Farmville Jamaica Live heralds the rise of Social Farming

Most Jamaicans live on their Social Networking sites, be it Facebook, Twitter or the latest craze, Foursquare. The statistics from Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right, the fact that 71.7% of Jamaicans use FaceBook and Twitter. One therefore dares to imagine what would have been the effect had Jamaicans liked smartphones FIRST instead of Blackberry so much, as smartphones with a Data Plan are capable of streaming!

Social Networking Sites such as No. 2 Search Engine YouTube would be all the rage – not to mention the positive spinoff of Jamaica having a smarter more college-educated population as opined in StudyBlue reveals Smartphones, Tablets make you smarter – The Big Bang Theory on Google!

A conclusion that is well acknowledge by many based on the research of Dr. Hopeton Dunn-led Survey of the Mona School of Business (MSB) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona that suggests that a lot of people play a lot of Social Games both on their computers as well as on their mobile phones. Also very evident to men among my co-workers when I was working at a Call Center named ACS-Xerox in Greater Portmore on the Amazon Account.

Since leaving them in Friday January 27 2012 I started working at Fullgram Solutions Limited on Friday February 24th 2012AD for the Digicel Account, I also noticed the same thing with co-workers toting Blackberry’s on the Production floor under the quiet: FB is hot! Hence the rash of article on Amazon and Digicel of late folks: I write about my work a lot!

The most famous of these Social Games among the younger crowd is of course Zynga’s Farmville the very thing that is slowly killing off Console and Handheld Gaming on Mobile Devices based on my analysis in Nintendo and Sony vs Smartphones and Tablets: Post – Portable Gaming Era.

Even after having getting a job at JAMALCO in my home parish of Clarendon and moving on Up, The Jefferson’s style working with a contractor named ACS (Automatic and Computer Supplies) Limited that works on behalf of Honeywell to maintain their TPS (Total Plant Solutions) system, the trend continues.

I would have never though Engineering folk, the majority crowd on JAMALCO, went on Social Networks and played Social Games, let alone toted Blackberry on so harsh an environment! Thus rest assured readers that articles on Process Control and about alumina production and Mining Technology usage at JAMALCO, a GOJ (Government of Jamaica) partnership with ALCOA (Alumina Company of America), are in the pipeline!

So the Bushy Park, St Catherine-based Thetford Great House and Farm an entrepreneur in the nascent field of Social Farming Clubs aptly named FarmVille JamaicaLive is quite a surprise. FarmVille JamaicaLive has taken the ever popular game and made it into a real farming activity that mimics the game in every way.

Aptly named FarmVille JamaicaLive, their website make their mission statement clear, quote: “FarmVille Jamaica Live is a new and innovative social farming club that consists of different activities aimed to get persons living in Jamaica and other countries involved in farming. FarmVille JamaicaLive will teach participants and the public more about agriculture through an interactive farming programme. The objectives are to bring something new and dynamic to the Jamaican market that will benefit the members of the farming club and the agriculture industry, and to strongly endorse the Go Green global campaign.”

In the process, they are getting Jamaicans to do some real farming and be more aware of the importance of farming, which is quite an interesting development, especially among the Upper St. Andrew crowd, who may have never seen some of the animals that they play within the FarmVille Game on FB.

How it breaks down in terms of cost for the casual Social Farming club member is quite interesting:

  • To register is a mere JA$500 or US$10 for International members
  • Members are leased plots for three (3) six (6) or twelve (12) month periods at a time
  • 10% discount for Corporate entities and large leaseholders
  • Thence forth it breaks down to $1,000, $1,500, and US$20 per 10′ by 10’ plot, based on the type of services you require and what you’re growing
  • Additional charges exist for Seeds, Fertilizers
  • Fees are non-refundable

And just like Farmville, people can bring their family or friends to this Social Farming experience and grow their produce and trade them with their neighbours or grow them for their own benefit….just like Zynga’s Farmville! Plot owners are expected to ACTUALLY get their hands dirty, but if you’re the type of person that does not like dirt or traveling to St. Catherine just to tend to a 10’ by 10′ plot, there is always the helpful staff at FarmVille JamaicaLive who can take care of your plot for you for a fee!

With no restriction on what you can grow, be it ground provisions such as cucumber, ginger, carrot, onions, potatoes and okra fruits such as tomatoes and watermelon, the more popular vegetables such as corn, sweet pepper, sweet corn, red peas, callaloo, pumpkin even some  sorrel and peanuts!

I guess the negative sentiments expressed in my article Jamaica’s Low Net Penetration – Broadband Internet A Universal Right are thus somewhat unfounded. Especially as Social Media Marketing as described in my article Social Media Marketing – Advertising and Marketing in Ja on a Shoe-String was an apparent positive development fuelled by Jamaica’s obsession with Facebook, Twitter.

Social Networking and by extension Social Gaming, it seems, is having a positive on Jamaicans, especially the computer bound and Blackberry-crazed, noses wrinkled in consternation, concentrating on their little glowing screens later at night while us mere mortals seek repose in our beds. At least FarmVille JamaicaLive will now turn that love for virtual farming into a lifelong passion for the land.

FarmVille JamaicaLive heralds the rise of the phenomenon of the kibbutz for those Jamaicans who live in the Concrete Jungle and want their children to experience someplace magical, family oriented and to learn about the joys of eating what you grow.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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