Effect Of Utilization Of ICTs For Agricultural Information On Socio-Economic Characteristics Of Farmers In Southeastern Nigeria
There is no doubt that Information and communication has emerged as a useful and more reliable agricultural extension tool for development process. Interestingly, farmers who are the beneficiaries of agricultural extension programmes have embraced this technology but have been hampered by certain challenges bordering on their socioeconomic characteristics. This study investigates the effect of utilization of ICTs for agricultural information on socioeconomic characteristics of farmers in southeastern Nigeria. Structured interview was administered on 270 respondents in the study area. Data analysis was by the use of multiple regression. Findings revealed that Age, education, marital status and income significantly influenced utilization of ICT for agricultural information by farmers. It was recommended that efforts should be made by Federal, State and Local Governments to provide adequate ICT resources in both urban and rural areas. The Ministry of Information and Communication need to carry out a massive sensitization of the potentials of the ICTs for the speedy or timely dissemination of information to farmers. Intensive training in the use of ICTs should be organized by government to enable farmers know how to make use of varied ICT resources. Massive awareness campaign should be conducted among farmers articulating the use as well as relevance of ICTs in agricultural information exchange.
Key words: agricultural information, socio-economic characteristics, farmers