Reliability of the Agricultural Extension and Technological Services among Rice Farmers in the Rural Areas of Tanzania
This study provided insights into the availability and use of agricultural information by small scale farmers in the Mbeya Region of Tanzania. The research used structured questionnaires to interview 240 rice farmers in the Mbeya region. The findings revealed that farmers accessed agricultural information from various agents including local government extension staff, neighbors and friends, advertisements, electronic media including the internet, television, radio, and other channels. The identified technological information application methods included by lectures, field demonstrations, exposure visits to various places, and printed production. The majority of farmers perceived to have dissatisfied (43%), strongly dissatisfied (25%), strongly satisfied (20%), satisfied (8%), and no opinions (4%) concerning accessibility to agricultural information and technological services. The majority of farmers claimed that both agricultural information and technological communication are strongly needed for agricultural performance. The study suggests that government and non-government organizations should collaborate to bridge the existing information-sharing gap between farmers and information providers.
Keywords: extension communication, technological information, rural areas, rice farmers, Tanzania.