JT_DLS_Reaching Farmers Using Chat_Banne

Reaching Farmers

Using Chat



30 June 2020


5:00pm – 6:30pm




Providing an effective extension service to millions of small family farms is a challenging task for government agencies and agribusinesses. In Indonesia, agribusinesses and government agencies would need 40,000 staff to tend to the 40 million farmers for just 30 minutes in each cropping season.


Digital technologies have long been lauded as the solution.  The assumption is, if businesses can make quality content, trading connections and finance available online it could reach millions of farmers, at a tiny marginal cost per farmer.  So the go-to solution has been to develop Android Apps that offer these services.


However, in practice, farmers in ASEAN have been poor users of these apps. While downloads for some apps have been impressive, repeat users are hard to capture. In an attempt to understand why and how we might improve extension, Grow Asia undertook farmer interviews in Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia to learn more.


We found that a solid portion of farmers are actively using their mobile phones to support their farming decisions. However, they don’t gravitate to apps. Instead, farmers want to learn from their peers, they want digital tools which build on trusted relationships, not circumvent them - so rather than using agronomy specific tools, farmers are repurposing existing social media platforms to stay informed.

In the second session of the Grow Asia Digital Learning Series in 2020, we will explore the exciting opportunity to use existing chat and social media platforms to reach farmers.


Paul Voutier

Director, Knowledge

and Innovation,

Grow Asia

Phatthanai Suwanvongkij

Digital Media Specialist,

East-West Seed

Low Kim Huat

Business Excellence Director,


Elizabeth Hernandez

Head of Government

Affairs & Sustainability,


Corteva Agriscience

Christina Lee

Account Manager - APAC,
Goat Agency


Nadia Soerjanto

Manager, Innovation,
Grow Asia


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