Factors Influencing Use of Mobile-Based ICTs among Cassava Value Chain Operators in Southwest, Nigeria
Heterogeneity in the socioeconomic characteristics of value chain operators is one of the probable determinants of adoption of Mobile-based ICTs. The study assessed use and drivers of mobile-based ICTs among cassava value chain operators in Oyo and Ogun States in Southwest, Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 327 cassava value chain operators (216 producers, 10 Assemblers, 42 processors, 59 marketers) through a non-random sampling technique. Descriptive and inferential statistics [such as Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression] were applied to describe the socioeconomic characteristics and assess key factors responsible for adoption of mobile-based ICTs among the selected operators in the study respectively. The study finds that majority of the operators belong to middle age group (49-54years), had at least primary school education, household size of about 6 persons, small land holding category (4.04±2.27ha), 20 years of farming/operating experience, no access to extension services (91-100%), no access to credit (74-88%) with varying levels of iincome. Mobile phones that have internet connectivity (smartphones) are the most widely used ICT-based device among the value chain operators. The OLS results revealed level of formal education, access to extension visits, level of awareness, household size and group membership had significant effects on use of mobile-based ICTs. Major barriers to adoption of mobile-based ICTs include; relatively high prices, limited availability of network signals, low levels of ICT literacy and low awareness of relevant software used in cassava value chain. Policy interventions on awareness creation, reduction in cost of mobile-based ICTs are indispensable for greater uptake of the technology among smallholder cassava-value chain operators.
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