Awareness, access and use of information and communication Technologies by agricultural extension personnel in Abia state, Nigeria
This study ascertained the awareness, access and use of information and communication technologies in extension service delivery by ADP extension personnel in Abia State, Nigeria. The study described the socio-economic characteristics of ADP extension personnel in Abia State; ascertained the extent of awareness, access and use of ICTs by ADP extension personnel in the study area; determined factors influencing the use of ICTS by the ADP extension personnel in the study area. Primary data were obtained with the aid of structured questionnaire from 96 extension personnel in the State. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics, likert scale and probit regression model. Findings showed that majority (65.63%) of the respondents were males with a mean age and household size of 43.5 years and 5.3 persons respectively. About 56.25% of ADP extension personnel had Higher National Diploma Degree; and a mean working experience of 14.4 years. The mean monthly income of the respondents under study was N58,531.25. The findings also revealed that all the respondents were aware of ICTs resource availability since the mean responses derived were greater than the midpoint mean score (2.0). Similarly, majority of the extension personnel had accessed and used many ICT resources with special focus on radio (81.25%) and mobile phones (83.33%). The result of the probit regression analysis showed that the use of ICTs by extension personnel were influenced by age of extension personnel, marital status, level of education, years of working experience, income, household size and effectiveness of extension service delivery. In terms of policy, there is need for an upward review of the emoluments of extension officers. This is because an increased income would increase access to personal acquisition of ICT equipment and skills for the officers.
Keywords: Information Communication Technologies and Extension personnel