socialAs telecom companies are staying relevant in their competitive market, I think farmers should do the same too.

Social media keeps us connected and informed about all the different things happening around the world. Alot of information is passed on through these platforms that it would be necessary for farmers to engage with and learn more about the different aspect of the agricultural sector.

Mica Graybill wrote a paper about Exploring The Use Of Facebook As A Communication Tool In Agricultural Related Social Movements said that “With radio it took 38 years to reach a target audience of 50 million; with Facebook it took a mere two years,” (Hoffman, 2009, para. 1).

It is true farmer uses radio a lot to communicate to other farmers but the times have changed, new methods are here. Social Media while using platforms like Facebook pages, groups, profiles, events or Twitter. Farmers can use these two platforms to market and publicize their products. This kind of representation can be done using a farmer’s own style, interests, and creativity to pull a number of people to their business, relate and learn from other farmers through groups, pages and profiles.

The need for agricultural information has existed for thousands of years, farmers need get organised and start socializing and interacting with one another. Social media is not only a communicating and listening tool, but it is also used for educating and documenting.

It is already known that Social media platforms are a great source of inform and an education ground for consumers about important topics. Twitter, is one of those tools that has taught a number of people a lot of things on different topics.

Social networking sites need to be used by farmers to share happenings from and around the farm. Things that others can learn from. I want to be a farmer but if am to rare on social media as I do with all my other projects to get information, I will never start. There is no such information anywhere to guide beginners or even help with any farm problems.

You see with social media local farmers and specialty food producers have an opportunity to compete with larger farms around the country by just reading about what they are doing and learning from them. Agribusinesses should use social media to help connect rural farmers to co-operative extensions through social sites, online blogs and any other online sites that are flexible for them.

So agriculturalists need to embrace and engage in interaction with critics and consumers in order to make sure that the right side of the story of agriculture is being told; otherwise, doubters are going to go above and beyond to dig for facts, whether they are true or false.

With the Food safety problems around the world, social sites can help with providing information on what region has more food and can share with other regions. Plus I see and hear it being discussed among agriculturalists on Radio and Tv but not on social media.

We need this kind of information on blogs, on social media – online where everyone can access it. We need to get agric on social and now because it has become necessary and important.

What say you?

Patricia Kahill

is a Social Media, Content Creator and Marketer at Kahill Insights.
A Development Practitioner who has no self talent but is driven by curiosity and passion; in a nutshell she is a Multipotentialite. She believes in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which makes her a Christian.

5 thoughts on “Farmers Should Use #SocialMedia To Stay Connected #1ACCA”

  1. Patricia, social media is miles ahead of what farmers need, and given that:
    – over 60% of them are in places without adequate network coverage
    – over 40% of them can barely read and write
    – over 30% cannot afford a mobile phone, within their household
    – even if they had a phone charging it is a major problem.

    The challenge with the needs of the farmer is that they are very simple to answer a couple of questions that go through their minds:
    – Before the rains: what can I grow to reap better than last season, what is available for me to grow, how will I open new land, when will the rains come and how long will they last
    – At planting: these rains, are they a teaser or for real, what planting methods can I use to improve my yields
    – During growning: how can I manage weeds, what can I use to maintain the fertility of my land, oh I have a pest/disease outbreak where can I find inputs to control this
    – At harvesting: where can I find labor to harvest. Given that there is a 30% loss of produce at harvesting the one that is not asked is – how can I reduce losses at harvesting
    – After harvesting: who will buy, when and at what price

    And the cycle goes on and on and on … last season informs the next season, leaving cyclic effects that the farmers cannot break out of

    Social media, if it can answer those questions – how do you get the answers to the farmers?

    1. Thank you for this comment Stephen.
      How do you get the answers back to farmers is through other social platforms like SMSs.
      Ngos like Text To Change have SMSs platforms where such information can be shared among farmers.
      Also there are farmers online who can benefit from such information even it they are not the majority.
      What do you think?

  2. Patricia,

    The SMS platforms are not the issue, as they are just one of the available channels.

    The million dollar question is how does Social media & SMS leverage and extend existing channels radio, NGO & NAADS extension workers, word of mouth, input dealers who provide some sort of training, and knowledgeable farmers?

    Stephen

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