Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Potential of Digital Platforms in Revitalising the Livestock System in Rural Zimbabwe

Version 1 : Received: 8 May 2020 / Approved: 10 May 2020 / Online: 10 May 2020 (14:51:38 CEST)

How to cite: Gwaka, L.T. The Potential of Digital Platforms in Revitalising the Livestock System in Rural Zimbabwe. Preprints 2020, 2020050169 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0169.v1). Gwaka, L.T. The Potential of Digital Platforms in Revitalising the Livestock System in Rural Zimbabwe. Preprints 2020, 2020050169 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0169.v1).

Abstract

Livestock contribute towards household food security in rural communities through income generation and provision of animal-source food. However, livestock system are fragile for example, in Zimbabwe, communities face challenges such as fewer buyers, poor infrastructure, and information asymmetry when selling livestock. Emerging digital platforms promise opportunities to address these challenge but only anecdotal evidence exist. This paper uses data from Beitbridge to explore the potential of digital platforms to revitalise the livestock auction system. Study findings show that digital platforms are designed with affordances which can help overcome challenges within the livestock system. However, these digital platforms are also fraught with hidden complexities such as power dynamics. Thus, despite digital platforms’ affordances, their design inherently extends beyond technical functions. Therefore, there is an urgent need for discussions exploring the contrast between affordances and complexities to enable target users to make informed decisions on the adoption and use of digital platforms.

Subject Areas

digital platforms; digital auction; livestock systems; Zimbabwe

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