Impact of Market Information on Cashew Producers in Guinea-Bissau
Does lack of information reduce the ability of producers to find the right time to sell their products? To answer this question, we ran a two-level cluster randomized control trial among 1988 cashew producers in 290 villages in Guinea-Bissau. Treated producers received weekly messages to their mobiles during the trading season in 2020. The messages provided up-to-date market news, farmgate prices, and gave marketing advice. We found that treated producers sold their cashews more frequently relative to the producers in other experimental groups, who tend to sell their cashews in a single transaction. Treated producers failed to earn higher prices, but earned 21% more from all sales and barters, relative to the control group mean. We explore several mechanisms to understand our results. We found no evidence suggesting that treated producers changed their buyers, the location of their sales, had more bargaining power, better record keeping, or different attitudes towards risk. Given the low cost of our intervention, market information can be a cost-effective tool to increase producers’ revenues.