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Evaluating Farmers’ Access to Agricultural Information: Evidence from Semi-Arid Region of Rajasthan State, India

1
Production (SAP), Al Rawabi Dairy Co. LLC, Al Khawaneej, 50368 Dubai, UAE
2
Department of Agricultural & Food Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, India
3
Department of Food, Agriculture and Bioresources, School of Environment, Resources and Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030060
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract

The rural farmers in western Rajasthan State are uneducated and most of the applications of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are demonstrated and run in the English Language. The majority of these rural farmers who are illiterates with a very low level of understanding of the English Language find it difficult to take advantage of the availability of ICT to facilitate their access to information for their farm businesses. This study examined the role of ICT in enhancing the farmers’ access to production and marketing information in western Rajasthan State in India. Primary data was collected from 133 farmers consisting of 71 ICT users and 62 Non-ICT users through questionnaire administration. The results of the Analysis of Variance test regarding the farmers’ access to different types of production and marketing information revealed that the user type (i.e., ICT versus Non-ICT user) significantly explains the differences in farmers’ access to the different types of marketing and production information. These results are consistent with the empirical results of the student’s t-test that farmers’ access to different types of production and marketing information from ICT sources is significantly higher than from Non-ICT sources. Consistently, the empirical results of the multiple regressions revealed that the percentage of production and marketing information obtained from ICT sources had positive significant influence on the farmers’ access to marketing and production information; and that the percentage of marketing and production information obtained from Non-ICT sources had negative significant influence on the farmers’ access to marketing and production information. These results suggest that ICT sources of marketing and production information play a crucial role in the farmers’ access to this information for their business operations. The implication is that proper education and training of farmers (especially the female farmers) about the utilization of ICT sources to accelerate access to information is crucial. View Full-Text
Keywords: semi-arid region; adoption of ICT; agricultural information; farmers; education; India semi-arid region; adoption of ICT; agricultural information; farmers; education; India
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Parmar, I.S.; Soni, P.; Kuwornu, J.K.M.; Salin, K.R. Evaluating Farmers’ Access to Agricultural Information: Evidence from Semi-Arid Region of Rajasthan State, India. Agriculture 2019, 9, 60.

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