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ICTs in medium-sized farms in developing countries: a case study in Mexico: conventional banana and organic rice cultivation

Lastra Gil, Luis Emilio (2017) ICTs in medium-sized farms in developing countries: a case study in Mexico: conventional banana and organic rice cultivation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This research examines how farmers working medium-sized farms in Mexico have adopted and enacted Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and how these ICTs have impacted work practices. The effects of ICTs on farmers’ economic relations are explored from a business process perspective using a framework that combines Transaction Cost (TCT) and Social Embeddedness theories. A single case study in Mexico with two embedded units of analysis from different crop sectors, a cluster of banana producers from Tabasco and an organic rice grower from Campeche, provide an in-depth understanding of the adoption of ICTs and their impact. We examine issues of learning and co-operation, and how ICTs have affected production and distribution and the positioning of farmers in the context of their work practices and economic relations. The thesis discusses the ICTs used in the business process cycle of farming and their impact on business development and economic exchange. The research elaborates on and confirms the existence of network forms of organisation that operate in the farmers’ communities and analyses their social embeddedness. The findings show that information technologies bring improvements to the agricultural business process, facilitating not only the collection, collation and analysis of data to support informed decisions, but also innovative farming and business practices through learning and co-operation. We find that ICTs complement and support social relationships, both preexisting (traditional community connections and business links) and novel (virtual contacts and social media) to stimulate business development. The significance of social context is corroborated and should help inform development policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Luis Emilio Lastra Gil
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Avgerou, Chrisanthi

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