Mixing internet technology and farming definitely has a great potential for more fruitful gains. After all, while the idea we have about them does not necessarily border on the tech savvy spectrum, farmers do have a great use for the internet. How can farmers use the internet exactly?
Access to online agricultural publications. The internet is truly a source of information, including agricultural publications that farmers and agribusinessmen can access. Farmers can stay updated with the trends and current practices in their chosen industry, whether they are in cropping, horticulture, viticulture or livestock. From online magazines, e-books and participation in agri forum groups, they can access the latest in farming science and inventions that are relevant to their chosen industry.
Bridges farmers and customers. With the internet in place, there is no need for a middleman between farmers and their customers.
Middlemen are retailers who sell farmers’ products to customers. Even if having a middleman makes it easy for farmers to have their products sold, it eliminates their opportunity to engage with their customers, talk to them about their products, tell them the kind of techniques and farming practices they employ and more. In the same vein, customers cannot ask farmers important questions such as ‘Is this organic?’ or ‘Do you use organic fertilizer?’
Increase potential for online enterprise. With the middleman out, it farmers can be enterprising by directly managing the sale of their produce through an online store. Customers are also given the guarantee that the products they purchase and will be receiving in the next few hours are fresh.
An opportunity to educate. Farmers can create a YouTube channel where they can show their customers the activities that take place in their farm. They can set up a Facebook page where they can upload images of their farming facility, the tools they use, the harvested produce they have so far and a lot more. They can also have someone develop an application that can give their customers the information they need.
Farming locations are usually far from the centre, hence it is not surprising why farmers and their customers are ‘detached’ from one another. The internet such as Activ8me broadband can break down that spatial limitation and bring both closer to each other.