The effect of digital divide on accessibility of Agricultural information among sugarcane farmers in Migori county, kenya
Hamisi, Williams M
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Farmers continuously acquire and gather new information to keep with the emerging trends and technologies in their sector in order to realize increased outputs. They store and share this knowledge amongst themselves and with other interested parties. Access to information that is processed to generate the knowledge is therefore a key factor to farmers. This access is achieved through employment of the information and communication technology (ICT) tools. However, rapid developments in the field of ICT in an economy can create a gap, between those individuals or farmers that are early adopters’and those that are late adopters, which is commonly referred to as digital divide. It is the gap between those with regular and effective access to digital technologies particularly the internet, and those without. The purpose of this study wasto empirically examine the effects of digital divide on information accessibility among sugar cane farmers in Migori County. This was done by identifying information sources and tools whereby a combination of company extension agents and neighbours were the main sources and mobile phones were the most popular ICT tool. To accomplish this study, a survey research was employed in gathering information from the sample population, adopted semi structured questionnaire which was administered to sugar cane farmers in Awendo and Uriri Districts of Migori County. The study found out that digital divide exists among sugar farmers and it is enhanced by factors such as reduced interaction with extension agents and input suppliers. Inadequate communication channels such as television, radios and mobile phones as well as low or no access to internet also increase digital divide. Solutions to the digital divide require actions from various agencies and stakeholders, and the commitments of the government as well as NGOs which can be achieved through public private partnerships.
University of Nairobi