| 2 minutes read

2 minutes read

How Indian Farmers Are Using Facebook & WhatsApp To Improve Their Farming Techniques

| Published on July 21, 2019

A 39-year-old farmer, Rajesh Bagal, from Nagpur district has been able to improve his farming technique all thanks to Facebook and Whatsapp. He bought his first smartphone about three years ago. With very little knowledge about how to use a smartphone initially, he soon started using social networking sites and apps like Facebook and WhatsApp.

Bagal grew cotton, oranges, sweet lime and vegetables, the traditional crops of his native Vidarbha region in the eastern part of Maharashtra state. About six years ago, he started growing sugarcane on his a part of his 50 acres field.

Little did Bagal know that the apps on his handset would end up helping him in improving his farming techniques. Bagal heard of Hoy Amhi Shetkari (HAS – Yes, We are Farmers), a WhatsApp group run by Amol Patil and Ankush Chormule of Ashta in Sangli district in western Maharashtra. After signing up on the HAS WhatsApp group, he not only got to know of farmers who produced more than 100 tonnes of sugarcane per acre, he also learned how they did it.

Upon his return from Sangli, Bagal implemented every instruction he had received from his WhatsApp friends and became the first farmer in Vidarbha to produce 100 tonnes of sugarcane per acre. He supplies more than 1,000 tonnes of sugarcane, worth more than Rs 25 lakh, to the Purti Sugar Factory of transport minister Nitin Gadkari.

HAS WhatsApp group administrators spend on average two to three hours a day answering questions of farmers and taking 30 to 40 phone calls. “I clear all doubts asked on WhatsApp groups from 5 am to 8 am every day and attend about 30 to 40 calls a day,” said Dilip Shinde, a farmer in Chopda in Jalgaon district.

More than 600,000 farmers are associated with HAS and the Facebook page has 500,000 followers. In addition, there is a HAS YouTube channel and regular field workshops held for farmers.

It is really nice to see when the technology is put to good use and does what it was designed to do, help the human race to make life easier and manageable.

Related Posts