<aside> ⬆️ back to The Ecosystem of “Social Agriculture” (FINAL)


In this section:

Kenya as a representative example for Sub-Saharan Africa

As demonstrated in the previous section, Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with strongest growth potential for social agriculture. Kenya is a good indicator of technology adoption across the region, achieving higher general rates of smartphone adoption and internet use. The analysis in The size of social agriculture globally indicates that Kenya is also one of the more active and larger-scale social agriculture audiences in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, many findings from Kenya will likely be transferable to other countries in the region, especially as social media audiences grow.

Kenya also serves as an interesting example because it boasts some of the most advanced payment infrastructure in Africa: the mobile money service MPESA. This makes it more likely that e-commerce findings seen at the cutting edge of social agriculture in China might be more transferable to Kenya (though, of course, there are significant differences between the digital payment landscape of the two countries). Much of Kenya's online activity, including in relation to social agriculture, is in English. This makes granular-level analysis significantly easier, e.g., examining the textual content of posts in groups. Finally, many of the largest social agricultural groups in Sub-Saharan Africa originated in Kenya. These reasons make Kenya a good target for this study; this section focuses on social agriculture found in or originating from Kenya.

Why look at “groups” for social agriculture?

"Digital groups" were seen to have the biggest impact for Kenyans on social media with an interest in agriculture. A survey of more than 300 Kenyans who use social media for agricultural purposes found that participants ****voted for groups more than twice as often as any other category ****when asked about the impact of key features of digital services. Service features included groups, payment, and video.

[Source: learn.ink farmer survey (download chart data)](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTVM71b7sxny2vNwCqsblX7QLe241VAd2m_4rdLixxWgJavqCPe9X4eRDnayacaeGv_BYzefJeNV88R/pubchart?oid=1285389212&format=interactive)

Source: learn.ink farmer survey (download chart data)

The terminology of “groups” features regularly in examples of social agriculture. In examples of social agricultural practices across geographies and platforms, the terminology of “groups” is explicit in many of the platform features they depend on. These range from a "WhatsApp group" of local farmers to share tips and ideas in India to a "Facebook group" to market livestock and connect with others in Kenya to a "Pinduoduo buying group" to purchase fresh produce from a farmer in China.

Facebook dominates the social media landscape for farming in Kenya. Individuals cited the platform as their “favourite” and the “most important'” far more frequently than any other service. This finding supports this report’s focus on Facebook use as a leading indicator of social agriculture.

[Source: learn.ink farmer survey (download chart data)](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTVM71b7sxny2vNwCqsblX7QLe241VAd2m_4rdLixxWgJavqCPe9X4eRDnayacaeGv_BYzefJeNV88R/pubchart?oid=1099510413&format=interactive)

Source: learn.ink farmer survey (download chart data)

The ways groups manifest themselves depends heavily on the platform in which they are based. Unfortunately, the massive tapestry of groups of those working in agriculture across platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Pinduoduo globally is opaque. These platforms share little to no public data on groups. The remainder of this section examines one of the more publicly visible, large-scale, and widely used group types—Facebook groups.