This study assessed the potential of information communication technologies (ICT) in contributing to agriculture and rural development by looking into the effectiveness of radio, television and mobile phone in dissemination of agricultural information. Effectiveness is measured in terms of accessibility, timeliness as well as relevance of the information provided. Specifically the study determined the relationship between farmers’ socio-economic characteristics and access to information through ICTs. It further described the complementarities between ICTs in enhancing improvement of the quality of information available to farmers. Lastly, the research established the farmers’ perception of the effectiveness of ICTs in dissemination of agricultural information. Different approaches of data collection were employed including questionnaire administration, key informant interviews, farmer meetings, general observations and documentary review. It was found that some ICTs have an association with age, sex, education level and marital status of the respondents while some have no association. Complementarities were also found to exist between radio, television and mobile phone. Despite the fact that there are some shortcomings in each of the ICT modes, still the farmers perceived ICTs as effective in dissemination of agricultural information. Based on the findings, it is recommended that the socio-economic characteristics (age, sex, education level and marital status) of the farmers should be considered when planning for different programs that involve ICTs in provision of agricultural information. The district extension system should also design programs that use the right mix of these ICTs for agricultural extension service delivery. This will allow in fully utilizing their potential in complementing other extension and knowledge services. Furthermore, ICTs should be used in complementarity to ensure equitable access of quality information by the majority of farmers. In addition the smallholder farmers need to be sensitized on the presence of effective ICTs in their area. This will increase awareness of the farmers on the role of ICTs and how to access and use them for their farming activities.
Date of publication:
RUFORUM Theses and Dissertations
Agris Subject Categories:
Dr. Florence Birungi Kyazze Department of Extension and Innovation Studies, CAES and Dr. Haroon Sseguya Department of Extension and Innovation Studies, CAES