Utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by Agricultural Extension Workers in Niger State, Nigeria

Document Type: Regular articles

Authors

Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension Technology, Federal University of Technology Minna, Nigeria

Abstract

The study examined the utilization of information and communication technologies by agricultural extension workers in Niger State, Nigeria. To achieve the study objective, 206 respondents were proportionately and randomly selected from the three agricultural zones in the State through multi-stage sampling technique. Validated questionnaire with reliability coefficient of 0.81 was used to collect data and data collected were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Result of the study revealed that the respondents acquired one form of formal education or the other ranging from National Diploma to Master’s Degree. Radio was the most frequently utilized ICT by the respondents with 76.7% response rate, while internet facility was the major source of extension information for the respondents. The result of regression analysis further indicated that educational level, place of residence and ICT training had significant influence on the use of ICTs by the respondents. Major challenges to ICTs utilization by the respondents were poor electricity supply and non-availability of ICT facilities in the rural areas as reported by 62.6% and 44.2% of the respondents, respectively. Therefore, it was suggested that young graduates with ICT training should be recruited as extension workers while capacity building training on ICT should be organized for existing extension staff. It was also recommended that internet centres should be established at the village levels to bring internet services closer to rural agricultural extension workers.

Keywords


1)    Adebayo, E. L. and Adesope, O. M. (2007). Awareness, access and usage of information and communication technologies between female researchers and extensions, International Journal of Education and Development usingICT, 3 (1):85-93.

2)    Arokoya, T. (2003). ICT for agricultural extension transformation. Proceedings of the  CTA’s  6th Consultative Experts Meeting of its observatory on ICTs, the Netherlands, September 23-25, Pp.91-97.

3)    Idirisa, Y. L., Ogunbameru, B. O. and Shehu, H. (2013). Use of information and  communication technology (ICT) among extension Workers in Borno  State, Nigeria. Journal of Agricultural Extension, 17 (1): 69-77.

4)    National Population Commission (NPC). (2013). Projected Population Figure, Federal  Government of Nigeria.

5)    Omotayo, O. M. (2005). Information and communication technology in agricultural extension. Emerging issue in transforming agricultural technology in developing countries. In: Adedoyin S.F. (Ed). Agricultural Extension in Nigeria.1st Edition. Ilorin: AESON, Pp145-158.

6)    Tologbonse, E. B., Olaleye, R. S., Kezi, D. M., Onu, R. O., Okmori, E. and Shehu, B. M. (2011). Assessment of the level of use of information and communication technology (ICT) facilities by village extension agents of Niger State Agricultural Development Project. Agricultural Extension Education and the Attainment of MDGS: Challenges and Opportunities. Proceedings of the 16th Annual National Conference of the Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria, 21-24 March, Pp 129-139.

7)    United Nations. (2009). World Population Prospect: the 2008 revision, United Nation, New York.

8)    Yakubu, D. H., Abubakar, B. Z., Atala, T. K. and Mohammed, A. (2013). Use of information and communication technologies among extension agents in Kano State, Nigeria, Journal of Agricultural Extension,17 (1): 162-173.