A Critical Assessment of the Ict Awareness & Utilization Among Mechanized Farmers in Niger State: a Perspective of Gsm and the Internet
Objective of the study
The main objective of this study is to examine ICT awareness & utilization among mechanized farmers in Niger State: A perspective of GSM and the internet. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- Examine the level of farmers awareness of internet and GSM as a case study as a source of disseminating information.
- Investigate the extent at which farmers utilized ICT tool in farming practices
- Assess the importance to technology-based farming practice among rural farmers.
- Determine the challenges that hinders mechanized farmers utilization of GSM and Internet.
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Challenges faced with the use of ICT among farmers
With the rapid development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), data and information can be effectively generated, stored, analyzed, disseminated and used to support farmers and farming communities to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability which most farmers do not have viable information about due to some likely challenges.
Armstrong, (2012) discussed the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on the access for rural farmers from the Ratnagiri district to agricultural information. A study was undertaken in which more than one hundred randomly selected farmers completed a structured questionnaire to gather information at household level of the use of ICT. Interviews were also conducted with key stakeholders, service providers and government officials. Findings from the study indicated that farmers were most interested in obtaining market price information. Examination of the relationship between use of ICT tools and co factors such as age, qualifications and income indicated that only income was a determining factor of using ICT tools.
Inadequate power supply
In Niger State, the power state that host the three mega electricity generating station of the federation, the unwarranted inconsistent supply of electricity to Niger its state is nothing compared to other north central state like Abuja, Kaduna to mention a few, it will be discovered that the situation of electricity supply is better than what is obtains in Niger state. The power situation in Niger state generally and in most Local Government Area in where mechanized farming has gradually imminent. For example, Bida, mokwa, Lavun etc. Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro dams are situated in Niger state, these dams contribute about 30% to the national grid as at 2015 (Chenche, 2015) .
According to Nigeria Food Security Outlook of Famine Early Warning Systems Network, (2013) as a result of persistent heavy rainfall couple with the release of water from several dams. This challenge usually restricts constant Mechanized Agricultural practice in this area in Africa, Niger state was affected due to the release of water from the dam due to its proximity to the three dams, because most communities have lost all their crops and most of their homes most times which is not only affecting individuals at domestic level but the entire state in contributing to food security in Africa, Nigeria as a case study.
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries
The survey research design was adopted for the study. According to Nworgu (2006) survey research design enables one to obtain information from respondents who are considered to be representative of the entire population. In the same vein, Gall et al. (2007) also stated that survey research method uses questionnaire or interview to collect data from a sample that has been selected to represent a population to which the findings of the data analyzed can be generalized.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of hundred and ten (110) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which 90 were returned. The analysis of this study is based on the number returned.
Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Farmers
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the Assessment of availability and utilization of relevant Information and communication technologies among farmers in Suleja Local government in Niger State, Nigeria. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on the Assessment of availability and utilization of relevant Information and communication technologies among farmers in Suleja Local government in Niger State, Nigeria.. The study is was specifically focused on examining the the Socio-Demographic Characteristics of the Farmers; determining the Availability and Accessibility of ICTs and Tools to the Farmers; Determining the level of Utilization of ICTs and Tools by the Farmers and investigating the Constraint to the Availability and Accessibility and Utilization of ICTs and Tools by the Farmers.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 90 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are farmers in Suleja Local government in Niger State.
With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;
This study has specified some level of availability, accessibility and utilization of ICTs and tools by farmers in Suleja Local government in Niger State, Nigeria. The use of these facilities is aimed at improving their poultry production systems. Mobile phone, radio, PCs and laptops and television were reported to be the most frequently utilized ICTs and tools by poultry farmers in Suleja Local government in Niger State. However, the serious constraints to the availability/access and use of these facilities as expressed by the poultry farmers were inconsistent electricity supply, poor network reception, lack of technical experience in manipulating ICT tools and high cost of ICT tools. However, lack of physical access was reported as a mild constraint by the farmers.
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