Identification of appropriate tools of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the improvement of food security of Iran's rural households
Access to sufficient and desirable food is one of the principles of any developing and healthy society. One of the important means for attainment of food security is information and communication technologies (ICT). The purpose of the research was to identify appropriate tools of ICT in improving food security of Iran's rural households. The population for this research was 253 extension experts from eight provinces, out of this population, 170 were selected as sample by proportion stratified sampling between 2006 and 2007. This is an applied research with descriptive-survey methodology. The main tool for collecting data was questionnaire. After data extraction, statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS version 13. The results showed that from the view point of the experts, the situation of food security was unfavorable (81.2%). However, ICT can improve food security of rural households. From the viewpoint of experts, rural households have more accessibility to radio, television, phone, face to face interaction and audio cassettes. Radio, television, audio cassettes, workshop and scientific trips are more cost effective than other tools. In addition to television, workshop, scientific trips, exhibition and printed materials are more relevant to rural households needs. Rural households also have more access to old technologies; these technologies are more cost effective and more relevant to the households needs.
Key words: Information andcommunication technologies (ICT), tools, food security, rural households, agricultural extension experts.