The number of Indian farmers that have access to internet for agricultural information, is growing.
According to a study by the Kleffmann Group, in 2016, 13% of Indian farmers had access to Internet, but a season later the number rose to 17%. By far the most common way to surf Internet is through mobile phones; only a small proportion of them surf the internet through PCs or laptops.
Although the study suggests that more and more farmers have access to Internet, farmers’ usage of Internet is still low. Kleffmann Group also doesn’t witness any steep increase in their frequency of usage.
Comparing the data for 14 corn growing Indian states, the researchers witness significant variations in internet penetration across states. For example, internet penetration in Gujarat has crossed the 50% mark. And, every 1 in 3 farmers in Maharashtra and Punjab have access to internet.
On the other hand, states like Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh are far behind with single digit penetration.
Use of internet for agricultural related information has increased tremendously – In 2016, 25 % of the farmers surveyed used internet to obtain agricultural information. By 2017, this figure rose to 41 %. In the same time period, farmers who use internet to entertain themselves also rose from 70 % to 81 %. “These trends indicate the overall opportunity this platform presents to manufacturers and marketers of agriculture products,” says Kleffmann Group.