ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION; COMPARATIVE STUDY OF PRESENT AND FUTURE ASPECTS IN DISTRICT KHANEWAL
Keywords:Agricultural Extension, ICTs, Mobile phone, Television, Computer, internet, radio
Agricultural extension is the main driving force in technology transfer from researcher to the end users. But it is facing tremendous challenges due to lack of government interest and financial resources. The prominent issue of agricultural extension is to cover huge number of small farmers in scattered form. Information and Communication Technologies can play a vital role to resolve this issue. The present study was conducted in Tehsil Khanewal to evaluate the type of ICTs used by farmers and their contribution for the development of agricultural extension in future. Data were collected with the help of well-structured interview schedule from 234 farmers and collected data were statistically analyzed with the help of computer software Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Higher variation was recorded which was ranging from (2.9%) to (66.6%) in case of ICTs as a source of agricultural information. The most prominent ICTs device used as a source of agricultural information was TV with exactly two third (66.6%) of the total respondents followed by mobile phone with slightly less than TV (63.6%). Use of Agri. websites and mobile Apps for agriculture consultancy were below bottom line with 4.7% and 2.9%, respectively. Mobile phone was on top ranking with weighted score=959 and mean value=4.12, as an effective tool for getting agricultural information in future. Agri. helpline was on the second number with weighted score=875 and mean value=3.74. It was suggested from our study that there is a need to create awareness among the farmers about the use of ICTs. Farmers must be educated by the extension staff about the use of internet and agriculture mobile apps for fetching the information and finding the solution of the problems which they face in fields.
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Copyright (c) 2020 HAA Rana, M Iftikhar, KM Chaudhry, M Usman, F Mazhar
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