Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Rural Smallholder Farmers' Awareness and Use of ICT-Based Market Information Sources in South Africa

Version 1 : Received: 8 May 2020 / Approved: 9 May 2020 / Online: 9 May 2020 (08:46:42 CEST)

How to cite: Nwafor, C.; van der Westhuizen, C.; Ogundeji, A. Rural Smallholder Farmers' Awareness and Use of ICT-Based Market Information Sources in South Africa. Preprints 2020, 2020050159 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0159.v1). Nwafor, C.; van der Westhuizen, C.; Ogundeji, A. Rural Smallholder Farmers' Awareness and Use of ICT-Based Market Information Sources in South Africa. Preprints 2020, 2020050159 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0159.v1).

Abstract

The utility of ICTs for providing market information to rural smallholder farmers is growing rapidly, and access to reliable information and sources is considered crucial for beneficial market interaction. This study explored critical factors contributing to usage of electronic sources for market information search among rural smallholder livestock farmers. Using data collected from 129 respondents through a non-random sampling technique; descriptive and regression analysis was applied to identify key factors responsible for their awareness and use of ICT-based market information sources. Level of education was found to be a driver of awareness of ICT-based sources, and use of these sources was influenced by farmer-specific characteristics such as household size, education, income, membership of cooperatives and herd-size. The key ICT tools used was radio and mobile phones, widely available in the study area. Identified constraints to use of these ICTs include cost and patchy network signals in some areas. Policy interventions to reduce cost of mobile phone services and expansion of base stations; including practical recommendations for improved programming in radio and television offerings, are considered indispensable for greater uptake of e-information sources among smallholder livestock farmers.

Subject Areas

awareness; livestock farmer; ICT-source; market information; rural; smallholder

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