The massive strides made by technology over the last decade or two has increased the gap between those with access to it and those who don’t. Smallholder farmers in rural India have not been able to take advantage of the improvements in technology to increase their incomes or improve their overall well-being. At Digital Green we are committed to using new approaches to solve old problems and creating technology-enabled solutions that work for farmers. We’ve been ideating and prototyping numerous ideas. Not every innovation works as intended or is designed to scale but there are still learnings to be gained.

Project eMircha: Delivering Digital Extension & Advisories to Chilli Farmers


Partner Organizations

2020 –2022
The project aims to test, evaluate and demonstrate a scalable and replicable digital model that integrates appropriate technology tools and platforms to deliver timely, high-quality advisory messages to chili farmers in AP and connect them to buyers.
Digital Green will lead this project support delivery of digital extension to improve production quality for at least 10,000 chili farmers by training a cadre of video resource persons in association with ITC while aligning with Dept of Horticulture, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh to produce localized, targeted videos that feature smallholder farmers successfully applying cost-effective and less resource- and labor-intensive farming practices.
Digital Green will also train extension agents of ITC on video dissemination, to work with chili farmers in the target region. They will be trained using Digital Green’s in-person and mobile-based virtual training courseware to deliver the package of practice to the farmers.
Digital Green and ITC will collaborate with Accelerating Growth of New India’s Innovations (AGNIi) to identify and test relevant technologies, design pilots of 2 or 3 selected technologies among 100-200 farmers and assess benefits for farmers’ livelihoods and potential for transportability to other geographies and use-cases.
Geography: Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam, Kurnool Districts of Andhra Pradesh


Walmart Foundation FarmStack: A digital knowledge sharing platform to raise farmer incomes

2019 – 2020

Digital Green is developing and testing a digital platform prototype that integrates localized and relevant information from multiple sources for dissemination via mutually reinforcing analog and digital channels. Two use cases will demonstrate the efficacy of the technology for improving the productivity of smallholder farmers and the efficiency of agriculture extension advisory provision. Based on discussions with farmers, which elicited overwhelming demand for information to improve yields and manage infections of cashew crops, the first use case is focused on providing timely agronomic advisories that improve flowering by preventing flower drop and flower burn. Although agronomy experts in Andhra Pradesh know that flower drop can occur in prolonged drought-like conditions or frequent fog, and that flower burn is an attack by a fungus that occurs with frequent fog, there is no system for using weather data to formulate targeted advisories about either condition. Our work bridges this gap by integrating village-level weather data and forecasts with farm-specific data and soil information to contextualize and inform timely advisory messages. Messages reach farmers via two complementary channels — Digital Green’s video-enabled approach and interactive voice response (IVR) — so that farmers can take preventive measures to protect cashew trees. Delivery of critical weather-related information, like other dynamic content, is best suited for IVR, whereas video is more suited to static content. The prevalence of low literacy levels among the target population calls for the use of non-text based information delivery channels.

Pooling Technology and Extension Networks for Market Access


Loop is a human-mediated mobile phone application that is increasing smallholder farmers’ income and reducing their costs by improving their access to markets and market information and increasing their negotiating power. Funding from Cisco has helped us refine Loop to increase its efficiency and return on investment to farmers, and propel it toward financial sustainability and widespread replicability. Since we launched Loop in Bihar in January 2016, more than 3000 farmers in 110 villages have used Loop to sell 6000 tons of vegetables, recording more than $1 million in cash transactions.

In 2017, we expanded Loop to the state of Maharashtra, India, with support from British Asian Trust, and in Bangladesh, as part of the Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity project.

An award from Goldman Sachs helped speed Loop’s development

Mobile Platforms for Rural Social Networks


Partner Organizations

2011 – 2013
With support from the Ford Foundation, Digital Green implemented a series of pilots to better understand opportunities and challenges related to rural internet connectivity and social media. In 15 villages in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, we conducted an internet access pilot, in which 15 farmers were chosen to receive mobile projector phones and SIM cards so that they could select, screen, and lead discussions about community-produced videos. During the pilot, the farmers screened 26 videos during 433 disseminations, which engaged approximately 1,888 viewers and resulted in 400 new practice adoptions.
Digital Green also experimented with the use of social media by developing new platforms to facilitate learning and sharing of agricultural knowledge (through Farmerbook, a Facebook for farmers), and to connect urban populations with the agricultural lifestyle (through a Facebook game called Wonder Village). Farmerbook enabled Digital Green and partner organizations to learn about video-viewing and practice adoptions of the individuals within their groups, and to identify the most influential farmers within a given area. With enhanced perspective on how farmers could (and would) use mobile platforms if they had better internet connectivity, Digital Green organized a knowledge-sharing workshop focused on leveraging mobile platforms for rural social networks, with the aim of collectively working to establish more regular dialogue with government and telecommunications operators to increase mobile network penetration and bandwidth in rural areas, and especially in tribal communities.