EVALUATING USE OF ICTS IN ACCESSING E-EXTENSIONSERVICES AMONG SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYAJournal: International Journal of Advanced Research (Vol.9, No. 12)
Publication Date: 2021-12-14
Authors : Viola Kirui Agnes Nkurumwa; Justus Ombati;
Page : 38-44
Keywords : E-Extension Services ICTs Agricultural information Smallholder Farmers;
Smallholder farmers in Kenya are faced with low agricultural productivity which has been attributed toa number of factors among them being lack of access to agricultural information. This has been further exacerbated by shrinking number of public extension staff and underfunding of the extension system in the country. ICTs can play a crucial role in bridging this gap. This study determined ICTs accessed, and the extent of use of the ICTs to access e-Extension services among smallholder farmers in Nakuru county, Kenya. Data was collected from randomly selected sample of 130 smallholder farmers in a descriptive survey, using structured questionnaires and focus group discussions. Over 70 percent of the respondents had access to mobile phones, radio and TV while only 27.7 percent had access to the internet. The respondents that had access to YouTube, twitter and computers however, were less than 20 percent. The findings of the study revealed that mobile phones, radio and TV were the most accessed and utilized ICT tools in accessing e-Extension services among smallholder farmers.Social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook were on average used by the farmers to access e-Extension services while computers and twitter were the least used.The findings further revealed that e-Extension services that were most sought for by the farmers included production, market, pest and disease information.The major constraints in the use of ICTs tools in accessing e-Extension services were reported to include lack of ICTs such as computers and the internet, lack of awareness of availability of e-Extension services, lack of relevant information and lack of infrastructure such as electricity. The study concludes that accessible ICTs could be used to supplement other extension methods. There is need for improving access to ICTs particularly the internet and computers and creating awareness on use of platforms such as YouTube, Twitter and Farmer Call Centres in accessing agricultultural information among farmers.
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