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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4743; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124743

Mapping ICT Use along the Citrus (Kinnow) Value Chain in Sargodha District, Pakistan

Agricultural Information Institute (AII), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Haidian, Beijing 100081, China
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Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

The value chains of fresh fruits and vegetables are sensitive to timeliness and require a quick information flow. Keeping in view its importance, this study has focused on mapping the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) along the citrus value chain, including information channels being used, factors influencing ICT use, challenges, and weaknesses faced by value chain stakeholders. Cross-sectional data were mainly collected by structured and semi-structured interviews with value chain stakeholders and key informants. The citrus industry is very important for Pakistan as it is the 4th most important export commodity. There are two product flows in the citrus value chain, one is more traditional with abundant intermediaries, in which contractors, commission agents and wholesalers are the main stakeholders, and the other is export-oriented with processors and exporters (P&Es) as the main stakeholders. It has been noticed that growers are not using ICT extensively at the production stage. Logit analysis has proved that education significantly has influenced ICT use while age has a negative impact on ICT use at the production stage. Mobile usage is quite common at the production stage and intermediary trade; however, the use of the internet is very limited as the majority of intermediaries have lower education. Moreover, both mobile phones and internet are used to a significant extent along the export oriented flow. The results have indicated that there is a vast digital divide among value chain players. Processors and exporters are high ICT users followed by growers and intermediaries. In order to develop an effective information system, all the stakeholders in the chain need to have a certain level of knowledge and expertise of ICT use to improve information use efficiency. This study presents a whole picture of ICT use along the citrus value chain as well as challenges faced by different stakeholders. It also provides suggestions for policymakers to establish an ICT-based information system and enhance ICT adoption at each stage, especially production and intermediary trade, which can further increase growers’ market participation and improve market efficiency. In addition, it is necessary to make policies under the value chain framework rather than just focused on one stage or one stakeholder. View Full-Text
Keywords: ICT use; citrus; value chain; logit analysis; Sargodha; Pakistan ICT use; citrus; value chain; logit analysis; Sargodha; Pakistan
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Waqar, M.; Gu, R.; Nie, F. Mapping ICT Use along the Citrus (Kinnow) Value Chain in Sargodha District, Pakistan. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4743.

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