Editorial Chief: Jemimah M. Njuki, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment

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Vol 6, Issue 1, pp 43-54, 2021

Mobile phone use and agricultural productivity among female smallholder farmers in Tanzania

Author: Amy Quandt1*, Jonathan Salerno2, Timothy D. Baird3, J. Terrence McCabe4, Emilie Xu5, Jeffrey E. Herrick6, and Joel Hartter4
1San Diego State University.
2Colorado State University.
3Virginia Tech.
4University of Colorado Boulder.
5Fairview High School, Boulder, CO.
6USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range.
*corresponding author, aquandt@sdsu.edu


Evidence shows that mobile phones can improve agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet few studies examine gender disparities in mobile phone ownership and use, and how they relate to the gender gap in agricultural productivity. This research gathers survey data on 279 male and female household heads in four villages in Iringa, Tanzania, and investigates the associations between gender, agricultural productivity, and phone ownership and use. Our study finds that many farmers use phones to conduct agricultural activities, with virtually all male respondents using their privately-owned phones compared to only two-thirds of female respondents. Moreover, many women have positive perceptions and trust in the benefits of using phones for agricultural activities. Lastly, phone owners have higher self-reported maize yields compared to non–phone owners. Our results suggest that mobile phones may be a valuable tool in bridging the agricultural gender gap.

Keywords: Africa, Agriculture, Gender, Mobile Phones, Tanzania, Women.

DOI: 10.19268/JGAFS.612021.4
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