Farm Ireland

Saturday 17 March 2018

Jobs aplenty in farming by Facebook

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Have you ever heard of Farmville? I hadn't until last week.

Seemingly 1pc of the world's population (close to 83m people) are playing the farm simulation game on social networking website Facebook.

A further 23m fans follow the exploits of these 'virtual' farmers, who plant and harvest crops, and rear stock.

As with ordinary farming, Farmville is based on the market, but points are also given for experience.

These are dished out for such simple tasks as buying seed or livestock, or for ploughing and harvesting.

A cracking idea, you'd have to say, but sadly there is no truth to the rumour that the people in Brussels are taking it on board.

True disciples of Farmville take their work seriously. I hear it's not unknown for players to sit in on a Saturday night to get a crop sown.

In light of this dedication, maybe a die-hard version should be developed for the truly committed.

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This could include a virtual boss man who would call participants for milking at 7.30pm on a Sunday morning, even though he knows they were on the beer the night before and are welded to the bed.

Punishment jobs for poor performance could include an evening cutting thistles with a slash hook or that old favourite, picking stones.

Farmville Extra could include further enticements for those in search of a real farming experience.

The first run of cows would always destroy the milking parlour, half the calves would get scour, the bull would be shooting blanks, and it would always rain when the silage pit was being covered.

Those interested in playing the elite version, Farmville Ultra, would have to agree to forfeit all earnings for a year and live on the wind.

After that they'd be ready for the real thing.

On a more serious note, two weeks ago in a report on REPS 4 payments, I wrongly included Donegal in a list of counties that were struggling to make progress. Donegal was actually one of the best performers nationally. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

Irish Independent