Wednesday, April 17, 2024

SWOT Analysis of Social Media in Agriculture

Authors: Shafiq-ur-Rehman (Sociologist WMTI), Dr. Mujahid Ali (Assistant Horticulturist WMRF)

Internet-based programs that enable the production and distribution of user-generated material are referred to as social media. Social media is valuable because it combines social interaction and technology. Social media has been proven a culture changer. If you have a one-on-one conversation about an issue, only the person you’re talking to benefits from the information you deliver. However, by using social media your comments and talks become universal.

Social media has revolutionized almost every field directly or indirectly. Agriculture has benefited from this a lot. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc. have played a vital role in spreading knowledge on agricultural technologies and information. There are now almost 1.5 billion users of social networking platforms in the world.      

Agriculture production systems have undergone significant development in recent years because of changing technologies. New techniques are being devised to communicate these developments simultaneously with the improvements in technology. Due to organizations’ campaigns opposing the industry’s environmental principles and treatment of animals, farming has a bad reputation. However, new forms of communication attempt to alter public perception by informing and empowering individuals to make the best opinions on agriculture and food production.     

Strength

Social media is much more effective than newspapers or magazines. Almost every form of social media video call is available. Live video call opportunity provides updated/real-time conditions of field/orchards. Everyone is n using social media has strength. To know natural activation techniques of environmental aspects e.g., soil, and the importance of weather updates. A common person uses these tools, so these platforms are individual support systems facilitating each other. Technology transfer is very easy through online platforms that have opened new avenues of opportunity for farmers while providing tech-based solutions.

Social media has revolutionized almost every field directly or indirectly. Agriculture has benefited from this a lot. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, etc.

Social media usage by mobile phones is also used to lend emotional support to farmers in remote areas. Farmers continuously need information about pests, seeds, methodologies, weather, machinery, etc., and hence, social media platforms are the one-stop solution for them. It enables smarter farming through opportunities to learn from agricultural experts. Farmers and experts are connected by various smartphone agricultural applications in this way disease diagnosis and treatment have become much easier than ever.

Weakness

Not all farmers are educated enough to understand how to use these platforms. Most of the old farmers are not used to mobile phones. All social media platforms are connected to the internet. In underdeveloped and developing countries, it is much more difficult to maintain internet service all the time.

Opportunities

The communication industry is enhancing and new ways of it are developing. Smartphone technology is improving day by day. Internet service is becoming cheaper and fast. The young generation is more opt toward social media and spends more time on it. Internet service is spreading everywhere. This creates a lot of job opportunities for IT experts and other relevant persons to develop mobile applications and provide internet services.  

Threats

Understanding relevant information is a challenge when several similar information platforms are available. Several videos about farming are available, our farmer belongs to a rural background, so choosing the best/relevant video is a challenge. He may get incorrect information and implement it. Circulation of false information and getting trapped in them. Incorrect use of agricultural smartphone applications could produce harmful effects. Malware in smartphones and other gadgets hangs the devices. Overuse of social networks can lead to procrastination and a tendency to waste time.  Social media addiction led to health problems.

Dr. Mujahid Ali
Dr. Mujahid Ali
I am working as Assistant Horticulturist (BS-18) at Water Management Research Farm Renala Khurd, before this served as Assistant Professor (IPFP) in Horticulture at the University of Sargodha. I have completed my Ph.D. in 2018 from the Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF previously worked as Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture UOS, worked as Research Fellow in ACIAR project on vegetables, and worked as Teaching Assistant in Horticulture UAF. Moreover, Ph.D. IRSIP did in the NC State University, United States.

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