Seeing Is Believing
Selina Bruns, Frederik Sagemüller, Mußhoff Oliver
University of Goettingen, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Germany
It is well documented in the literature that agrarian systems in the region of South East Asia are undergoing transitions from subsistence agriculture towards market oriented agriculture. The adoption of innovative financial services and technologies by smallholder farmers has emerged as a core element in the quest to sustainable economic growth. The rise of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) gives promising opportunities to governments and businesses to design services that suit the need of smallholders. In remote areas of Cambodia however, this process appears to be particularly challenging. Some farmers appear to be resistant to innovative and highly benefitting technologies and services, while others are willing to accept them and even act as first movers. While explanations for this difference in behaviour are manifold in the literature, e.g. risk attitudes and loss aversion, we strive to examine a new possible reason: Eyesight. Due to cultural reasons, but also e.g. lack of financial services, awareness, and infrastructure, the rural population in the North-Eastern district of Cambodia, Ratanakiri, seldom wears glasses.
Keywords: Agriculture, behaviour, development, eyesight, financial services
Contact Address: Frederik Sagemüller, University of Goettingen, Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5, 37081 Göttingen, Germany, e-mail: frederik.sagemuelleragr.uni-goettingen.de