Gig-Worker Monitors of Small Farms
An "uber" like approach to crowdsourcing information from small farms
The promise of a “digital revolution” in small-scale farming has generated intensive discussion and experimentation. In particular, the idea that agronomic advise can be tailored to the conditions of specific farms, addressing the inherent heterogeneity of small-scale farming, is especially promising.
The common approaches to this challenge seem to either rely on farmers to observe and share information from their own farms, or on extension agents to do so, including by using digital tools and devices. However, experience has shown that farmers are often reluctant to share information and are insufficiently digitally literate to do so, and extension agents’ time is too expensive.
We are exploring a different model that employs unprofessional “gig workers”, mainly youth residing in rural areas, to obtain farm information in their villages using smartphones, dedicated apps, and in the future, mobile sensors.
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