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Farmers online: drivers and impediments in adoption of Internet in UK agricultural businesses

Martyn Warren (Director of the Governance and Policy in Europe Group, School of Geography, Faculty of Social Science and Business, University of Plymouth, Newton Abbot, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



Farm businesses appear to have much to gain from the use of Internet technology, particularly given their spatial dispersion and typically small scale (in terms of employment and turnover), but available statistics show a lower rate of adoption than small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in general, with less than one‐third of UK farmers using the Internet for business purposes. This article reports on an investigation by the University of Plymouth of Internet adoption by farmers in two contrasting agricultural areas, with three iterations over six years. Insights will be of value to anyone interested in the adoption of information and communication technology in microbusiness, and/or in the development of e‐commerce in the farm sector. Identifies research and policy issues outstanding in the field of Internet adoption in agriculture, including the rollout of broadband infrastructure, the development of human capital, the key role of farm family members, and the understanding of the complexity underlying the adoption process.



Warren, M. (2004), "Farmers online: drivers and impediments in adoption of Internet in UK agricultural businesses", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 371-381.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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