Allied Publishers Private Ltd
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / eAgriculture Research Group
This study made an attitude assessment of farmers from the rural villages of Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra in the dissemination of agricultural information using Information and Communication technologies. A structured questionnaire and interviews were used to gather information on a number of aspects related to the use of ICT from randomly selected farmers from one Tehsil and key stakeholders (government officials and agricultural industry workers). Two different questionnaires were provided to farmers and key stakeholders. The questionnaire completed by the farmer participants sought general demographic data, education level and information concerning household income and their agricultural activities. Information related to the use of ICT tools in the agricultural sector such as kind of ICT tools, preference of ICT tools, source of getting information, belief on the sources of information, preferences for types of information and the frequency and timings of its delivery. The credibility and applicability of the information that farmers received, the kind of support that was available and their overall expectations from the use of ICT tools was recorded. Key stakeholders were also asked same questions related to demographic data, level of education and the use of ICT tools in the agricultural sector. Additional information concerning their job position, their work experience and what knowledge they required to improve their performance were also recorded. Additionally, stakeholders commented on the challenges that they face when accessing agricultural information and their opinion on improving information delivery. This paper will report on an examination of relationships between the usage of ICT tools and determining factors such as gender, land ownership and technology preference. Findings from this study will be used to develop a framework and system which may more effectively deliver agricultural information and assist farmers to make better decisions about their agricultural activities.