11.12.2018

But the line between supporting and making decisions may be thin.

Portraying m-services so blankly may seem extremely unfair, and I apologise for this. But portraying them as silver bullets may be equally unfair. If the history of agricultural development has told us anything, it is that there are no silver bullets. Admittedly, some m-services do have the potential to truly empower farmers (see also Daum, 2018). A farmer knowing the market price of the maize he or she wants to sell can bargain better than one who does not have this knowledge. A farmer knowing the local weather for the days to come clearly has an advantage – although truly local and reliable forecasts are still hard to come by. But the hype about m-services should not make us blind about their downsides. Some of them can easily be addressed, for example, by providing quality control and complimentary ICT-literacy.