Assessment of constraints in information and communication technology use in Banana production; A Case of Kimilili, Bungoma County, Kenya
Information and communication technologies play an important role in development, the world over, for disseminating information. However, this potential has not been fully exploited, leading to low productivity in Banana production. This study‘s overall objective was to assess the constraints in ICT use by banana farmers of Kimilili subcounty. The variables selected included sources of information constraints, ICT use, yield and adoption. The methodology was a household survey accomplished through questionnaires. A total of 135(one hundred and thirty five) respondents were identified through systematic random sampling, from a population of 209. The results indicated that, ICTs are used by very few farmers (38% use mobile phones and 1% use computers). On services, 14.1% use SMS service and 45.3% use voice calls. 97% of farmers find information accessed not applicable. Lack of knowledge was one of the major problems preventing farmers from attaining food self sufficiency. Three constraints significantly influence comparing with 5% level of precision ICT use: tool availability (inverse) with p value at 0.001(0.1%), infrastructure (inverse) at 0.011 (1.1%), and geographic remoteness (positively) at 0.004 (0.4%). Mobile phone users exhibited a variety of benefits, but the difference between them and non users were not significant. The use of mobile phones enables the users to have higher yields with a small margin of 4%. There are more adopters among ICT users than non users with a difference of 1.6%. ICT use influenced adoption positively. The study recommends that national and county governments should facilitate digitization of extension messages, improve infrastructure and carry out trainings for extension agents and farmers.