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Smallholder farmer access to ICTs and digital content: Experiences from Uganda

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dc.contributor.author D.P., Mirembe
dc.contributor.author J.T., Lubega
dc.contributor.author B., Ssekkito
dc.contributor.author B., Namagembe
dc.date.accessioned 2024-06-04T07:09:46Z
dc.date.available 2024-06-04T07:09:46Z
dc.date.issued 2023-03-31
dc.identifier.citation Mirembe, D.P., Lubega, J.T., Ssekkito, B., Nambogo, F. and Namagembe, B.(2023). Smallholder farmer access to ICTs and digital content: Experiences from Uganda. African Journal of Rural Development 8 (1): 27-39. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 2415-2838
dc.identifier.uri https://pub.nkumbauniversity.ac.ug/xmlui/handle/123456789/1186
dc.description Research article en_US
dc.description.abstract The agricultural sector is the largest employer in Uganda, and it remains essential to secure the livelihood of the Ugandan population. According to a Price Water House Coopers report, 37% of Uganda’s GDP is dependent on the agricultural sector. Likewise, according to the Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS) 2019/20, the highest percentage of the working population (68.1 percent) work in the agriculturesector and taking the largest share in employment (47 percent). Despite the advancement in Information Communication Technology, the majority of small-holder farmers have limited access and usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The limited access and usage of ICTs such as smart phones constrain farmers in access to information, extension services, quality markets,among others,resulting into sub-optimal productivity and income. Studies continue to show that the use of ICTs in agriculture has been linked to farmers’ enhancement in decision making, access to quality markets, improved price determination, enhanced farm level decision making and access to quality inputs,among others. The use of ICTs enables farmers to make informed decisions, supports adoption of new innovations and improvement of farmers entrepreneurs’ abilities. This study focused on establishing the extent of farmers usage of digital platforms to acquire knowledge in the five regions of Uganda (Eastern, Western, Central, Northern, Rwenzori). The study adopted a mixed methods research approach which involved both qualitative (desk review, key informant interviews and focus group discussions) and quantitative (surveys) data collection methods. The qualitative data were analyzed using thematic content analysis while quantitative data wereanalyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found that through trainings and sensitization, farmers were able to access information using ICTs such as radio, television and social media to access and share vital information about their produce. Thedesired content delivery modes or platforms range from social media platforms, farming television programs, radio programmes, SMS platforms and digital media platforms in public places. The results revealed that only 30% of the farmers had not attended any agricultural training in the last 24 months, majority of the farmers (69.4 -79.60%) indicated to listen to radio daily, a total of 568 (62.69%) who were using other platforms also indicated that they have never surfed the internet, and 486 (53.64%) of the farmers who were accessing other platforms indicated never to have used any social media Cite as: Mirembe, D.P., Lubega, J.T., Ssekkito, B., Nambogo, F. and Namagembe, B.2023. Smallholder Farmer Access to ICTs and Digital Content: Experiences from Uganda. African Journal of Rural Development 8 (1): 27-39.Received: 10 March2023Accepted: 20 March2023Published: 31March2023 platform. A total of 535 farmers preferred to receive information via radio and 452 preferred television broadcasts mainly in the evening time of the day. The study results show that majority 827 (91.38%) preferred agriculture content be delivered in local languages followed by English language with 442 (48.79%). The key challenges constraining access and usage of ICTs among smallholder farmers include; lack of appropriate digital skills, limited awareness of ICTs, high costs of devices and internet bundles, lack of appropriate digital content,among others. Generally, the use ICTs varies across different elements such as time of the day, language used, technology used, content delivered, agriculture value chain,among others. Keywords:ICTs, smallholder farmers, Uganda en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher African Journal of Rural Development, Vol. 8(1) en_US
dc.subject ICTs en_US
dc.subject Smallholder farmers en_US
dc.subject Uganda en_US
dc.title Smallholder farmer access to ICTs and digital content: Experiences from Uganda en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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