Enhancing Mobile Agricultural Extension Programs

Background: Agricultural extensions services are a proven tool to disseminate simple technologies and increase farmer productivity.  Early extension efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa generated large returns on investment, however due to the rapid change in technology and decreasing land-holding of small-scale farmers, maintaining similar efforts has quickly escalated in cost. Multiple funders and agricultural agencies have explored low-cost methods to quickly, but effectively disseminate new information to farmers through SMS-based platforms, voice automated services, and community-based resources.

Scope: Busara was engaged by a large multinational agricultural agency to infuse behavioral insights into an SMS-based extension service platform targeting increased awareness, adoption, and yields from new practices and products.  Busara introduced a number of behavioral solutions to increase engagement and internalize learnings as well as develop a monitoring and evaluation structure to assess the effect of the different interventions.