Factors affecting the Internet behaviour of horticultural growers in Flanders, Belgium

Nicole Taragola, Dirk Van Lierde

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    Horticultural growers in Flanders make low use of the Internet. The Internet applications used most frequently are online banking, information on market prices and yields of outputs, and weather forecasts. However, a large variation of the Internet behaviour is observed among the growers. The influence of personal characteristics (biographical and social characteristics, communication behaviour) and business size is examined on the use of five groups of Internet applications: general applications, basic management information, specialised management information, information on output prices and yields, and e-commerce. Data were collected at 163 horticultural businesses with Internet use for business purposes. Categorical principal component analysis of the explaining variables resulted in five dimensions. ``Openness and active search for information'' shows a significantly positive influence for all examined Internet applications, except for e-commerce. ``Long-term perspectives of the business'' is found to have a significantly positive influence on the use of general applications and e-commerce. E-commerce is also significantly influenced by the ``attitude towards risks and environmentally friendly production techniques'' and ``agricultural or horticultural education, supplemented by additional courses''. ``Larger businesses with the search for specific advice'' is a dimension with a significantly positive effect on the use of specialised management information and e-commerce. For many Internet applications the personal attitudes of the business manager seem to be important, suggesting that developing human capital is crucial to increase the speed and coverage of Internet adoption. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
    Issue number2, SI
    Pages (from-to)369-379
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Mar-2010


    • Adoption behaviour
    • Horticulture
    • Human factors
    • ICT
    • Internet


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