Qingxiao Li, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at Louisiana State University, will present the EEEP Seminar Series, “The Grapes of Mobile App: Experimental Evidence on Training Farmers Using Smartphone App” on October 18, 2023.
Abstract: Limited access to information and technical expertise hinders farmers in developing countries from adopting innovative technology and enhancing agricultural practices. The rapid growth of information and communication technologies, particularly mobile phones, presents opportunities to deliver information and boost agricultural productivity. In this study, Qingxiao conducted a two-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial to investigate the impact of technical training via a mobile app for grape farmers in rural China. His results show that farmers with access to technical videos on mobile devices significantly improved their technical knowledge and perceived their grapes to be of higher quality. Objective measurements support these claims, showing an increase in grape sweetness by 0.30 standard deviations. However, farmers who also received aspirational videos in addition to technical videos did not experience an increase in the sweetness of their grapes in spite of having improved knowledge. This suggests that bundling is not as effective in this context, and it is preferable to focus on the technical module during training. Qingxiao’s findings highlight the potential of mobile technology in improving agricultural practices and offer insights for designing effective training programs for farmers in developing countries.
Qingxiao Li is an assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at Louisiana State University. He conducts research in agribusiness, consumer economics, food and agricultural economics, industrial organization, and development economics. His current research projects primary focus on three themes: 1) investigating the economic and social impacts of SNAP-authorized retailers and their policy implications, 2) analyzing inflation and cost-of-living using retail and household scanner data, and 3) examining the effects of news sentiment and media advertising on U.S. food markets. He has published articles in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, JAMA Pediatrics, and World Bank Economic Review, among others. His research has been funded by the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).