ICTs and Social Media for Agricultural Advisory Services
The role of agriculture has changed over the last decades—once which was only to feed population—now it became more multifunctional and multi-actor processes with involvement of many global and local stakeholders, such as farmers, processors, and markets. Whether it is farmers or advisory agencies or food safety professionals, these stakeholders must play their roles and perform their functions efficiently to ensure that the sector meet a crucial responsibility to support lives and livelihoods.
Agricultural advisory agencies and advisory agents have been increasingly utilizing technology, such as ICT and social media, in performing their duties to facilitate learning and change in farms. ICT is a term used to denote all the technological channels through which people can reach out to each other and share information.
Agricultural extension officers in many parts of the world have adopted social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, blogs and microblogs, online forms, videos, podcasts and many others to communicate with farmers and share beneficial information. In Ontario, advisory services have been relying on various remote, virtual and web-based tools to facilitate information dissemination. Ultimately creating stronger, more informed local food systems start with fostering collaboration, communication and participation in the industry, and ICTs can help us to achieve this. Prof. Ataharul Chowdhury and extension experts at the University of Guelph and colleagues abroad investigated the use of social media for agricultural extension in other jurisdictions, such as in Bangladesh and Trinidad and Tobago. To know more about, please visit https://www.uoguelph.ca/oac/icts