Role of Social Media in Agriculture - Daily Current Affair Article

CONTEXT :

Farmers are moving towards social media for better understanding of techniques and methods for their agricultural practices.

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

Social media is a collective term for websites and applications which focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Forums, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking, social curation, and wikis are among the different types of social media. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest are all examples.

REASONS FOR ITS POPULARITY

  • It helps to reach a large audience.
  • Maintains a direct connection with your audience
  • Create organic content.
  • Access to paid advertising services.
  • Build your brand.
  • Get knowledge about anything

ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN AGRICULTURE :

A 2015 study by Meredith Agrimedia and a 2016 Farm Futures survey found that Facebook is the most popular social media platform used by farmers, followed by YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

With mobile phones in pockets of 4 out of every 10 rural people, the farmers are no more dependent on computer technology.

ADVANTAGES

  • To know natural activation techniques of soil and the importance of weather.
  • These platforms are self-help support systems that help us help each other.
  • Social networking and knowledge sharing on online platforms have opened up new avenues of opportunity for farmers while providing them tech-based solutions.
  • Social media is also used to lend emotional support to farmers under stress.
  • Farmers continuously need information about pests, seeds, methodologies, weather, machinery and etc and hence, social media platforms are one stop solution for them.
  • Reuters market light and Iffco kisan sanchar are getting very popular amongst the farmers.
  • It enables smarter farming through opportunities to learn from agricultural experts.
  • Services such as Digital green , Spoken web, Conspeakous VoiceGen and VoiKiosk provides audio and video uploads to convey crop information.

DISADVANTAGES

  • Overuse of social networks can lead to procrastination and a tendency to waste time
  • Circulation of false information and getting trapped in them.
  • Not all farmers are educated enough to understand how to use these platforms.

FEW CASE STUDIES

  1. Indian Farmer’s Club on Clubhouse, founded by Deepak Chavan, are such platforms for farmers where they have discussions on horticulture, vegetable harvesting, crop management, sowing time etc and help farmers 24×7
  2. Karshaka Mitra YouTube channel changed the life of 56-year-old farmer when his video on direct sowing of paddy through broadcast method got 3 lakh views. It drew the attention of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who called the farmer Srinivasu Raju for a meeting to discuss farming methods.

CONCLUSION WITH SUGGESTIONS

Every new technology has its own pros and cons and when the technology starts offering diverse paths of advantages, then it becomes a boon. The advent of social media, though sometimes called as a disaster for society, proves to be beneficial, in case of agriculture. All depends on the mind of the user in the end. Government needs to eye this area efficiently and with increasing awareness, they need to bring schemes and other benefits through social media. The role of NGOs working in rural areas also comes here to educate the illiterate enough to know how to use a basic mobile phone. At last, it's the inclusive development of all and with all that will lead to actual growth and development of the whole nation as one unit.

Sources

  • The Hindu
  • The economic times
  • Kurukshetra magazine
General Studies Paper 2 & 3
  • Governance & Agriculture