Solutions for accessing digital marketing in agriculture

Posted June 17, 2022

A new UN report, prepared to help increase the access of rural smallholders in Turkey to digital business solutions, and support food security through a strong food supply chain after the COVID-19 crisis, was released on 3 June 2022.

New study aiming to empower rural smallholders in Turkey through digital marketing and business solutions in the post-COVID-19 period, is now online

A new United Nations report, prepared to help increase the access of rural smallholders in Turkey to digital business solutions, and support food security through a strong food supply chain after the COVID-19 crisis, was released on 3 June 2022. A joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the study was prepared with the technical support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF).

Crises such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine deeply affect the agricultural sector and especially small farmers. Drawing attention once again to the importance of food supply which is directly affected by these shocks, the report provides detailed information on small-scale farmers' access to digital platforms for food and agricultural marketing, agricultural extension services, receiving agricultural inputs and rural financial resources. In addition, digital services offered by government agencies, private companies and non-profit organizations, depending on the needs and priorities of manufacturers, are included in the report, classified according to their content and frequency of use.

Within the scope of the study evaluating the demand of small-scale farmers in rural areas of Turkey for these services, surveys were conducted with small-scale farmers working in the agricultural economic system, especially women, young farmers and farmers affiliated with farmer organizations. In line with the results of the surveys, a series of policy recommendations to encourage the use of these platforms were shared.

Internet use among farmers was investigated based on frequency and area

In the surveys investigating areas of internet usage among farmers, it was found that only 16 percent use online education and extension services, and 54 percent use the internet to find solutions to problems in agricultural production. It is further stated that farmers who are knowledgeable about digital marketing are 68 percent likely to use the MoAF Digital Agriculture Market (DİTAP) platform. The study, which clearly demonstrates the importance of DİTAP for farmers, reveals that the platform can be used to raise awareness in the sector besides marketing activities. The report also highlights the importance of disseminating information about online official training and extension services, and the need to use reliable sources of information such as the Agricultural Forest Academy within the MoAF.

Women farmers’ access to digital marketing platforms should be supported

About 88 percent of female farmers surveyed agree that there is gender inequality in agricultural marketing. This highlights the need to support women farmers and facilitate their access to digital marketing platforms. Interviews with women's cooperatives show that some of their members do not have mobile phones and they usually use their spouses' phones when they need it. In this context, the report focuses on providing women farmers with professional support, the necessary equipment and tools they need for an internet access, as well as establishing more cooperatives.

The report which constitutes the first step towards the supply-demand analysis of digital platforms, identifies the important factors that can increase the use of digital platforms by farmers, and recommends that more detailed studies including more regions and farmers could be carried out.

To read the “Empowering Rural Smallholders in Turkey through Digital Marketing and Business Solutions in Post COVID-19 Period” Report, please click here.