An Expert-backed WhatsApp group that works for Farmers

THE GFAR BLOG

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On June 3rd, 2016, I created a WhatsApp group for farmers to meet one of the research objectives of my doctoral programme. It is a small WhatsApp group of 96 farmers, who were chosen from 8 different districts of a hilly state Himachal Pradesh, India. Initially, I was little unsure about the type of conversations and information which were likely to emerge from the group. All of these farmers were unknown to me and were randomly chosen.

I met the farmers individually for the first time during my initial field survey trips across the state. It was during those visits that I discussed the idea of sharing agricultural information through WhatsApp. Though this was a new concept, many of them received it well. In locations with hills and mountains, transportation and mobility has always been a problem. As a result, opportunities for average farmers to interact with others…

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YAP proposal #68: Social media as an agricultural extension tool (Devesh Thakur, India)

THE GFAR BLOG

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Social media can offer amazing opportunities to farmers. It can help farmers to seek information on farm operations, clarify their doubts on plants/ livestock disease symptoms and can have immediate access to market related information. However, this can be possible only when they are socially networked with human resources -agricultural researchers, extension agents, veterinarians, progressive farmers, sellers & other buyers – in virtual space. Thanks to low cost of smartphones, there is an unprecedented increase of social media use in rural India. The power of social media can be harnessed and will be beneficial for the farming communities.

My Name is Devesh Thakur, age 34 (Mobile Number:919418495117) and I have been working as Assistant Professor for seven years in a veterinary college situated in one of the Northern Indian States, Himachal Pradesh.

Under Young Agriprenuers Project (YAP project), I wish to apply the impressive option of using social media as…

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