The role of Internet and social media in the diffusion of knowledge and innovation among farmers

Sara Burbi, Katharine Hartless Rose

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The impact of the use of information technology (IT) has been gaining relevance recently in the way it can facilitate communication in the agricultural sector. Farmers can share innovations and knowledge alongside solving problems through social media, or other uses of the Internet. Farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing is an important source of information, but potential obstacles to effective communication can include distance and the amount of time farmers can invest in knowledge sharing activities. The Internet has therefore become an effective way to overcome those obstacles. The internet allows farmers to share their experiences, which traditionally would have been over a farm-gate, via YouTube, web forums and online groups. There are Twitter feeds that farmers can go to, ask questions, or share experiences. Whilst some conventional farmers are also using these tools, they have become a lifeline for farmers hoping to or currently farming more sustainably. These farmers are likely to be disparate throughout the UK, may no longer share with their neighbours, but instead rely on social media for advice and mentoring. Key annual farming events are broadcasted live via Twitter. Farmers and other participants are encouraged to share highlights of the conference sessions, their comments on the speakers and event itself, allowing others unable to attend to receive information from the event. Internet and social media have a growing role in the diffusion of knowledge and innovation within the agricultural sector, allowing a greater number of farmers, researchers and practitioner to share information and experiment so as to facilitate innovative farming practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2016
    EventInternational Farming Association (IFSA) Symposium - Harper Adams University, Newport, United Kingdom
    Duration: 12 Jul 201515 Jul 2015
    Conference number: 12


    ConferenceInternational Farming Association (IFSA) Symposium
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • social media
    • farmer innovation
    • agroecology
    • internet


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