Providing Online Information Services to Small Farm Owners
Valentina Tudor, Alexandru Sipică
University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine
National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics – ICI Bucharest
8-10 Averescu Avenue, Bucharest 1, RO-011455, ROMANIA
Abstract: The ever faster development of information technologies as well as the progress to information society trigger the increased use of IT tools (software and hardware) in the business environment. This article presents the concept of designing a gateway to the continuous information needed by the small agribusinesses. Although agriculture is the economic sector with the least use of information science, the professional success of the agriculture business players and their mere existence on the market is in part due to the use of computers. The concept is based on a survey carried out in the agricultural business environment of Lunguletu village in Romania. In order to test the formulated hypotheses, we used the nonparametric method for the comparison among Chi square groups.
Keywords: Investments, economic size, system architecture, Chi square, agribusiness, database, SGDB.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Valentina TUDOR, Alexandru SIPICĂ, Providing Online Information Services to Small Farm Owners, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 21 (4), pp. 439-446, 2012.
It is widely recognized that “the current economic situation and the high level of market uncertainty force companies to continuously adapt to respond to constant changes”. 
In a rapidly changing world, the EU wants to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. These three priorities support one another and are able to help the EU and its Member States to achieve a high level of employment, productivity and social cohesion.
The Romanian rural economy, dominated by agriculture, largely remains poorly integrated into the market economy. In today’s business environment in agriculture, the welfare of citizens in rural and urban areas as well as the welfare of agricultural producers depends on understanding and using the information-sharing techniques.
The Romanian producer must act in accordance with the current economic reality at world and national level, use technical and economic methods that ensure stability and safe economic efficiency. The producer has to produce what is required on the domestic and international market, to react promptly to consumer’s needs.
The current economic and financial crisis, the most severe in the past decades, has seriously affected Europe, whose economy contracted significantly. Official documents mention that in order to record sustainable growth, a programme should be jointly agreed upon taking into account primarily the people and responsibility. Thus the EU 2020 Strategy is designed as a successor to the current Lisbon Strategy, which was the EU reform strategy in the past decade and helped the EU face the recent crisis .
The crisis, as official documents state , cancelled years of economic and social progress and highlighted structural weaknesses in Europe’s economy. Today, Europe’s main objective should be to go back on track. In order to ensure a sustainable future, Europe must already look beyond short term priorities. Faced with an aging population and global competition, we have three options: to work more sustainably, to work harder or work smarter. In fact as shown in the European Commission documents, Europe 2020 strategy through the Digital Agenda for Europe aims at drawing a map in order to use the social and economic potential of ICTs to the maximum, especially the Internet, which is a vital support for economic and social activities, whether they relate to business, working, playing, communicating and expressing ourselves freely. 
The creation of a comprehensive informationsociety which will ensure the economic and work force development that will further lead to better quality public services and better quality of life; digital information has undoubtedly gained an unprecedented leading role in the development of all domains of activity as well as of each individual. 
1.1 Current situation & related approach
Because more and more daily activities are performed online, from applying for a job to paying taxes or purchasing tickets, the use of the Internet has become an inherent part of daily life for many Europeans.
However, at European level, about 30% of the population have never used the Internet. They often say that they do not need or that is too expensive. This group is mostly made up of people between 65 and 74 years of age, people with low incomes, unemployed and people with a lower education level. 
In many cases, this exclusion is due to lack of skills associated with the use of digital tools and media, which affects not only the ability to learn, create and participate, but also the confidence and discernment in the use of digital media. At the same time, accessibility and practicality are issues for people with disabilities. Bridging the digital gap can help the members of disadvantaged social groups to participate on equal terms in the digital society (including services of direct interest to them such as eLearning, eGovernment, eHealth) and to find a solution to their problems by increasing the chances of getting a job. Thus, the digital skill is one of the eight key competences that are essential for people in a knowledge society . Similarly, this power is essential in everyone’s understanding how online security is provided.
1.2 Aims of this work
Minimizing the risk in agriculture and providing economic growth including functional relationships upstream and downstream in the agricultural industry are the main strategic objectives at county level.
In the EU, the FET Flagship Initiatives mission is to go beyond the conventional boundaries of ICT and venture into uncharted areas, increasingly relying on fresh synergies, cross-pollination and convergence with different scientific disciplines (for instance, biology, chemistry, nanoscience, neuro- and cognitive science, ethology, social science, economics) and with the arts and humanities .
The main objective of this study is to create a continuous information system at village level for those who are involved in the agricultural business environment. For a better understanding of the role of information technology in agribusiness activities at village level it was necessary to test the links between various aspects of the business, such as: (marketing, sales, management of agribusiness) and ICT.
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