Internet use by horticultural growers in Flanders, Belgium : limits and future.

Nicole Taragola, Dirk Van Lierde

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Internet can support horticultural growers in the management of their business. Information can be obtained, financial transactions can be performed, farmers can contact government services and advisors, etc. According to the national agricultural census 53% of the Flemish horticultural holdings own a computer. The percentage of holdings with a computer increases with the dimension of the firm and with the education level of the manager; it decreases with the age of the manager. In a survey of 163 horticultural holdings with internet the managers were interviewed on their use of internet. 64% of the managers use internet less than 3 hours per week, 17 % use it 3 to 5 hours per week and 19 % use it more than 5 hours per week. The managers were asked about the applications they use on internet. The most popular application was home banking, followed by information on prices and yields of products and weather forecasts. More than 50% never consults websites of the government or of research institutes. Only 5 to 13% of the holdings use internet for E-commerce. Most of the managers do not have any idea if there is enough information available on internet, only for home banking the majority indicates that there is enough information on internet. 30% of the managers are prepared to pay for websites where they can advertise their own products, find local weather forecasts or detailed extension information on their own products. It seems that actually there are many more possibilities for the use of internet by horticultural holdings, but problems are the lack of useful information and the technical skills needed to find this information on internet.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - Jul-2007
    Event6th Biennial Conference of European Federation of IT in Agriculture, ‘Environmental and Rural Sustainability through ICT - Glasgow , United Kingdom
    Duration: 2-Jul-20075-Jul-2007


    Conference6th Biennial Conference of European Federation of IT in Agriculture, ‘Environmental and Rural Sustainability through ICT
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address

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