1. Agriculture World

Indian Farmers Require Internet and Now More than Ever. Here's Why!

Nikita Arya
Nikita Arya

In a recently published report, it has been revealed that nearly 800 million people in India have access to mobile phones in the year 2019. With such an increased penetration of mobile sets, the access to internet services has also seen a major growth in India. However, a large section of society still does not possess this privilege, which, ironically, involves a segment that contributes to the 58 percent of the working population in India, i.e., farmers, agricultural laborers and other professionals involved in agriculture.

In an era when digitalization is aiding every other sector of economy, Indian agriculture sector has still not been able to overcome the digital divide that is prevalent since so many years in rural development scenario. Here's why it is high time to fill the digital gap for farmers.

Mobile Internet Access Increases a Small farmer's Revenue

According to a recent report, it has been revealed that mobile internet access can increase a small farmer's revenue by 50%. The report highlights the fact that mobile internet can  help the small farmers as the level of information is intensifying. With more and more curiosity to have better crop yield, small farmers seek information from internet. The information could be anything, for instance, in the form of  reliable weather information to plan out harvesting or be it the increased price transparency to obtain better rates for the crops. This way, farmers can avoid overspending and increase the crop yield for better.

Internet Access Increases Participation and Dissemination of Information

In today's time when social media and mobile applications are the primary source of information for a lot of people worldwide, the digital divide hinders rural people to establish communication with their respective communities. To know exactly why we require to establish a better communication among farmers, we must take this fact (based on a survey report) into consideration. According to this survey (conducted among 11000 farmers across 18 states), 70% respondents have not heard about the Direct Cash Transfer Scheme. If the scheme doesn't reach the farmers, then there's no point devising such a scheme. This piece of information is quite sufficient enough to understand that there's a communication gap that needs to be filled.

In filling this gap, internet access could do wonders. Modern communication technologies can be used to establish better rural communication as it can increase the participation of farmers, along with the smooth dissemination of information. WhatsApp and Facebook are among the most commonly used tools for building communication.

Internet Can Demolish the Barrier of Language

The barrier of language was quite a big barrier for rural communication to take place. Many farmers are either illiterate or understand their regional languages only. Internet has simply made it simpler in many senses. First of all, regional languages have now been incorporated to enhance a deeper penetration in rural areas, so those who are literate can seek help from the internet in case they require any information. Secondly, the voice-enabled searches are making it even more easier for those who are illiterate. This way, internet has made the access to information quite localized.

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