The social impact of ICT-enabled interventions among rural Indian farmers as seen through eKutir’s VeggieLite intervention

Moore Jr., D.S.; Annosi, M.C.; Gilissen, T.D.; Mandelbaum, Jennifer; Dubé, Laurette


Various approaches – for and not-for-profit – have been offered as a means of addressing the endemic nature of rural poverty and undernutrition. EKutir, a social enterprise, has sought to address rural poverty through a team of microentrepreneurs that leverage information and communication technologies (ICT) to connect farmers more efficiently with markets. Microentrepreneurs are trained in (social) entrepreneurship, ICT, inputs, and market access and best practices in farming, including farm soil-testing, fertilizers, seeds and crop nutrients, and pest management. To assess the effectiveness of the VeggieLite intervention, the readers used a quasi-experimental evaluation design, with pre- and post-intervention data collected one year apart. To evaluate the effects of the intervention, a rural and urban study sample was created. Social network data taken from the evaluation of eKutir’s VeggieLite intervention suggest that the broader social ecosystem that eKutir created around its microentrepreneur-based program operated in a protective fashion to preserve the social brokerage position of its farmer members.