INTERNET ICT USE IN AGRICULTURE: MICRO-ENTERPRISES AND SMEs
To date, relatively few studies have examined information and communication technologies (ICT) use in the subset of SMEs known as micro-enterprises. Even fewer have looked at agricultural micro firms. The study presented here compares ICT use among micro-enterprises and SMEs in the agricultural sector. Results indicate extensive use of computers and the Internet, especially for basic ICT functions like email, online purchasing and online business-related research, regardless of firm size. Website ownership is less widespread; larger SMEs are more likely than micro-enterprises to have a website. A number of other ICTs are used similarly by both groups. Among different sized micro-enterprise firms, larger micro-enterprises are more likely than smaller ones to have a website and to conduct financial activities online. However, growth does not result in different adoption rates among micro-enterprises for most internet ICTs. The study also investigates micro-enterprise use of emerging social technologies such as instant messaging, chat, blogging, etc. Perceptions of ICT benefits are also discussed.
Volume (Year): 14 (2009)
Issue (Month): 03 ()
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