Willingness to Pay for Rural Telephone Services: Implications for Agricultural Technology Transfer
Willingness to Pay, Rural Telephone Services, Agro-based Entrepreneurs
This study assessed Willingness to Pay (WTP) for rural telephone services and the implications for agricultural technology transfer in Southeast Nigeria. The key research problem was the inability of the telephone providers or regulatory agencies to estimate the amount the people were willing to pay for telephone services. The sample was made up of 240 agro-based entrepreneurs and 60 extension staff. Primary data were collected using structured interview schedules and well-structured sets of questionnaire. The data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics comprising frequencies, means, percentages and Likert scaling. Result showed that the minimum and maximum amounts respondents were willing to pay per minute of national calls were N7 and N38 respectively. Telephone services were perceived to be important in contacting relatives both at home and overseas and helping farmers to gain knowledge of the market situation before the delivery of their products to the city. It was indicated that radio was currently the common source of information on agricultural technology transfer and was represented by 28.78%. Respondents accepted that rural telephone where available, helped them to get information on latest packages of agricultural technology, and early warning and management of pests and diseases. The perceived problems of agricultural technology transfer using telephone were lack of practical demonstration of technology and no reliable communication network in the rural areas as were represented by means of 3.7 and 3.6 respectively. Rural poverty was indicated as reduced through provision of employment opportunities for the jobless youth who engage in the marketing of telephones and its accessories.