INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES ADOPTION IN IRRIGATED RICE PRODUCTION: CASE STUDY OF MWEA IRRIGATION SCHEME

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ABSTRACT
The general aim of the research was to assess Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) adoption in irrigated rice production in Mwea Irrigation Scheme. The study was guided by three specific objectives: to identify uses of ICTs in irrigated rice production; identify barriers of ICTs use in irrigated rice production and examine influence of ICTs use in irrigated rice production in Mwea Irrigation Scheme. The descriptive cross-sectional survey was adopted and it used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The sample size for the study was 362 respondents and the researcher was able to collect 96 completed questionnaires which were used for data analysis. Questionnaires and Key Informant Interviews to collect data. Descriptive statistics were employed to summarise the data and create categories of answers for interpretation. The study found that ICTs were used to source for information on available paddy seed varieties, prices of the paddy seed and packaged rice. The major barriers facing ICT adoption among irrigated rice farmers in Mwea Irrigation Scheme are lack of training, shortage of ICTs expertise and inability to apply and cost of ICTS and/or funds and the most influence of ICT adoption among rice farmers was increase in rice production output, followed by increase of farmers’ skills/knowledge in rice production and accessing agricultural market information. The study concludes that ICTs are used to source for information on available paddy seed varieties, prices of the paddy seed and packaged rice; that major barriers facing ICT adoption among irrigated rice farmers in Mwea Irrigation Scheme are lack of training, lack of ICTs skills and inability to use and cost of ICTS and/or funds and that the most influence of ICT adoption among rice farmers was increase in rice production output, followed by increase of farmers’ skills /knowledge in rice production and accessing agricultural market information.

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