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Direct Research Journals
Direct Research Journal of Agriculture and Food Science Vol.1 (4), pp.44-48, October 2013
ISSN: 2354-4147

Availability, level of use, importance and constraints to utilization of information communication technologies by farmers in Enugu state, Nigeria
Article Number: DRJA17089153
DOI:

Original Research Article


O. I Ogbonna and A. E Agwu


Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.


date Received: June 3, 2013     date Accepted: June 28, 2013     date Published: October 30, 2013

Abstract

The concept of information in general and of agricultural information in particular, as a resource for development is very important in the contemporary world and cannot be overemphasized. Communication devices enable people around the world to contact one another, to access information instantly, and to communicate from remote areas. There are lots of difficulties facing rural farmers which can be solved by providing them with adequate access to quality information which many researchers have generated. ICTs play important roles in addressing these challenges and enhancing the standard of living of rural farmers. The ability to easily access and share information and stimulate the creation of new ideas is viewed as essential to maintaining a nation’s economy and enhancing the quality of life of rural farmers. This study examined availability, importance and level of use of information communication technologies by farmers in Enugu state, Nigeria. Structured interview schedule was used to collect data from 90 farmers randomly selected for the study. The data were analyzed using percentages, frequency counts, mean scores and standard deviation. Results indicated that radio (98.9%), television (95.5%) and mobile phones (96.7%) were the most available ICTs in the area. While radio, mobile phones and television were mostly used. The importance of ICTs as perceived by the farmers included that ICTs facilitate: effective storage and retrieval of information in agriculture (M=3.73); easy access to information (M=3.83); cost and time reduction in agricultural production and marketing (M=3.11) among others. However, constraints in the use of ICTs by farmers included: high cost of ICT infrastructure (M=2.77); low income (M=2.64); frequent power failure (M=2.77), lack of necessary skills and poor ICT training (M=2.57). The study concluded that farmers have limited agricultural information and recommends the need for providing necessary ICT facilities, training and infrastructure needed for effective communication in the rural areas.


Key words: Importance, availability, use, constraints, Utilization, Information Communication Technologies and Farmers