Agriculture has been the most important sector in the economy of Bangladesh as it comprises 19.6% of the national GDP. 63% of the country’s population were employed in the agricultural sector. However, as the population in Bangladesh continues to grow, the country faces greater challenges in maintaining food production. Although ICT has played an essential role in enhancing crop quality and food production, and delivering agricultural marketing information, the agrarian community in Bangladesh, especially in Charland areas, has yet to discover this opportunity. This is the main reason why the country experiences low returns from their produces.
Given the challenges in maximizing the benefits of ICT tools in the agricultural sector, four scholars conducted a descriptive study to assess the status of the farmers’ utilization of ICT in receiving agricultural marketing information in selected areas of Bangladesh. 120 farm family heads in Kazipur upazilla of Sirajgonj district were randomly selected as respondents. They were interviewed face-to-face to gather primary information and were asked about the ICT tools they use to gather marketing information.
The study shows that 60.83% of the respondents uses mobile phones as their primary ICT tool while 29.17% uses radio and the remaining 25.83% uses television. ICT tools such as laptop, computer, and internet services were being utilized through the help of the farmers’ offspring who are going to college. Though some farmers have access to these tools, others are deprived of electricity facilities and are dependent on other alternative source of power supply such as solar power energy and portable battery.
Despite the availability of ICT tools in Charland areas of Bangladesh, the majority of the farmers in the area are getting marketing-related information from their peer group while others get information from both Union Digital Center and traders.
For more details about the study and the challenges faced by the farmers in utilization of ICTs, click this.
Haque, E., Hoque, M. Z., Islam, S., and Prodhan, F. A. (2021). Utilization of ICTs in Agricultural Marketing Information Delivery in Charland of Bangladesh. Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies, 14(2): 10-20, 2021; DOI:10.9734/ajess/2021/v14i230350
Photo: (c) FAO
Article contributed by Claudine Batimana, ComDev Asia intern