Document Type : Regular articles

Authors

1 Instructor Department of Agricultural Extension and Community Development, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O Box3002, Morogoro, Tanzania

2 Professor Department of Agricultural Extension and Community Development, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O Box3002, Morogoro, Tanzania

Abstract

The study investigated the roles of different stakeholders influencing the use of mobile phones in accessing agricultural information in Tanzania. While information is becoming an important ingredient in agriculture, farmers in Tanzania suffer the problem of lacking access to agricultural information. Promisingly, mobile phone technology has become the most valued infrastructure which gives people access to information and services they need. Actually, the subscription of mobile phones in Tanzania is ubiquitous and is ever-growing. However, many farmers are not fully utilizing the potential that the technology prevails. There is an apparent disparity between mobile phone subscriptions which is increasingly being adopted on one hand and their uptake into farming practices. The question is, why farmers not fully utilizing the potential the technology prevails in agriculture and how could they be helped? The research adopted a multi-stage sampling technique whereby, initially two districts were purposively selected followed by a simple random sampling technique to obtain 240 respondents. Data collection methods used was: interviews, key informants interviews, and focus group discussions. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social (SPSS), whereby some descriptive statistics including frequencies, means, percentages and standard deviations were determined. Chi-square tests and regression analysis were also performed to test for the relationship between variables and rule out variables that are the best predictors, respectively.

Keywords

Main Subjects

  1. Aker, J. C. (2011). Dial “A” for agriculture: A  review of information and communication technologies for agricultural extension in developing countries. Agricultural Economics, 42(6), 631 – 647.
  2. Anderson, J. R. and Feder, G. (2007). Agricultural Extension. Agricultural Development: Farmers, Farm Production and Farm Markets. World Bank, Washington DC. 35pp.
  3. Arokoyo, T. (2003). ICTs in the transformation of agricultural extension: the Case of Nigeria. Paper Presented at the 6th Consultative Expert Meeting of CTA’s Observatory on ICTs. 23 – 25 September, 2003. Wageningen, the Netherlands, 55pp.
  4. Carmody, P. (2012). A knowledge economy or an information society in Africa?Integration and the mobile phone revolu­tion.Information Technology for Development, 19(1), 24 – 39.
  5. Chang, I. C. and Hwang, H. G. (2007). Factors affecting the adoption of electronic signature: Executives perspective of hospital information department. Decision Support Systems, 44, 350 – 359.
  6. De Silva, H., Ratnadiwakara, D. and Zainudeen, A. (2011). Social influence in mobile phone adoption: Evidence from the bottom of pyramid in emerging Asia. Information Technologies and International Development, 7(3), 1 – 18.
  7. Eggleston,  K.,  Jensen,  R.  and  Zeckhauser,  R.  (2002).  Information  and  Communication  Technologies,  Markets  and  Economic  Development.  Discussion  Papers  Series  No.  0203, Department of Economics, Tufts University, Medford, USA.
  8. Foster, A. and Rosenzweig, M.  (2010). Microeconomics of technology adoption. Annual Review of Economics, 2, 395 – 424.
  9. Gollakota, K. (2008). ICT use by businesses in rural India: The case of EID Parry's India griline. International Journal of Information Management, 28(4), 336 – 341.

10. Goodman, J. (2005). Linking Mobile Phone Ownership and Use to Social Capital in Rural South Africa and Tanzania.The Vodafone Policy Paper Series No. 3. Oxford University Press, New York. 157pp.

11. Hellstrom, J. (2010). The Innovative Use of Mobile Applications in East Africa.Review Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Stockholm. 115pp.

12. International Telecommunications Union (ITU). (2011). Worldwide mobile cellular subscribers to reach 4 billion mark late.  [http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics] site visited on 25.2.2013.

13. International Telecommunications Union (ITU). (2012). Worldwide mobile cellular subscribers to reach 4 billion mark late.  [http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics] site visited on 24.9.2013.

14. International Telecommunications Union (ITU). (2013). Information Society Statistical Profiles 2002: Arab States, International Telecommunications Union, Geneva. 80pp.

15. International Telecommunications Union (ITU). (2016).ICT Facts and Figures.International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, Switzerland. 83pp.

16. Jain, M., Lim, Y., Arce-Nazario, J. A. and Uriarte, M. (2014). Perceptional and socio demographic factors associated with household drinking water management strategies in rural Puerto Rico. PLOS One 9: e88059.

17. Kale, P., Singh, H. and Perlmutter, H. (2000). Learning and protection of proprietary assets in strategic alliances: Building relational capital. Strategic Management Journal, 21(2), 17 – 37.

18. Klerk, S. and Saayman, M. (2012).Networking as key factor in entrepreneurial success.European Business Review, 24(5), 382 – 399.

19. Lwoga, E. T., Stilwel, C. and Ngulube, P. (2010).Access to and use of Information and knowledge for agricultural development. Enhancing democracy and good governance through effective information and knowledge services. Proceedings of the 19th Standing Conference of Eastern, Central Southern Africa Library and Information Associations. Botswana. Pp, 117 – 132.

20. Meyer, R. L. (2015). Financing agriculture and rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa: progress, challenges and the way forward.[http://siteresources.worldbank. org/INTARD/Resources/Subsidies_as_Intrument_AgFin.pdf]  site visited on20/6/2017.

21. Mittal, S., Gandhi, S. and Tripathi, G. (2010). Socio-economic Impact of Mobile Phone on Indian Agriculture. Working Paper No. 246. International Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi. 559pp.

22. Muthee, J. and Mhando N. (2006).African Media Development Initiative Tanzania.World Service Trust, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 80pp.

23. Neuman, W. (2006).Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. (6th Ed.), Pearson, Boston. 592pp.

24. Nyamba, S. Y. and Mlozi, M. R. S.  (2012). Factors influencing the use of mobile phones in communicating agricultural information:  Kilolo District Iringa Tanzania. International Journal of information Communication Technology Research, 2(7), 558 – 563.

25. Patel, N., Savani, K. and Paresh, D. (2012). Authority of Source effects for voice-based agricultural information service in rural India. [http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm ?id= 2160696] site visited on 20.7.2014.

26. Prahalad, C. K. (2004). Strategies for the bottom of the economic pyramid: India as a source of innovation. Reflections the Society for organization Learning Journal, 3(4), 6–17.

27. Qiang, C. Z., Kuek, S. C. Dymond, A. Esselaar S. and Unit, I. S. (2011). Mobile applications for agriculture and rural development. [http://media.kiva.org/ labs/mobile/2012_Mobile_Applications_for_Agriculture_and_Rural_Develop ment] site visited on 8/1/2013.

28. Rossie, P. H. and Freeman, H. E. (1993). Evaluation: A Systematic Approach. (5th Ed.), Sage Publications, Inc., Newbury Park. 48pp.

29. Sanga, C., Kalungwizi, V. J. and Msuya, C. P. (2013). Building an agricultural extension services system supported by ICTs in Tanzania: Progress made, Challenges remain, International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 9(1), 80 – 99.

30. Saunders, R., Warford, J. and Wellenieus, B. (1994).Telecommunications and Economic Development.(2nd Ed.), Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 62pp.

31. Sife, A. S., Kiondo E. and Lyimo-Macha, J. G. (2010).Contribution of mobile phones to rural livelihoods and poverty reduction in Morogoro Region, Tanzania.Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 42(3),  1 –15.

32. Siyao, P. O. (2012). Barriers in accessing agricultural information in Tanzania with a Gender perspective: The case study of small-scale sugar cane growers in Kilombero district. Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 51(6), 1–19.

33. TCRA. (2011). Reaching to Rural, Connecting the Rural Tanzania through Telecentres. Report on Joint Impact Assessment, Services Need Analysis and Designing Business Model towards Developing a Sustainable Network of Telecentres. The United Republic of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam. 92pp.

34. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD). (2007).The Information Economy Report. United Nations, New York. 386pp.

35. URT (2006).National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty. Vice President’s Office, Dar es Salaam. 151pp.

36. URT (2008).Budget Speech 2008/2009.Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative, Dar es Salaam. 90pp.

37. URT (2010).National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty II: Vice president’s office Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 151pp.

38. Wang, K. Y., Wang, Y., Huang, K. P. and Deng, J.  (2012). Heterogeneous networks and resource Acquisition of SMEs in emerging economies. Broadway, Haymarket, Sydney 46(5):1643–1657.

39. Watson, J. (2012). Networking: Gender differences and the association with firm performance. International Small Business Journal 30(5): 536 – 558.

40. Waverman, L., Meschi, M. and Fuss, M.  (2005). The impact of telecoms on economic growth in developing countries. [http://web.si.umich.edu/tprc/papers/2005/ 450/L% 20Waverman pdf] site visited on 3/12/2014.

41. World Bank. (2005).The Financing of Maize Production and Price Risks in Uganda and Tanzania: AFT Private Sector. Economic Sector Work.World Bank, Washington DC. 67pp.

42. World Bank. (2008).Agricultural Innovation Systems; From Diagnostics towards Operational Practices. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper No. 38. World Bank, Washington DC. 4pp.

43. World Bank. (2010). Rising Global Interest in Farmland. Can It Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits? The World Bank, Washington DC. 17pp.

44. Yu, C. S. (2012). Factors affecting individuals to adopt mobile banking: Empirical evidence from the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 13(2), 249 – 259.