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

Emrys Schoemaker*, Reem Refaat Talhouk, Catherine Kamanu, Eoghan Mdconaugh, Chris Mcdonaugh, Eliza Casey, Adam Wills, Finn Richardson, Johnathan Donner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOMPASS '22
Subtitle of host publicationACM SIGCAS/SIGCHI Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS)
EditorsEngineer Bainomugisha, Waylon Brunette, Nicola Dell, Amit Sharma
Place of PublicationNew York, US
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781450393478
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
EventCOMPASS 2022: ACM SIGCAS & SIGCHI Computing and Sustainable Societies - University of Washington, Seattle, United States
Duration: 29 Jun 20221 Jul 2022


ConferenceCOMPASS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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