An assessment of e-extension platforms in Kenya
Wagacha, Peter W
Ochieng, Daniel O
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The use of ICT in agriculture within developing countrie s has quickly gained popularity among development agencies, the private sector and even the government. ICT for agriculture (ICT4Ag) services such as trade platforms, notification platforms and ad visory/extension services have been developed. This has been catalyzed by the growing numbe r of farmers with access to ICT devices such as mobile phones. Among the available services, advisory/extension platforms have gained popularity among farmers and ag riculture stakeholders in the developing world. These platforms have proven to be of importance to farmers who are curious about new farming methodologies, strategies to improve their yields, breeding techniques, among other factors. The ICT platforms empl oyed include SMS, mobile applications, Interactive Voice Response systems, social media platform such as Facebook and Twitter, chat applications such as Whatsapp, blogs, radio programs and tv programs. The aim of this research was to assess the e - Extension platforms used in Kenya , whose purpose is to advise millions of farmers across different parts of the country using ICT platforms. 28 government e - Extension officers employed to advise farmers using ICT platforms were interviewed. The officers represented 15 different counties i n Kenya. The study made important findings that would inform the government, agriculture extension content providers, and other stakeholders on critical aspects to be considered in deploying and managing e - extension platforms among a population of diverse users within a developing country.
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