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Keywords:

  • Q10;
  • O10
  • Agricultural productivity;
  • ICT adoption;
  • Digital divide

Abstract

This article carries out agricultural production function estimations, based on data for the period 1995–2000 on 81 countries, to present empirical evidence on the relationship between the adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) and agricultural productivity. It is found that new ICT has a significantly positive impact on agricultural productivity. The evidence suggests that the adoption of modern industrial inputs in agricultural production relies on the information and communication infrastructure. However, the empirical evidence from this study also suggests that new ICT could be a factor for the divergence between countries in terms of overall agricultural productivity. Not only do we find that the ICT adoption levels of the richer countries are much higher than those of the poorer countries, but also that returns from ICT in agricultural production of the richer countries are about two times higher than those of the poorer countries. A plausible explanation for the poorer countries' relatively low productivity elasticity of ICT is the lack of important complementary factors, such as a substantial base of human capital.