ICT-Based Market Information Services (MIS) Projects, Deployment Environment, and Performance: Experiences from KACE and DrumNet Projects in Kenya
Okello Julius J
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The need to provide agricultural information to farmers has led to emergence of numerous electronic-based MIS projects in developing countries. These projects aim at promoting farmer linkage to better markets. However, experiences from past and present projects show mix cases of success and failure, despite some projects meeting their goals. This study examines how the environments in which such ICT-based MIS are deployed affect their performance. It specifically uses two ICT-based market information service projects, the DrumNet and Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE) projects, to assess how the socio-economic, physical, and institutional environments in such projects are deployed affect the performance of such projects. The study finds that a number of environmental factors related to socio-economic, physical, market, and legal environment affect the performance of ICT-based projects. Some of these factors exacerbate transactions costs thus undermining the performance and even sustainability of ICT-based MIS projects. It discusses policy implications of these findings.