Social media is continuously changing the way we interact. From politics to society, social media is allowing for exchange of ideas across all interest areas. Agriculture is not far behind, with professors, students, academicians, even media leveraging the platform to its full potential and bringing opinions together.
I have been active on social media for quite some time, ardently following many agriculture experts. Their viewpoints have informed, engaged and even educated me about the innovation and technology in agriculture across the world. But, I had the fortune of experiencing this power first hand, through a twitter chat that was organized by Mahyco recently. With the world innovation week from April 15th, Mahyco brought industry experts together to discuss innovation in agriculture. With an opportunity to interact with Dr. Usha (Zehr) from Mahyco, Mr. Ram Kaundinya (ABLE-AG) and Dr. KK Narayanan (Metahelix), twitter chat was definitely a highlight of the month!
The one hour long chat turned out to be engaging in ways more than one. With questions around policies, technology intervention, role of youth and challenges and opportunities, the chat was educative and brought different opinions together. I was happy to see students also asking questions about joining courses and universities around research and agriculture.
I am sure Twitter chat is one such platform, and there are many more out there which can be leveraged to educate people around agriculture- and the need for innovation and technology. The power is bringing rural and urban population together, as social media is growing ceaselessly with the increase in the number of smartphone and internet users. Infact, I understand farmers have also started registering for the chat!
I believe social media plays a vital role when it comes to discussing agriculture and agricultural issues. In fact not only for discussions, social media helps farmers to grow their business. Social media provides them the opportunity to interact with farmers from different locations to learn good practices in agribusinesses. With startups and government, also using this power, a huge potential is being tapped into.
While discussing a matter on social media brings together a collective voice to pioneer social change, we must use this with restrain and caution. As anyone can post, many myths and lies are circulated on social media without any evidence or statistic. But as a reader, we must understand intentions and do our due diligence before believing in them.