While digital technologies could enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of farming activities, the Grow Asia report in 2019 still showed that farmers’ adoption of digital technologies remained low across Southeast Asia. In their interviews with 100 farmers from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Myanmar, the Grow Asia team found that farmers would only decide to adopt a technology based on performance, ease of use, and reviews from fellow farmers.
Farmers also moved through five stages of digital adoption: (1) face-to-face interaction; (2) phone call, which served as the substitute for face-to-face interaction and was the most dominantly used among the farmers interviewed; (3) peer group dialogue or the use of small group chats via WhatsApp, Line, or Facebook; (4) active discovery or the use of digital technology to connect with new people, negotiate transactions, and seek information through web search, video streaming, and messaging; and (5) digital service engagement or the use of applications and active participation in the building of tools to help fellow farmers.
To increase the adoption of digital technologies for farming, Grow Asia recommended for start-up founders, agribusinesses, NGOs, and governments in the ASEAN to harness the use of chat-based technologies, disseminate information through established farmers’ networks, focus first on young farmers who are willing to adopt digital technologies, engage farmer group leaders who can easily share messages and inputs to peers, and harvest data to ensure a more targeted messaging.
Grow Asia conducted this study of farmers’ adoption of digital technologies in 2019, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, with support from the Government of Australia.
Source: Voutier, P. (2019). Driving agritech adoption: Insights from Southeast Asia’s farmers. Grow Asia. http://exchange.growasia.org/system/files/Driving%20AgriTech%20Adoption%20-%20Insights%20from%20Southeast%20Asia%27s%20Farmers.pdf
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