The effect of ICT on youth participation in the production of pigeon pea: the case of Muka sub county,Makueni county, Kenya
The study evaluated the effect of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in increasing youth participation in production of Pigeon Pea; determined to what extent the youth use communication channels that are used to disseminate agricultural information; whether the access and ownership of Information Communication Technology (ICT) by youth has a relationship to their use in production of Pigeon. This was prompted by the realization that there were low numbers of youth participating in Agriculture. This is a distress call to increased productivity because of the aging farming community. The aged farmers are not ready to embrace modern farming; yet technology is one of the key options to deal with emerging challenges in agriculture. Pigeon pea was chosen as it is one the crops grown in Mukaa and because it’s multiple benefits. Evidence is the fact that Youth have demonstrated an aptitude in developing, adopting and disseminating such technologies. Their leadership role in this sphere is evident in both developed and developing world. Research has been done on use of ICT in agriculture as a way of addressing challenges in uplifting the livelihoods of the rural poor. Work has also been done on use of ICT adoption both as a tool to promote youth as leaders in the ICT sector and to foster broader youth leadership and development programmes. Yet missing is the link between ICTs? Pigeon pea production and youth. The study covered purposively selected two wards of Malili and Kilome; representing both of Mukaa Sub County, Makueni County, Kenya. Trained enumerators were used to administer questionnaires to collect the required data from youth who were purposively selected using age 18≤35; individual youth was randomly sampled, every 5th family was visited and youth interviewed. For analysis, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and excel and software was used to group findings in table, charts and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to test the hypothesis. The study revealed that use of ICT does increase participation of youth in production of Pigeon pea and access and ownership of ICT by youth had little relationship to their use in production of Pigeon. Recommended is need for more research in the same area and capacity in order to optimize the use of ICT in production of pigeon pea. This finding could be generalized to be used with the youth in the whole Mukaa Sub County. KEYWORDS: Information Communication technology; Youth; agriculture; Pigeon pea production; Mukaa Sub County.