Providing an effective extension service to millions of small family farms is a challenging task for government agencies and agribusinesses. Digital technologies have long been lauded as the solution. The assumption is, if businesses can make quality content, trading connections and finance available online it could reach millions of farmers, at a tiny marginal cost per farmer. So the go-to solution has been to develop Android Apps that offer these services.
However, in practice, farmers in ASEAN have been poor users of these apps. In an attempt to understand why and how we might improve extension, Grow Asia undertook farmer interviews in Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia to learn more. We found that a solid portion of farmers are actively using their mobile phones to support their farming decisions. However, they don’t gravitate to apps. Instead, farmers want to learn from their peers, they want digital tools which build on trusted relationships, not circumvent them - so rather than using agronomy specific tools, farmers are re-purposing existing social media platforms to stay informed.
In the second session of the Grow Asia Digital Learning Series in 2020, we will explore the exciting opportunity to use existing chat and social media platforms to reach farmers.
1. Elizabeth Hernandez, Head of Government Affairs & Sustainability, Asia-Pacific, Corteva Agriscience
2. Kim Huat Low, Business Excellence Director at Yara International
3. Paul Voutier, Director of Knowledge and Innovation, Grow Asia
4. Phatthanai Suwanvongkij, Digital Media Specialist, East West Seeds Knowledge Transfer
5. Christina Lee, Account Manager, Goat Agency