Assessment of factors influencing the use of ICTs in accessing market information among smallholder rice farmers in Kilombero District, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture have the potential to facilitate greater access to market information and it can connect the rural poor farmers with well-established markets. The aim of this study was to assess the factors influencing the use of Information and Communication Technologies in accessing market information among smallholder farmers in Kilombero District. A cross-sectional research design was used and data were collected using structured questionnaire, where 120 respondents were interviewed. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results reveled that middlemen and traders were the most reliable source of market information (43.3%) and middlemen are the one who buy the produce from the farmers (79.2%). Also the findings indicate that 83.3% of the farmers have access to ICTs sources of information while mobile phone being the source that is mostly accessed (50.7%). The cross tabulation results (Chi-square test) found that, there was a positive significant (P≤0.05) effect between access to ICTs sources of information and marital status, sex and income level. Among all farmers who have access to ICTs source of information, the study found that only 45% are using the technology in accessing market information where awareness and poor access and networks being the most challenge among others. The results of the logit model indicate that sex of the farmers, education level, farmer’s income level, awareness of the farmers about ICT’s sources of information and access to ICT’s sources of information are positively significant (P≤0.05) factors influencing the farmers to use ICTs at 5% significant level. From these findings it is concluded that the mobile phone is the most ICT’s source of information that is used in rural areas, also most of the smallholder farmers in Kilombero are not aware of the ICT’s benefits in accessing market information. Therefore, the government and other agricultural stakeholders should find a way that farmers will be trained and being informed on the new technologies that could help them accessing market information, promote the availability of reliable power source and opening up new market. Also Network operators should increase their services in rural areas with strong signal.


M.Sc. Dissertation


Smallholder rice farmers, Kilombero District, Tanzania, Information and Communication Technologies, ICTs, Market information access