Social Agriculture: Examining the Affordances of Social Media for Agricultural Practices

Schoemaker, Emrys, Talhouk, Reem, Kamanu, Catherine, McDonaugh, Eoghan, McDonaugh, Chris, Casey, Eliza, Wills, Adam, Richardson, Finn and Donner, Jonathan (2022) Social Agriculture: Examining the Affordances of Social Media for Agricultural Practices. In: ACM SIGCAS/SIGCHI Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS). ACM, New York, US, pp. 476-489. ISBN 9781450393478

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This paper examines the experiences and perspectives of Kenyans who use social media platforms as part of their agricultural livelihoods. Through a mixed-methods study of 324 survey respondents and 81 interviews, we present data that demonstrates the significance and shape of “social agriculture” in the Kenyan agricultural landscape. We complement previous ICT4D/HCI4D literature that has primarily focused on purpose-built agricultural platforms through a novel focus on farmers’ appropriation of existing social media platforms to enter the agricultural sector and diversify agricultural livelihoods. Our study highlights new insights into the growing phenomenon of using social media platforms for agriculture practice, including how these platforms afford particular practices around the buying and selling of produce and information on social media platforms. We also identify challenges around trust and online abuse and describe the strategies employed by participants to counter them. Lastly, we build on our findings to highlight the affordances and constraints of using social media platforms, thus contributing to the field an initial conceptualization of social agriculture as a space of commerce. We offer eight design considerations for both technology designers and international development stakeholders to strengthen the potential for social platforms to afford social agricultural practices that enrich individual lives and livelihoods.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Funding information: This research was conducted in partnership with and support of the Mastercard Foundation. COMPASS 2022: ACM SIGCAS & SIGCHI Computing and Sustainable Societies, Seattle, Washington, United States, 29 Jun- 1 Jul 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: Farming, Social Commerce, HCI4D, ICT4D, Affordances
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2022 10:44
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2022 10:46

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