Reuters Market Light: Creating Efficient Agriculture Markets in Rural India

Bimal Arora, Ashley Cummings

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book


A venture promoted and supported by Thomson Reuters, Reuters Market Light (RML) offers highly customized and localized agricultural and related information service. Using a subscription economy model, RML provides information services via mobile phone-based Short Message Service (SMS) primarily aimed at farmers. RML SMS cover localized weather forecasts, crop advisory, proximate market data and crop prices, and relevant policy and national and international news. With such information, a farmer subscribing to the RML service is equipped to overcome the information asymmetry that impedes agricultural communities’ growth and earnings, especially in the context of falling yields. Equipped with information, farmers can thus make informed decisions about their agricultural practices and sales and will be able to create wealth through a rise in agricultural productivity and incomes while waste and market inefficiencies are likely to minimize.

The value proposition of RML arose from a realization of deficient extension services in the agricultural sector of a developing country like India which contributes to the existing information asymmetry among its farmers. RML advisory belongs to what is called ‘information precision agriculture’ and has great potential to promote sustainability postGreen Revolution. Initiated in 2006, with full fledged operations launched in October 2007, RML currently operates in nine Indian states with a subscription base of over 175,000 (by the end of 2009), and is adding anywhere from 300 to 2,500 subscriptions every day, depending upon the day of the month or season. With plans of scaling up operations nationwide in India by April 2010, RML will have expansion in distribution networks through tie-ups with other players in the rural markets and retail outlets, and hence the subscription figures are set to rise dramatically. RML aims to build half a million subscriber base by the end of 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyUNDP
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright @ 2010. United Nations Development Programme.


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