Title page for ETD etd-05102012-161822

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kanaththa Kankanamge, Sandamali
Author's Email Address skkank1@lsu.edu
URN etd-05102012-161822
Title Marketing Channels and Internet Technology Used by Specialty Crop Farmers
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hinson, Roger A Committee Chair
Harrison, Jr, Robert W Committee Member
Westra, John Committee Member
  • Logit Model
  • MarketMaker
  • All About Blueberries
  • Specialty Crops
  • Internet Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Effectiveness
Date of Defense 2012-04-19
Availability unrestricted
An online survey was used to collect data on specialty crop farms in 2010 in Louisiana. The objectives included evaluation of familiarity with the Louisiana Food MarketMaker website and the All about Blueberries website, about marketing channels used, and the adoption of electronic and Internet based technologies to assist with marketing of differentiated products.

Variables included use and effectiveness of marketing channels, level of use and quality of internet service, use of Internet-based functions and applications, barriers to internet use, frequency of use and usefulness of social media and smart phones, effectiveness of and familiarity with MarketMaker and All about Blueberries websites and specific application. Generally, despite small sample size, farmer characteristics from the Louisiana survey were reasonably consistent with results from the Census of Agriculture 2007.

Descriptive analysis and Logit model were used for data analysis. Results from this study can provide useful information about these new (to many farmers) technologies for marketing. Familiarity with MarketMaker was strongly associated with share of total sales from vegetable crops, farmer occupation, Internet speed as a barrier, Internet use in farming and finding markets through MarketMaker in 5 percent significant level. Social media use in farming was statistically significant in explaining familiarity with All about Blueberries website. Internet use and specialty crop acreage also were significant. In addition, large impacts on the odds ratios were found. When speed of internet service was rated as not a barrier, familiarity with MarketMaker was higher. Significant impact of coefficients on odds ratios were found for both websites.

Future questionnaires could segment users based on level of activity such as initial and intermediate involvement, improved ability to use the site for partners and for research, to manage risk, and for feedback for further development of the program. Length of the survey questionnaire was a limitation.

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