Facebook, the largest social network in existence, is used by over 800 million people around the world. It encompasses people from all walks of society and all age groups. In India too, Facebook has caught on and overtaken Orkut, the previous champion. Today we have Facebook being used for a very different use case: by farmers!
Here is a scenario that played out recently, in which Facebook was instrumental in achieving their aims: In one of the district of Maharashtra State, the local turmeric market was in a mess. An excess of supplies had left prices at an all time low. Bigger players had flooded the market and causes prices to fall to Rs. 4 per kg. Since selling turmeric was the livelihood of thousands of individual farmers across districts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, this threatened their very livelihood. The excess turmeric was being auctioned in the market on a set date, to the small farmers.
A few local farmers decided they should boycott the market for a few days, so that the prices rise back to normal. However, by coordinating over Facebook, they managed to plan it within just 10 days. The boycott was successful and the prices doubled from Rs. 4/kg to Rs. 8/kg, indicating the boycott was a success.
Says Raghunath Ramachandra Patil,”Facebook farmers played a crucial role in stopping the auction and solving the problem.”
Adds Asheesh Raina, analyst, Gartner India,”Community concept has always been prevalent in villages. Earlier, a village sarpanch would sit under a tree and discuss certain issues with villagers before taking a final call. Facebook and Twitter are an extension of this concept.”
We think that India is finally reaping the fruit of improved rural connectivity in ways like this. As the trend continues, a lot of middlemen can be eliminated and this further helps Rural Empowerment.
What do you think? Do let us know in the comments below.