Title: Understanding the use of mobile phones in the agricultural sector in rural Indonesia: using the capability approach as lens

Authors: Fathul Wahid; Bjørn Furuholt

Addresses: Department of Informatics, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Jl. Kaliurang Km. 14.5 Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Department of Information Systems, University of Agder, Gimlemoen 25H, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway. ' Department of Information Systems, University of Agder, Gimlemoen 25H, 4604 Kristiansand, Norway

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the use of mobile phones in the agricultural sector and its possible contributions to development of developing countries, with special reference to Indonesia. In our interpretive work, the capability approach is used as a lens, and the study is informed by data from interviews with various actors and field observations. The paper unearths the pattern of use of mobile phones among farmers in their professional network and shows that ownership and use of mobile phones varies, depending on the farmers' location in the network hierarchy. The study further unveils that the conversion factors play a significant role in order to realise achievement (functionings) from the possible opportunities (capabilities). These include personal, as well as social and environmental conversion factors.

Keywords: M4D; mobile phones; cell phones; capability approach; conversion factors; development; agriculture; Indonesia; developing countries; rural areas; farmers; professional networks; mobile communications.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICT.2012.048761

International Journal of Information and Communication Technology, 2012 Vol.4 No.2/3/4, pp.165 - 178

Available online: 29 Aug 2012 *

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