Agriculture, specifically fish farming, is one of the largest components of the Senegalese
labor force, employing 60 percent of the country’s population. However, a majority of fish
farmers are living in poverty. This study explores how smartphone technology can be
implemented to help increase income stability among Senegalese fish farmers.
Recent research has shown how Senegal’s struggling fishermen are turning to the
developing practice of aquaculture, which involves farming rather than catching the fish. This
new agricultural form was established due to combat an economic decline in the fishing industry.
A study comparing the quantities of fish raised via aquaculture was done among fishermen and
agricultural specialists in Senegal. Data was retrieved through interviews. The results were that
the production of farmed fish rose from 10 tonnes annually before 2008, to 321 tonnes in 2012
since adopting the aquaculture practice. (Malick , 2013) While statistical data was present,
information regarding the economic outcomes of adopting aquaculture was not included.
Additionally, further research provided a sector performance review of ICT in Senegal.
(Schnitt, 2013) ICT, or “Information and Communication Technology,” aims to bridge the
economic gap that exists in the Senegalese agricultural market via innovations in smart
technologies. (Schnitt, 2013) The participants in the study were two telecommunications markets
that provide cellular service, as well as Internet connections in Senegal that can help appropriate
the ICT applications. Quantitative data was collected in the form of surveys that displayed the
number of mobile subscribers in Senegal between the years 2000 and 2008, as well as data
regarding the amount of subscribers who have Internet access via their smartphone. Data tables
and graphs depicting the economic trends were showcased, yet there wasn’t any participatory
information on the Smartphone users. Compatibly, the results showed that the ICT developments
caused an increase in economic stability. While this is a positive trend, Senegal still needs to join
the global market for continued success.
Furthermore, ICT for agribusiness and rural development projects are developing, namely
CRS’s program Farmbook Suite. The program’s primary features help to meet the needs of
farmers, field agents and agricultural project managers. It is described, “Farmbook Suite offers
field agents and farmers a business-planning process that focuses not only on production but also
on market opportunities”. ("Farmbook Suite") While active participants weren’t used to disclose
information about the program, the target population of this technology is smallholder farmers.
Although a description of how Farmbook helps stabilize rural agricultural practices, statistical
measures of these improvements was not included in the study.
Concurrently, another article examined the determinants of rural household income
diversification in Senegal and Kenya. (Alobo) The focus of the study the various income levels
of farmers in these two sub-Saharan countries, and what the contributory factors in the income
ranges are. This study used a quantitative survey collected in 2008 by a CIRAD/World Bank
program called RuralStruc to provide a perspective on agriculture and its role for development
by analyzing the issues related to trade liberalization, rural transformation and the evolution of
rural economies in the global field. (Alobo) The results were that crop and livestock production
were the most important source of farm incomes, followed by farm wage labor. In respect to fish
farming, it was determined that Income from farm processing and natural resources like hunting,
fishing and gathering were less prevalent (less than 1%). (Alobo) Statistics were provided in a
table in an interval scale. However, qualitative data in the form of graphical illustrations was
A similar study provided an annual progress report set forth by the Senegalese
government for reducing poverty. The article focuses on how the agricultural industry provides
jobs for most of Senegal’s population, and also generates the most income and national revenue,
and discussed the national government’s proposed implementations to increase income stability.
("Senegal: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Annual Progress Report,” 2010) Data was collected
from evaluating the income levels yielded on farms in various areas of Senegal, and creating
correlation between the volume in crop and livestock production and income level. Additionally,
this data was recalculated after the implementation of various policy innovations, such as
infrastructure improvement, packaging and logistics developments and hydraulic facilities being
built. ("Senegal: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Annual Progress Report,” 2010) The results
were that the average agricultural income has steadily progressed since the 2007-2008
agricultural year since the implementation of the aforementioned developments. Although
correlational quantitative and qualitative data graphs were provided, the farmers themselves did
not participate in the study.
Therefore, this research investigates the relationship between the appropriation of
smartphone technology and income stability among fish farmers in Senegal. The study hopes to
answer the question of whether an increase in income can be derived from using technological
applications in rural fish farming.
Implementing Smartphone technology in fish-farming communities in Senegal will
cause an increase income stability
2 Independent & Dependent Variables
The independent variable of the study is technology, while the dependent variable is
3 Moderator Variables
The moderator variables are the type of Smartphone and the region of which the
4 Operational Definitions
Financial applications are defined as Smartphone applications that allow for
Data was collected on the St. John's University campus within the Scientific
Inquiry class. Data was collected with consent, and the students completed a survey inquiring
about their smartphone use. The survey consisted of six questions, with five additional
demographic questions. Each question was scored on a closed-ended response scale, with one
question asking providing space for an open-ended response as well. Five of the questions sought
qualitative data, while the final question was quantitative.
Thirty-two students participated in the survey. 71.8% (N=23) of the
population was female, and 28.2% (N=9) was male. Additionally, the sample self-
identified as 43.75% Caucasian (N=14), African American with 15.625 (N=5) and
12.5% (N=4) identifying as Hispanic. The sample ranged from 19-22 years old.
The largest group represented the 19-year old age bracket, representing 53.1%
(N=17) of the population. All of the participants claimed to own a Smartphone,
with the majority of them owning an Apple smartphone. The most frequently
used category of applications was social media applications, comprising 93.75%
(N=30) of the participants’ smartphone usage. Moreover, 53.1% (N=17) said
they used financial applications. When asked if they felt that the financial
applications are beneficial, all of them said yes. All qualitative responses were
coded based on themes and were applied a number to match the theme.
However, each participant who said they found the financial application
beneficial said that the application helps them keep track of their finances. This
finding on the graph will have a “1” assigned to it. In terms of cost, the average
cost of a smartphone among the participants was between $70 and $90 per
The findings underscore the link between using smartphones to cultivate financial
stability. This relationship was found even among a population where not all of the
participants used financial applications, and not all were employed.
There was a link between the use of a smartphone and financial stability, which
supports the hypothesis that smartphones can be used to promote income stability. Of
the participants who claimed to used financial applications on their smartphone, all of
them said that they found the applications to be beneficial, as they allow them to keep
track of their finances with ease.
As for limitations, some people in the study didn’t know what the monthly cost of
their smartphone is, and either put an arbitrary number as an estimate, or didn’t
answer the question. Additionally, the population of the sample is just starting to live
independently, so they might not have thought of the financial application valuable.
Research to increase understanding of which financial demographic the use of
smartphones is most successful in promoting financial stability and which financial
applications are the most user-friendly would be important additions to the literature.
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Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Economic Policy Monitoring and Coordination Unit -
UCSPE. "Senegal: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Annual Progress Report." Senegal:
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Annual Progress Report; IMF Country Report 10/368;
October 1, 2010 (2010): 1-9. IMF. International Monetary Fund, Dec. 2010. Web. 15
Oct. 2015. <http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2010/cr10368.pdf>.
Nations Encyclopedia. "Senegal - Agriculture." Senegal Agriculture, Information about
Agriculture in Senegal. Nations Encyclopedia, 2015. Web. 04 Nov. 2015.
Rokhy-Ba, Malick. "Senegal's Struggling Fishermen Turn to Aquaculture." Africa Review.
Nation Media Group, Kenya, 30 May 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
Schnitt, Emily. "Senegal National ICT Resources." ICT4D Tulane. Tulane University, 27 Feb.
2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2015. <https://tulaneict4d.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/senegal-