Lack of operational knowledge of computer, poor level of education, lack of training facilities on ICT, insufficient numbers of ICT centre, poor knowledge on the availability of ICT based facilities, lack of personal interest were identified as the major constraints faced by the farmers to access to ICTs based media.
ICT for Agriculture Technology Dissemination
Bangladesh is mainly an agro-based country and agriculture is crucial to the livelihoods of millions of Bangladeshi. Agriculture sector contributes However, there are many challenges to agriculture like declining soil fertility, poor access to quality inputs and extension services and access to equitable markets 2.
Traditionally, agricultural extension service providers were the main sources of credible information to the majority of the Bangladeshi farmers 3. However, in recent time agricultural extension in the country provides critical access to the knowledge, information and technology that farmers importantly needed to improve the productivity and thus improve the quality of their lives and livelihoods 4.
It is also proved by the findings of other researchers that access, efficiency and affordability of agricultural information are the major barriers in the battle to uplift agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers 5. While information and communication technologies ICTs are playing a pivotal role in disseminating agricultural and even non-agricultural information in rural Bangladesh 6.
It also includes wide range of elements like TV, radio, cell phones and policies and laws that govern the widespread use of these media. ICTs can bridge the communication gaps among development workers, rural organizations and farmers. It can also enable bottom up articulation of needs and information sharing of local knowledge and enhance research-extension-farmer linkage and improve the quality decisions that affect rural communities as well as agricultural and rural development 8.
The history of ICT uses in the agriculture sector of Bangladesh is not so rich. Information and Communication Centre AICC was established in the country during with the view of faster delivery of farm information to the people of the farming community. There are AICCs in the country those providing services like weather information, crop cultivation techniques, disease and insect information and latest price information to famers per day which is not really sufficient 9.
However, the cost factor in face-to-face information dissemination at the right time , and the difficulties in reaching the target audiences, has also created the urgency of introducing ICT based media in agricultural technology transfer Research-extension-farmer linkage is very important for proper flow of information to solve the day to day farming problems of the farmers and to bring about the desirable change in their livelihoods.
However, the lack of close working relations between national agricultural research and extension organizations, and with different types of farmers and their organizations, is one of the most difficult institutional problems leading to slowing down agricultural growth in many developing nations There are two types of technology like, i Material technology and ii knowledge-based technology which is for the application of knowledge for practical purposes and is used to improve the human capabilities, quality of natural environment, or to carry out other socio-economic activities.
ICT for Agriculture Technology Dissemination | agropedia
In technology transfer process it is a bit easier to transfer of material technology than training and disseminating technical knowledge and management skill to large number of poorly educated farmers. Conversely, the transfer process of knowledge-based technologies like improved crop or livestock production, IPM, INM practices are generally taught through training programs for rural youth, rural women and adult farmers supported by public extension system.
Therefore, material and knowledge-based technologies are closely intertwined. NGOs and private sector firms in developing countries have very limited technical capacity to train farmers in these product related skills and knowledge; therefore, most knowledge based technologies is, by design or by default, left to national extension system.
In Bangladesh the ratio between extension worker and farm families is 1: which is really huge to provide material and knowledge-based technologies to the farmers on time In the era of globalization ICT has become most powerful tool in providing developing countries with varied opportunities to meet vital development goals which includes poverty reduction far more effective than before According to Meera, ICT in extension can lead to the emergence of knowledge of the workers that will result in the realization of a bottom-up, demand-driven paradigm for technology generation, assessment, refinement and transfer It is strong belief of many researchers like Madukwe that ICT may be the panacea to problems of accessing variety of information sources that are affordable, relevant and reliable by the farmers Thus the above mentioned conceptual model it has been shown that it is demand of time to create sufficient access of the farmers to ICT based media.
The study was conducted in two purposively selected villages namely Patria and Horbarin of Kaladaha union of Fulbaria upazila under Mymensingh district. For this reason these two villages were purposively selected for present study. The total numbers of the farm families in the selected villages were Thus, farm families from the selected villages were the population of the study.
A detail of population and sampling of the study are shown in below. About 20 percent of the farmers were selected as sample and finally a total of 80 farm families from two villages were the sample of the study.
ICT Based Thesis and Capstone Project for Agriculture
A complete list of the farm families of the selected two villages were collected from local extension worker and from this list 80 farmers were selected following simple random sampling method. Empirical data were collected using a pre-tested and structured questionnaire by face-to-face interviewing during September to October, Extent of access to ICT based media of the farmers was the focus variable of the study.
Therefore, the overall access to ICT based media of the farmers was measured on the basis the overall extent of access of the farmers into 9 different ICT based media for receiving agricultural information. Thus, the extent of access to ICT based media of a farmer was measured on the basis of his or her opinion given by them according to their extent of access to nine 9 ICT based medias of different nature.
Thus, the extent of access to ICT based media of a farmer could ranged between 0 to 27, where 0 indicating no extent of access to ICT based media and 27 indicating the highest extent of access of a farmer to ICT based media for getting agricultural information. SPSS v16 software was used to analyze the data. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were used to analyze the collected data. A co-efficient of correlation was used to show the trend of relationship between explanatory variables and focus variable of the study. Characteristics profile of the respondent farmers includes age, education, household size, farm size, annual family income, organizational participation, farming experience, knowledge on ICT, training received on ICT and availability of ICTs have presented in Table 1.
It is revealed from Table 1 that the majority of the farmers were middle aged category with an average of While their mean education level was 7.
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It is also revealed from Table 1 that the farmers had medium size 5. However, the mean farm size of the respondent farmers were 0. On the other hand, their annual income farming experience were moderate and it was While mean organization participation score was poor 2.
However, though the mean availability of ICT based media score in the study area was poor 3. On the basis of their access to ICT scores, the farmers were classified into four categories as shown in Table 2. Data presented in Table 2 indicates that the majority This is due to the reason that the two AICC in two villages is not enough for creating sufficient access of the of the all farmers into ICT based media as the other medias like smart phone, internet facilities and television were very few in numbers. There were 9 selected ICT based media included in the interview schedule and were asked to the respondent farmers to give their responses regarding their access to those media for receiving and providing agricultural information.
Their responses were recorded and presented in Table 3. Data presented in Table 3 indicates the frustrating scenario that none of them had adequate access to any of the selected ICT media. This is due to the reason that they can to afford it to some extent. Additionally it was tried to make a rank order of the nine selected media according to the extent of access of the farmers on those and shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3 also revealed that among the nine selected ICT media farmers had highest access to cell phone and it was ranked 1 st among all ICT media for getting agricultural information. Next to cell phone television, free internet facilities and FM radio ranked 2 nd , 3 rd and 4 th position respectively. While it was demonstrated that farmers did not have any access to e-mail and least of them had access was to personal computer.
However, age of the farmers and farming experience had shown significant and negative relationship with their access to ICT based media. Similar results were found by Asif This is may be due to the reason that young people are always interested to ICTs compared to old farmers. The findings of the regression analysis are presented in Table 5. The value of adjusted R 2 value shows in the multiple regressions was 0. In addition to understand individual contribution of the aforesaid explanatory variables a step-wise multiple regressions analysis was conducted and the results are shown in Table 6.
The findings of the multiple regression analysis indicates that availability of ICTs was significant and showed a positive trend, it implies that the probability of access to ICT based media increases with increasing the availability of ICTs of the respondents and therefore if appropriately used it can offer huge scope for development in the local area.
The findings of the step-wise multiple regression analysis indicates that knowledge on ICT was significant and showed a positive trend, it implies that the probability of access to ICT based media increases with increasing knowledge on ICT of the respondents. Some basic ICT knowledge such as uses of cell phone, smart phone, internet, computer etc. A study of Khan 17 in his study showed that knowledge on ICT has positive and significant contribution with the extent of effectiveness of AICC in receiving agricultural information.
It is very natural that resource rich farmers receives agricultural information by using smart phone while they learnt it from their respective AICCs. A good number of studies indicates the similar findings of Climate. The findings of the step-wise multiple regression analysis indicates that training received on ICT was significant and showed a positive trend, it implies that the probability of access to ICT based media may be increased with increasing training facilities for the farmers on ICTs.
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It can be interpreted in a way that farmer who will receive training will have more interest and try to collect timely and credible agricultural information using ICT based media. To identify the problems faced by the farmers in receiving agricultural information using ICT based media a focus group discussion FGD was conducted. After getting the problems they were incorporated into the questionnaire to know the extent of each of the problems faced by an individual farmer and data were presented in Table 7.
Data presented in Table 7 shows that majority While more than half At the same time, two-third 7.
On the other hand, extreme majority of the farmers thought that social religious restriction is not a problem for them. While more than half of the farmers had high level problem of limited number of ICT centre in the locality as well as lack of their personal interest. Conversely, more than half of the farmers felt electricity problem and lack of training on ICT as the high level problem. In addition to explore the problems, a Problem Facing Index PFI was used to rank order the identified problems based on their severity and shown in Figure 4 indicates that the farmers were faced eleven 11 types of problems in receiving agricultural information from ICT based media.
While social and religious restrictions of the farmers ranked as least 11 th problem based on problem facing index PFI score. It is true that most of the farmers did not have any training on ICT for this reason they have very low operational knowledge of computer. The forth problem was Lack of ICT centre and it was another serious problem. In the time of globalization demand for ICTs have been increasing by the people of the different professions. It is revealed from the study that majority of the farmers had low access to ICT based media.
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