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A Spatial Perspective on Access to Knowledge and Mobile Phone Use

Madlen Krone and Peter Dannenberg ()

Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 2018, vol. 109, issue 5, 613-628

Abstract: Small‐scale farmers in rural areas in the Global South often lack access to crucial business knowledge due to, among others, spatial constraints, for example, peripheral locations and poor transport infrastructure. Studies on information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) argue that the use of ICTs like mobile phones, supports farmers by overcoming these constraints. Combining concepts about knowledge with relational and spatial proximity, this paper aims to contribute to the current debate on ICT4D studies. Based on a survey and qualitative interviews with horticultural small‐scale farmers in the Mwanza region, Tanzania, we analyse the potential and limitations of mobile phone use to reduce spatial constraints in order to access different types of knowledge. Our results show the benefits of phone use to access particularly external knowledge can only fully take place if the users already possess external contacts that are, however, usually based on personal relationships in close spatial proximity.

Date: 2018
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