Factors affecting the adoption of mobile phone technologies by smallholder dairy farmers in Limuru sub-county
With the high penetration of mobile phone networks in Kenya, there is bound to be appreciation and adoption of these technologies’ in agriculture. According to a GSMA Report 2014, 96% of the population is covered by a mobile network. The study also suggests that there are still a few millions of unconnected Kenyans predominantly in the rural areas with a market penetration of only 33% in these areas. Rural users are likely to be farmers; entrepreneurs have been quick to pick up on the opportunities for engaging rural people in mobile services. This study was done to determine adoption of mobile phone technologies among smallholder dairy farmers. The main objective of the study was to determine the existence, adoption and flow of mobile technologies in the dairy sub-sector. Literature was collected from various authors and publications who focused on mobile phone technologies, dairy farming practices as well as factors influencing adoption of these technologies. This research used the descriptive research design which involved acquiring information on a group of dairy farmers about their characteristics, opinions, attitudes and previous as well as current experiences. To achieve this, the main data was collected using structured questionnaires. Strata comprised of county assemblies within Limuru Sub-County. The study revealed that the factors that were considered among the variables and demographics which included innovativeness, reliability, penetration, relevance and affordability. The study found that respondents were aware of various mobile phone technologies and also demonstrated that respondents had a high adoptability towards attributes that these technologies. A good majority of the respondents indicated using mobile phone technologies for payment, animal health and complementary dairy services. The findings also found that nearly all respondents are positively adoptable to these technologies. The researcher recommended that similar studies can be carried out in other counties with a high concentration of dairy farmers and farmers are on the look-out for new mobile phone solutions to assist in animal health. The study found that there are number of mobile phone technologies in use largely for extension services and animal health. Adoption of these technologies dependent on their reliability, relevance and information provided about them. It is recommended that those developing these technologies work closely with farmers to find out what challenges are currently in existence. Learnings from countries that adopted mobile phone technologies widely in their dairy farming can be used and adapted by Kenyan dairy farmers and other forms of farming too.