Blogs ICTs and Extension

BLOG-42: Social media: New generation tools for agricultural extension ?

Though Social Media applications can be effectively used by extension and advisory services, lack of awareness and skill about its use currently constrain its widespread use, argues Saravanan Raj and Suchiradipta Bhattacharjee in this blog.

  Dr. R. Saravanan is an Associate Professor (Extension Education and Rural Sociology), College of Horticulture and Forestry, Central Agricultural University (CAU), Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, India


Ms. Suchiradipta Bhattacharjee  is a Ph.D Scholar in Agricultural Extension  in the School of Social Sciences, College of Post Graduate Studies, Central Agricultural University (CAU), Umiam (Barapani), Meghalaya, India Email:  




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  • Nice concept about use of social media in Agricultural extension. Due to advancement of technology and increase access of mobile and internet with rural people government and other stakeholders should exploit the importance of social media in information dissimination. Here in Nepal , some agriculture application like SMART KRISHI and ICT for agriculture are gaining polularity these days.

  • Good effort A nice compilation of extension applications of social media. Though we Indians are lagging behind in harnessing power of internet, this paper highlights few successful FB applications which could make a big difference in the future. As this blog paper focus on documenting few successful experiences, other capabilities of FB or twitter to redefine human interaction were left out. The FB page can help us to see how far our information has reached in a time-bound manner. It is a strong indicator of impact of the information presented in each page. The likes, comments and shares of the users can also be used as proxies to assess the impact of each page. The poll feature of FB can help to seek users opinion on a particular aspect; the event feature will help to reach farmers/ users personally by extending greeting on birthdays, inviting for an extension event etc. Doodle is one of the scheduling tool which can help in planning extension programs esp for time management. We can integrate webpages with FB or twitter accounts of any user and post updates. The crowdfunding or fund raising websites like GOFUNDME could be used to generate funds for organizing events (A very popular method in Western countries which is rarely used in India). The research on FB or twiiter has grown to greater heights as it is seen as manifestation of ones self or creating image of oneself in the virtual world. Several research papers on group cohesion in the virtual world, disclosure and self-identify, impact of FB use on personality, effectiveness of social media use on job productivity etc were published from Western countries. In agricultural filed, we could see viral post about a seedless mango variety that rocked twitter a couple of months ago. This viral post technique can be effectively used to disseminate must do practices to farmers like climate predictions etc. Social media offer endless capabilities, but is our duty to understand it first before using it for extension applications.

  • simple..but well written. Congrats. As the passes, hope that many extension organisations will develop applications around social media. When we start using social media with definite purpose, well defined processes, based on the real needs we can be hopeful that social media will become an extension method. Whats-app could be effectively used for leveraging farmer-farmer or extesionist-extensionist communication…in a problem solving mode. But the question is – can we weave patterns from different experiences, so that social media is used in extension as a strategy