An Evaluation Of Information Communication Technology (ICT) And Its Usage In Agricultural Information Dissemination Among Farmers

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Science Students

An Evaluation Of Information Communication Technology (ICT) And Its Usage In Agricultural Information Dissemination Among Farmers


Abstract


This study was carried out to evaluate on information communication technology (ICT) and its usage in agricultural information dissemination among farmers in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State. The study was specifically set to ascertain the extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers, find out the information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers, and find out the relevant information disseminated among farmers using information communication technology. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of farmers in Gboko local government area of Benue State. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 147 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. The hypotheses was tested using Chi-square Statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers is low. Furthermore, the information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers includes: mobile phone, television, radio, and internet/website. Therefore, it is recommended that the Government should create an integrated agricultural information system on agro-technologies and techniques, pricing and market information so that strategic information could be provided to farmers and other stakeholders at national, provincial and district levels. To mention but few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The value and significance of appropriate and timely accessible information in the life and direction of any organization cannot be over stressed, since diligent and objective observation have demonstrated that no individual or organization can achieve its objectives while functioning in a vacuum. Information may be utilized as a tool, resources, commodity or product. The rising value and usage of information as a commodity have given rise to the demand for the development of quicker and more efficient systems for gathering, storing and transmitting it. While the achievement of these have further resulted to the proliferation of various types of information services, as well as information professionals using new technology, and the technology with the greatest impact on information are those that deal with information storage, processing and dissemination, which in this context fits what the term information and communication technology (ICT) imply. Eke (2006) identified the ICT as the sort of technology that link the computer to the global telecommunication network to enable feasible for users to acquire, process, calculate, store and broadcast oral, written and graphical information. Although this definition adequately supports the conception of ICT as a tool, it went further to add the process characteristics, by presupposing that ICT embraces all the technologies that enables the handling of information which in turn facilitates the different forms of communication between man and the electronic systems such as the radio, television, cellular phone, computer networks and satellite systems. The use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agricultural and rural development in recent times is noteworthy, considering their broad application in practically all sectors of rural life—namely agriculture, health, and general social development.

According to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA, 2003), ICT has offered a means for rural residents in various African nations to effectively receive agricultural information, despite the persisting challenges of access, connection, literacy, content, and prices. With special reference to Nigeria, Adebayo and Adesope (2007) recognized ICT as a highly essential aspect in the Nigerian agricultural sector in current times, but it is still a new idea, and a growing number of experts are realizing its value for academic and development work. This is more so the case with the abundance of information in Internet- (e.g., HINARI, AGORA, and OARE) and non-Internetbased resources (e.g., The Essential Electronic Agricultural Library), for development and research work in the fields of health, agriculture, and the environment (Hinari 2010). Nevertheless, Omotayo (2005) observed that Nigeria’s relative slowness in recognizing the importance of information, as well as in its awareness and use of ICT, had caused it to lag behind, as most institutions charged with providing agricultural services still persist in overreliance on the use of extension agents, with the agent-to-farm-family ratio estimated at 1:3000 (Bolarinwa & Oyeyinka, 2011).

Comparatively though, extension agents may be the most effective information source for farmers but surely not the most efficient, as indicated by the high cost, amount of coverage, and time. According to Van den Ban & Hawkins, (1998) asserts that It is therefore clear that, no matter how effective extension delivery through the village extension service is, it can neither be efficient nor cost effective for a developing country like Nigeria, with a whopping population of about 150 million, the majority of whom are engaged in one form of agricultural enterprise or another.

On the other hand, Omotayo (2005) highlighted that agricultural extension depends substantially on information sharing between and among farmers and a broad variety of other players. Therefore, frontline extension workers, who are the direct link between farmers and other actors in the Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS), should be well-positioned to make use of ICT to access expert knowledge or other types of information that could facilitate the accomplishment of their routine activities.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Due to inadequate staff, information communication technologies (ICTs) have become an attractive choice for transmission of information in agriculture sector. Many reasons have been put out in favor of deployment of ICT both for agricultural information distribution and subsequent usage by farmers, notably in Nigeria. With the government’s liberalization and privatization policies to encourage private-sector participation and attract foreign investments, a drastic reduction in the prices of computer and other ICT equipment has occurred in recent years, thus making them more accessible, particularly given the proliferation of cybercafes in all major towns and even in semi-urban locations. The development of Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications has made phone (an essential ICT) equally available nationwide. Salau and Saingbe (2008) suggest that the moment is opportune for the implementation of ICT by both researchers and extension workers to transfer relevant information to farmers in a more efficient method. Nevertheless, restrictions such as access, connectivity, and content frequently accompany this ICT revolution, forcing development professionals to struggle with the double difficulty of the literacy level of farmers and the expensive costs of ICT resources, especially in poor nations. The awareness and use of these technologies among farmers, who grapple with challenges inherent in inadequate extension personnel for extension service delivery and their own self-efficacy (education), must be better understood, with a view to determining how farmers can best be reached and served by the ICT revolution. Therefore, this study to evaluate on information communication technology (ICT) and its usage in agricultural information dissemination among farmers.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to evaluate on information communication technology (ICT) and its usage in agricultural information dissemination among farmers. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Ascertain the extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers.
  2. Find out the information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers.
  3. Find out the relevant information disseminated among farmers using information communication technology.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. What is the extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers?
  2. What are the information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers?
  3. What are the relevant information disseminated among farmers using information communication technology?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Information communication technology is not adequately used among farmers.
  • Ha: Information communication technology is adequately used among farmers

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is to examine on information communication technology (ict) and its usage in agricultural information dissemination among farmers. The study will delve into ascertaining the extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers, finding out the information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers, and finding out the relevant information disseminated among farmers using information communication technology.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This will be significant to agriculture sector as it seeks to provide a diagnostics basis for solving problems associated with agricultural extension workers utilization of Information and Communication Technology in their job. It might also help to change their attitude toward this ICT tools they have in possession. Also, it will enlightened the farmers on the essence of GSM as a faster means of disseminating information using various platform equipped on the GSM and not for making Voice call alone which is the primary purpose which an average farmer acquires a GSM, there is need for farmers to know that internet is also a vital medium of disseminating information about challenges encountered during mechanized farming and finding a lasting solution to it. Finally, the study would contribute empirically to the body of existing literature and it would serve as a reference source to students or other researchers who might want to carry out their research on the similar topic.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited to extention workers as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other aspect of agriculture. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Internet:

A worldwide computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

GSM:

(Global System for Mobile communications) is a standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to describe the protocols for second-generation digital cellular networks used by mobile devices such as tablets.

ICT:

Information and communications technology (ICT) is an extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals) and computers, as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage and audiovisual, that enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.0 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on evaluation of information communication technology (ICT) and its usage in agricultural information dissemination among farmers in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.1 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to evaluate on information communication technology (ICT) and its usage in agricultural information dissemination among farmers in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State. The study was specifically set to ascertain the extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers, find out the information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers, and find out the relevant information disseminated among farmers using information communication technology.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are farmers in Gboko local government area of Benue State.


5.2 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The extent information communication technology are used for information dissemination among farmers is low.
  2. The information communication technology tools used for information dissemination among farmers includes: mobile phone, television, radio, and internet/website.
  3. The relevant information disseminated among farmers using information communication technology includes: loan information, fertilization information, pest management information, marketing information, and climate information.

5.3 Recommendations

In view of the above findings the following recommendations are hereby made;

  1. The Government should create an integrated agricultural information system on agrotechnologies and techniques, pricing and market information so that strategic information could be provided to farmers and other stakeholders at national, provincial and district levels.
  2. There is need to intensify the use of radio and television programmes and integrate new technologies as a means to reach extension workers and farmers.
  3. The Government and NGOs should sensitize the farmers on the benefits of using ICTs and ICT education in the schools and colleges/universities should be made compulsory to address the shortage of ICT skills.
  4. With Public-Private Partnership (PPP) ICT infrastructure should be developed across the state to ensure that farmers have access to ICT technologies.
  5. Government should provide an enabling environment to encourage software developers by reducing taxes to develop packages that are suitable for local market conditions.
  6. The existing communication tower infrastructures should be upgraded to ensure better cell phone and internet coverage. Fibre Optic Cable should be promoted to improve the quality of network connectivity.
  7. Stable power supply accessible telecoms infrastructure in rural areas should be developed to enhance usage of ICTs in the state.

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