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Farmers & Cellphones: Tech Innovation in Livestock Extension

Agriculture Pakistan

In Punjab, livestock production accounts for 9% of GDP; however, few farmers use artificial insemination (AI) or inoculation services despite free provision by the government. Low utilization is partly due to insufficient information. Farmers are frequently not be able to determine if AI failed due to technician error or biological circumstances. High variation in vaccine effectiveness and veterinarian absenteeism also contribute to the uncertainty about returns of these services. In this context, researchers assessed the impacts of a cellular-based information clearinghouse for farmers to rate the quality of AI and inoculation services, crowdsourcing assessments of local government veterinarians’ success rates. Researchers found that farmers given this information have a 26 percent higher AI success rate than farmers in the comparison group. Results suggest that AI success rate improvement was due to increased veterinarian effort when they knew that farmers knew their ratings. While personnel changes at the Department of Livestock prevented scale-up of this successful project, researchers are now identifying private funding for continuation. This could offer lower costs and potential for the platform to be self-sustaining in the future.

Partners
  • Livestock & Dairy Development Department
  • Punjab
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