Accessibility and Relevance of Information and Communication Technologies Among Cassava Farmers in Nigeria
The general objective of the study was to examine Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) adoption by farmers.
The study was guided by the following specific objectives;
- To identify use of ICTs in irrigated cassava production
- To identify barriers of ICTs use in irrigated cassava production.
- To examine influence of ICTs use in irrigated cassava production.
LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
This chapter of the study focuses on the available literature on the relationship between ICTs adoption in cassava irrigation production. The section also presented the theoretical framework on which the study was premised.
Communication and ICTs Use in Irrigated Cassava Production
A significant proportion of the queries posed by farmers (encompassing those on how to enhance outputs, reach markets, and cope with the weather patterns) may at the moment be responded immediately, with immense ease, and high level of accuracy via use of ICTs. Many of them may further be answered through dialogue where the concerned stakeholder choose desired solutions in line with the existing set of skills and experience (Bohara, 2014).
ICTs allowed services mostly utilise diverse technologies to offer required data. This postulate is being applied to give rural farmers domestic (non-urban) premonitions to ready themselves for weather-associated events. In resource strained environments particularly, providers employ satellites and sensors for the purposes of gathering temperature information, the website to document huge quantities of information, and handsets to relay atmospheric condition data to rural farmers at fair prices to avoid losses and lower impacts from natural calamities (Joshi & Ayyangar, 2010).
Adegbidi, Mensah, Vidogbena and Agossou (2012) conducted a study on determinants of ICTs application by cassava farmers in Benin. The results revealed that all farmers sampled were not utilising ICTs items for farming. Approximately 31% of them were ICTs non- users while 69% of them did use ICTs tools in their farming activities. All the ICTs tools employed never had similar importance of application. Almost did all users (90%) rely on radio programs as the desired media type. The three most regular forms of media after radio programs mobile phone calls (41%), TV (17%) and text messages from handsets (10%). The study was however limited in its methodology as it targeted respondents from an ICTs project, a sample which could be influenced by training received from the project. There is need to conduct a study among farmers who have not been involved in any ICTs project.
This chapter presents the different approaches and strategies the researcher adopted to achieve the study objectives. These include the research design, research site, target population, sample and sampling size, data collection methods, data collection procedures and data analysis procedures.
The research was a descriptive survey involving both qualitative and quantitative methods. The study used the cross-sectional survey design which refers to the collection of data during a specified duration of time. According to Arabu et al. (2015), descriptive research as a process of collecting data in order to test hypotheses or to answer questions concerning the current status of the subjects of the study. It is a survey as it is a self-report study which requires the collection of quantifiable information from a sample. The design is appropriate for the study as it sought to investigate the factors influencing ICTs adoption in irrigated cassava production. The researcher adopted qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The advantage of using both approaches is enhancing the reliability and validity of the findings as each method strengthens the others’ weaknesses.
DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION
This chapter of the study represents the data analysis and the interpretation following the data collection process. The chapter is presented according to the questionnaires and is complemented by the researchers own interpretation.
Socio-economic factors have often been found to influence adoption of ICTs in agriculture, the study sought to understand the socioeconomic background of the irrigated cassava farmers in NWSA Irrigation Scheme as this information could be used to predict ICT adoption. The socio-economic factors in the study included the gender, age, marital status, education levels, and household size, farming experience and farm size.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
This chapter presents the summary of the study, conclusion of the study, recommendations of the study based on the findings and suggestions for areas of further studies. The conclusion and recommendations are presented in line with the study objectives. The areas of further studies are derived from the scope and limitations of the study.
The general objective of the study was to examine Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) adoption in irrigated cassava production in NWSA Irrigation Scheme. The study was guided by three specific objectives: to identify uses of ICTs in irrigated cassava production; identify barriers of ICTs use in irrigated cassava production and examine influence of ICTs use in irrigated cassava production in NWSA Irrigation Scheme. The descriptive survey was adopted which used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The cross-sectional survey design which refers to the collection of data during a specified duration of time was adopted. The target population for the study were 6,500 households in the NWSA Irrigation Scheme, Niger state. The sample size for the study was 362 respondents and the researcher was able to collect 96 completed questionnaires which were used for data analysis. The sample of the study was therefore selected from the respondents identified in the primary indicative study. The researcher adopted the questionnaire as the primary tool for data collection which was interview administered to the household heads.
Key informant interviews were used to collect data from the State Executive Committee (SEC) member in charge of information communication and technology (ICTs) in Niger state, two extension officers and two agricultural officers. The researcher was able to conduct three key informant interviews with two agricultural officers, one extension officer, and an interview with the SEC of ICT Niger state. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise the data and create categories of responses for interpretation. The researcher used mean, frequencies, percentages and standard deviation to analyse the data. The qualitative data was presented in verbatim and narrative form to complement the qualitative data.
The quantitative data was presented in tables, charts and figures and the researchers’ interpretation. The study found that ICT was used for communicating information on attending meetings and seminars, learning new farming technologies, communicate on work arrangements and seeking information on Information on input prices, marketing and planting timetable. The mean scores suggested that the major barrier to ICT use among cassava farmers was Lack of ICTs skills and inability to use, followed by Lack of training, Cost of ICTS and/or funds and Power cuts. The most influence seen of ICT among cassava farmers was Increase of farmers’ skills/knowledge in cassava production followed by increase in cassava production output, accessing agricultural market information and strategic partnerships with associations and organisations. The study concluded that ICTs are used to source for information on available cassava seed varieties, prices of the cassava seed and processed cassava; that major barriers facing ICT adoption among irrigated cassava farmers in NWSA Irrigation Scheme are lack of training, lack of ICTs skills and inability to use and cost of ICTS and/or funds and that the most influence of ICT adoption among cassava farmers was increase in cassava production output, followed by increase of farmers’ skills/knowledge in cassava production and accessing agricultural market information.
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