CGIAR Gender News

Design toolkit: including women farmers in the digital revolution

using hoes Photo: Mitchell Maher/IFPRI

The digital revolution has reached smallholder farming. But who benefits? Still, many women farmers remain excluded from digital agro-services. A new practical guide and toolkit helps researchers design gender-inclusive digital tools.

The mobile revolution is rapidly transforming low- and middle-income countries, and the farming sector is no exception. In many countries, there are already more active mobile phone subscriptions than there are citizens. In countries like India, Kenya, or Ethiopia, dozens of start-ups and government initiatives tackle agricultural challenges with digital services, and more and more smallholder farmers are now able to receive much-needed information at the palm of their hand. At least 10% of sub-Saharan farmers and pastoralists regularly use an agro-service on their mobile phone – from accessing weather forecasts to checking market prices to receiving personalized production advice on their phones.

But who really benefits from these services?