Information And Communication Technology (ICT) Utilization In Agricultural Information Dissemination

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Information And Communication Technology (ICT) Utilization In Agricultural Information Dissemination


Abstract


This study investigates information and communication technology (ICT) utilization in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State. This study makes use of a sample size of 335 farmers in the study area. Five research questions were aimed at determining the level of utilization of ICT in agriculture information dissemination. The instrument in this study is a structural questionnaire titled: “ICT utilization in irrigation information dissemination” (i.e., access to ICTs by farmers). The instrument was administered on 12 farmers randomly to ascertain its reliability. The results showed that phone, print media, radio and television were all available, accessed and utilized ICT among the farmers. Inadequate ICT infrastructures, inadequate electricity, and inability to use modern technologies are the major factors that constraint effective utilization of information and communications technology in irrigation irrigation irrigation. The factors militating against effective use of information communication technologies as source of agricultural information were also identified to be inadequate Internet services and computer devices in information dissemination to farmers. Provision of electricity and provision of adequate training are the Strategies for surmounting the constraints affecting ICT utilization.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The role of information in our societies today cannot be overemphasized. This is due to rapid growth in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICTs). As it is popularly said that knowledge is power and knowledge cannot be separated from information, infact information is the basic necessity of maximally harness the factors of production (Khalid 2013). Also Ezeh (2013) confirmed in his opinion that information remains one of the basic needs of life.

Nnadi (2012) defined agricultural information as a collection of Knowledge on agriculture in general and that this knowledge encompasses ideas, innovations and technologies of policies in all areas of agriculture. It is important to note that the standard of living of having them gain access to information. This is because their abilities lie in the level of information available to them and they will always remain handicap without information (Muhammad, 2007).

To further assert this, Gopala (2012) explained that the substances farmers use in making choices in their practices is made available via agricultural information. A lack of this information remains a major but silent setback in the agricultural sector. To maintain steady progress, farmers must be well informed as well as take positive steps in – line with the information (Ezeh, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The penetration of information and communication technology in Nigeria is on the increase but Nigerian farmers have limited access and use of these technologies in their agricultural activities. These information and communication technologies includes but not limited to integrated peer management control, high yielding technologies and efficiency in land use (Nnadi, 2012).

The Nigerian government has formulated diverse policies and schemes to foster private sectors and foreign investors’ participation towards subsidizing and making more viable information and communication technologies having recognized how important they are in agriculture. One of these schemes are recorded by Ezeh (2013) is the growth enhancement support scheme (GES) introduction by Nigerian government in 2012 to facilitate and provide farmers with valuable information and product as well as monitoring their progress via mobile phones.

Apart from the effort towards embracing emerging information and communication technology, it is evident that Kogi State of Nigeria is not lagging behind (Oladunjoye 2013). However, aside from the existence of these technologies, there has been problem of accessibility for farmers and many others who may want to utilize them for agricultural purposes. It therefore remains uncertain whether Information and Communication Technologies are effectively utilized by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State for lack of accessibility.


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to determine the level of ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government, Kogi State.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To identify the types of Information and Communication Technologies available for agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State.
  2. To determine the level of accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State.
  3. To investigate the level of utilization of Information and Communication Technologies in obtaining agricultural information by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State.
  4. To identify the available constraints to effective utilization of Information and Communication Technologies in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba west LGA.
  5. To find solutions to the problems affecting the ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination.

1.4 Research Questions

This study will be guided by the following research questions.

  1. What types of modern ICTs infrastructures are available for agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State?
  2. What is the accessibility of these ICTs infrastructures by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State?
  3. What is the level of utilization of Information and Communication Technologies in obtaining agricultural information by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State?
  4. What are the available constraints to effective utilization of ICT in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State?
  5. What are the possible solutions to the problems affecting the ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination?

1.5 Justification for the Study

Since the use of ICT to tackle rural development and agriculture challenges is still new, and is constantly changing in nature, the amount of research done on ICT utilization in Agricultural information dissemination is limited and scare to find.

The findings and recommendations of this research, if implemented, will benefit not only the people of Yagba West LGA but the whole Nigerians. It will expose the farmers and other stakeholder to the vast opportunities available in the areas of ICT as regards agricultural information generation and dissemination. It would equally increase the number of Nigerians that would have access to vital information on agriculture. In addition, this study will add to the existing literatures on ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination and will provide an in-depth knowledge to researchers and readers alike.


1.6 Delimitation of the Study

The scope of this research borders on ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State. The bordering of this research also extended to include the various ICT resources being used to disseminate information pertaining to agriculture to the Communities in Yagba West LGA.

Considering the broad nature of the topic, the study focuses on the farmers in the towns and villages (districts) under Yagba West LGA Yagba West Local Government. The studied districts in Yagba West LGA Yagba West Local Government include: Egbe, Ere, Omi, Eri, Oga, Iyamerin, Ejiba, Igbaruku, and Akata


1.7 Operation Definition of Terms:

Agricultural extension:

Educational services which bring new technologies and disseminate agricultural information to farming communities to enable them improve their production, incomes and standards of living.

Agricultural information:

Verifiable and reliable factual data about agriculture including reports as well as opinions.

Agricultural Information Dissemination:

Making information about agriculture accessible to the farmers in Yagba west LGA.

Dissemination:

This is the spread of information, knowledge, etc. so that it reaches many farmers in Yagba west LGA, Kogi State.

Farmer:

A person who grow crops, rear animals in Yagba West Local Government Area.

ICT infrastructures:

Communication devices such as radio, television, phones, e – book, computers and satellite.

Utilization:

Make practical and effective use of something to its fullest extent.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

This chapter summaries the findings from the study and gives necessary conclusions. It also gives recommendations and suggestions for further studies.


5.1 Summary of Findings

This study investigated information and communication technology (ICT) utilization in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The objectives of the study were to identify the types of Information and Communication Technologies Available for agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State, to ascertain the accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area, Kogi State; to ascertain the level of utilization of Information and Communication Technologies in obtaining agricultural information by farmers in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State; to identify the constraints to effective utilization of Information and Communication Technologies in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba west LGA; to predict the strategies for surmounting these constraints.

To achieve this, five research questions aimed at determining the level of utilization of information and communication technology in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State.

The findings among others revealed that:

Mobile phone, internet services, computer devices, Print media, Radio & television are available for agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Farmers have access to utilize information communication technology in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State. The level of Information Communication Technology (ICT) utilization in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State is still low. Inadequate ICT infrastructures, inadequate electricity, Inability to use modern technologies are the major factors that constraint effective utilization of ICT in agricultural information dissemination in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State. Provision of ICT infrastructures, Provision of electricity, and provision of adequate training are the Strategies for surmounting the constraints affecting ICT utilization in Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State.


5.2 Conclusion

From the data presented, analyzed and findings obtained it was imperative to conclude that phone, print media, radio and television were all available, accessed and utilized ICTs among the farmers. However, the level of access and utilization of contemporary ICT infrastructures such as internet and computers devices are still very low.
The factors militating against the effective utilization of information communication technologies as source of agricultural information to the farmers in the study area were also identified to be inadequate ICT infrastructures, inadequate electricity and inability to use modern technologies. To enhance the effectiveness of Information Communication technology utilization in the dissemination of agricultural information for agricultural development in the study area there is need to strengthen the use of Internet services and computer devices in information dissemination to farmers.


5.3 Recommendations

  1. More Cyber-cafes should be established at various districts to improve farmers access to internet services at all times.
  2. ICT training programmes should be organized for training farmers on opportunities that abound in the use of ICT facilities in their farming operations. This can be achieved by incorporating ICT training in extension service packages.
  3. Famers should be encouraged to access and utilize internet services, computer hardware and other ICT infrastructures by supporting them with resources. The current effort of the federal government of Nigeria to distribute 6 million mobile phones to farmers is a good example and will enhance the access and utilization of ICTs among farmers for agriculture production.
  4. Government must continue with its liberalization policies in the agricultural and telecommunication sectors to attract more private sector investment in the ICT development and utilization as it has done for the makers of “Zinox” computers. This will make ICT more accessible and cheaply. The policies must also be consistent, stable, and investment friendly.
  5. The problem of irregular supply of electricity in Yagba West Local Government can be solved through the promotion of the technology of local solar, alternate current (AC) generator or biofuel supply system.

5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies

This study is only a beginning in exploring the ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination at the undergraduate level. The findings of the research provide future researchers with ample scope for further in – depth study on the subject matter.

Future studies should investigate ICT utilization in agricultural information dissemination in Northern – Nigeria.


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