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Warana Unwired: Replacing PCs with mobile phones in a rural sugarcane cooperative

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3 Author(s)
Veeraraghavan, R. ; Microsoft Res. India, Bangalore ; Yasodhar, N. ; Toyama, K.

In this paper, we present what we believe to be the first documented experiment to replace an existing PC-based system that had goals of "bridging the digital divide" for an agricultural district with a mobile-phone-based system in which a small, but relevant amount of data is transferred to farmers via SMS text messaging. Implemented in rural Maharashtra, Warana Unwired sought to replace an existing PC-based system for managing information in a sugarcane cooperative with an SMS-based mobile-phone system. In an eight-month trial involving seven villages, Warana Unwired successfully replicated all of the PC-based functionality, and was found to be less expensive, more convenient, and more popular with farmers than the previous PC-based system. This paper discusses the early investigations of the Warana Wired Village Project that led to the conception and implementation of the Warana Unwired project. The new system is described in detail, and results, both quantitative and qualitative are analyzed.

Published in:

Information and Communication Technologies and Development, 2007. ICTD 2007. International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-16 Dec. 2007