Information and Communication Technology in Non-agricultural Enterprises for Rural Transformation in Kwara State, Nigeria
This paper is an empirical study of non-agricultural information needs of rural people in three villages of Kwara State, Nigeria. A combination of participatory and interview techniques was used to elicit data from 108 purposively selected respondents whose major occupations were in the non-agricultural sector. Findings reveal that 55% of respondents were under 41years, while 68.5% had lived and worked in their respective villages for at least 11years. It was further discovered that “urban” occupations such as electronics and vehicle repairing, vulcanizing and Information and Communications Technology, ICT, (excluding computer based media) business were thriving. About 14% of respondents were involved in ICT ventures – greater than the figures for the “traditional” rural occupations like blacksmithing, weaving and arts/crafts. Although 58.34% of respondents relied mainly on ICT sources for occupational information/knowledge and over 80% used them for information in social issues, problem census results reveal that respondents generally ranked “lack of information on modern job technique/ideas” third only to inadequate capital and high cost of living. It is thus imperative to set up a system that would generate and disseminate non-agricultural information and knowledge for rural transformation by, inter alia, harnessing the potentials offered by non-computer based ICT, especially Radio and Television. Running title: ‘ICT in non-agricultural information needs'
> International Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development Vol. 9 2007: pp. 16-21