmers with large, organized buyers, wholesalers, and national retail chains.
This case study describes IGP India’s experience of identifying and choosing an ICT solution, called freshConnect, to address its value chain constraints. It provides lessons and recommendations for other value chain development programs considering an ICT solution.