See you all in JHN 111 for Matt's talk at noon!


On Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 2:32 PM Philip Garrison <>

> Please join us for the Change Seminar *Tuesday 10/23/2018 *in *JHN 111.*
> *Who:* Matt Ziegler
> *What:* Fresh Insights: User Research Towards a Market Information System
> for Bihari Vegetable Farmers
> *When: *Tuesday, Oct 23rd, 12-1pm
> *Where: *Johnson Hall 111
> *Abstract: Fresh Insights: User Research Towards a Market Information
> System for Bihari Vegetable Farmers*
> Agricultural Market Information (MI) services provide users with
> convenient access to price information and have demonstrated potential to
> improve smallholder farmers’ incomes. Some recent evaluations of MI
> systems, however, have shown disappointing results and brought forth many
> complicating factors. Cautious of the mixed literature, we consider the
> possibility of an MI service extension to Loop, a shared
> transport-to-market service for smallholder farmers
> selling vegetables and other perishable produce.
> We use Buxar, Bihar, India as a case study to investigate the potential
> effectiveness and likely limitations of an MI service for improving
> smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. We present evidence from interviews with
> 17 farmers and 3 commission agents as well as interface prototyping
> exercises. Consistent with “information scarcity” and “information
> asymmetry” theories, we found that many farmers in this area regularly use
> mobile phones to check prices for choosing markets and negotiation.
> Participants also reported increases in the numbers of traders and price
> stabilization since the arrival of mobile phones. However, we found many
> other diverse factors which often supersede the importance of market prices
> and present barriers to market access including time and convenience,
> unfamiliarity with new markets, lack of connections, personal
> relationships, market gluts and price crashes, production volume, attitudes
> towards risk, credit relationships, and danger. Finally, we present
> findings from exploratory user-interface studies for addressing some
> market-access barriers including price volatility, market connections,
> transportation, and payoff estimation.
> *Speaker bio:*
> Matt Ziegler is a 1st-year PhD student in computer science at the
> University of Washington, working at the crossroads of ICTD and
> environmental studies.  Combining backgrounds as a biologist, environmental
> researcher and computer scientist, Matt's research interests include
> environmental justice, computational tools for natural resource management,
> and technologies for community governance of conservation projects.  Matt
> has worked in primate behavioral ecology, environmental education, and
> insect biodiversity, and recently held internships at Mensrupedia and at
> Digital Green.
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