Why has adoption of digital agricultural services been slow in Southeast Asia? Researchers interviewed 100 farmers across Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam to find out. The report finds farmers engage in peer-group discussions (e.g. on WhatsApp), as well as information searches (e.g. on YouTube), before starting to use agri-apps, as they are harder to use and less relationship-based). The report concludes AgTech developers should use chat-based platforms to reduce the need for agri-apps and help build the trust, skills and interest required for using apps. Methods include engaging with farmers that lead chat groups and training village-based staff to use chat-based platforms.

We talked to farmers directly, interviewing 100 farmers in Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar to find out why adoption has been so slow. What we found surprised us — we found farmers actively using their phones to grow their farming operation but in very different ways than we expected.