Title: The potential of agribusiness extranets to improve communications with farmer clients: a case study from Ireland

Authors: Pádraig Wims

Addresses: UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, Agriculture Building, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Abstract: This paper critiques the level of adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) among the farming community in Ireland. It was found that although computer access and internet use among the Irish population have been increasing rapidly in recent years, farm households are lagging behind. Broadband access has been particularly problematic in rural areas, where farm households are located. A novel extranet service by a large agribusiness is evaluated in this paper; this service allows farmer clients to access all information relevant to their business accounts with this agribusiness. A structured survey of clients was conducted and respondents were stratified on the basis of their usage of this extranet. It was found that three main barriers are constraining adoption and use of ICTs among Irish farmers: inadequate computer skills; unawareness of the potential of ICTs to contribute to the farm business and thirdly access to Broadband in rural areas.

Keywords: ICT adoption; online services; broadband penetration; extranet services; agribusiness; electronic business; e-business; Ireland; agriculture; information and communications technology; information technology; farming communications; farmers; broadband access; rural areas; business accounts; computer skills; ICT potential.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2014.057899

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2014 Vol.11 No.1, pp.24 - 41

Published online: 28 Oct 2013 *

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