Social Media In Indonesia: Helping Farmers

Whether it is posting a picture of a night out with friends on Facebook, adding a new connection on Linkedin, or looking up the newest trend on Twitter, people all over the urban world use social media sites every single day.  But what about the rural community, like countryside farmers?  Can they not benefit from the technology and social media world that others take for granted? Today we’ll take a look at social media in Indonesia and how it is benefiting its farming population. Rural farmers in Indonesia are one of those groups of people who may not be in touch with the outside world.  While farmers are not the first group of workers we think of when technology is mentioned; it is extremely helpful for farmers to be knowledgeable about what types of products customers in the urban cities need or even when products that the farmers need to grow their crops arrive in stores.  Not having the proper technology and social media resources can lead to farmers being inefficient at selling and producing the crops that they desperately need to survive. Fortunately, social media companies like 8villages are starting to pick up on this social media gap that Indonesian farmers are experiencing and beginning to fix the issue.  8villages is a new technology start-up that provides Indonesian farmers with mobile phones, so those farmers can be linked with local buyers and sellers.  With the 900 mobile phones 8villages has provided for free, Indonesian farmers can access up-to-date information regarding how much of a need there is currently for their crop and what the most efficient way to grow their crop is through short message services (SMS). Larger companies, like Nokia, are also getting on board with getting Indonesian farmers equipped with devices that allow them to access social media networks in order to help introduce a more technological way of farm networking.  Nokia has been offering a Life Tools service to Indonesian farmers, which alerts farmers with a text message concerning crop prices and weather patterns. Both 8villages and Nokia are pioneers in the rural social media community by making enormous steps at connecting Indonesian farmers with the technological world.  Introducing social media to the rural, countryside community is not only beneficial to the farmers, but to us as well.  Farmers having more knowledge about what consumers need and more efficient ways of growing their crops make it so that the demand of the products we desire is met by the rural farmers.  Social media networks were created to connect the entire world to one another, so even the rural countryside farmers can stay in the loop.  There are many rewards that people gain from social media networks: talking to friends, finding jobs, joining groups, etc.  8villages and Nokia have taken the social media network concept in an entirely new direction to successfully help countryside farmers reap benefits from connecting with the rest of the world. Want to know more about how social media is affecting Asia? Leave us a comment below or follow us on Weibo, Twitter or LinkedIn. Source: BBC Business

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