Information Sources and Needs among Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) Farmers in the Shai Osudoku District, Greater Accra Region, Ghana
This paper seeks to examine and understand the information-seeking behaviour of farmers in terms of their information needs, sources and challenges. Structured questionnaires were administered randomly to 125 mango farmers selected from the Shai Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region. Besides, one focus group discussion section with the executives of the District mango farmer-based organisation and one-on-one in-depth interview session with the Head of Department of Agriculture in the District were held, coupled with farm visits for personal observations to make for triangulation with the quantitative data. The study showed that radio, leaflets and family/friends remained the first option of choice as sources of information to the mango famers. On the other hand, the Internet, books, newspapers and extension agents emerged as the least sources of preference to the farmers. Selection of varieties/hybrids, pests and disease management and pruning of tree crops were perceived by the farmers as the most pressing information needs, which, to them, were critical to the success of their mango farming business. The study also showed a strong positive relationship (p<0.05) between age of the mango farmers and the use of information. Furthermore, the results revealed that number of years spent on formal education positively correlated (p<0.05) with the use of information from family/friends, books, agricultural input dealers, leaflets and radio. These findings will inform agricultural extension programme planning of the District and the Greater Accra Region, as a whole.
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