In recent years, mobile phones have become a common feature in business and society in Kenya and are increasingly used in farming. This is also the case for export-orientated small-scale farmers. The aim of this paper is to study the role of mobile phone use by Kenyan export-orientated small-scale fresh fruit and vegetable famers (ffv). We focus on farmers in the Mt. Kenya region using data from questionnaires and expert interviews. We identify four different types of exchange for which mobile phones are used by these farmers: 1. transactions, 2. information, 3. complex knowledge and 4. organization and networking. Our results suggest that the use of mobile phones can improve the farmers’ possibilities for payment, production, marketing, and knowledge transfer, and their competitiveness and integration in international value chains. However, so far the advantages are mostly limited to simple communication and payment; the broad introduction of new applications (with the exception of mobile payment) has not yet taken place.
Keywords: Mobile phones, ict, agriculture, export horticulture, Africa
Jel Code: Q17, F63