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Wednesday, May 17 • 11:45 - 12:25
Social media for agricultural extension and advisory services LIMITED

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Since the introduction of social media, communication is becoming more and more dynamic every day. Communication has become more virtual than physical. More and more people – young and old alike – are fascinated by the social media and it is a trend that is not going down very soon. For a long period in the future, social media is going to shape the way people interact, share information, form opinions and also lead individual and collective actions. In a world where social media etiquettes are probably more important than table manners, ignoring it is not something that the development sector can afford to do. Especially for agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS), whose primary element is communication, social media can be a potential goldmine. Engaging with clients online, helping rural communities gain a voice, making development bottom-up, more fruitful innovation brokering, engaging with all the actors in agricultural innovation systems on the same platform – social media has more than one use for AEAS. But in-spite of all the advantages, its actual use in rural areas of developing countries is still low due to infrastructural difficulties and psychological barriers. Also, skill and competence in using social media is also lacking. Though national and international organizations are opening up to the prospects of social media, at local level this digital media still faces skepticism. Training programs, awareness campaigns, and workshops can help actors in agricultural extension understand and use social media better. Extension is not just about communicating but bringing behavioural change and social media can prove to be a powerful aide if utilized up to its potential. GFRAS Global survey on use of social media in agricultural extension and advisory services conducted online across 60 countries provided interesting results on role of social media in Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS), and agro-advisory services. To quote one respondent, “SM is not only a tool for reaching large audiences; it is also an opportunity to develop relationships.

avatar for Dr. Saravanan Raj

Dr. Saravanan Raj

Director (Agricultural Extension) & Director (Centre for Agripreneurship Development)), National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE)
Dr. Saravanan Raj, Director (Agricultural Extension) in the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad, India (an apex level organisation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India) and Lead, Global Forum for Rural Advisory... Read More →

Wednesday May 17, 2017 11:45 - 12:25 IST