The benefits of ICT tools in the agricultural sector have been promising since its expansion and development two decades ago. ICT helps farmers facilitate access to real-time data on weather forecasts, market prices, planting, and harvesting techniques, and seed varieties among others. This is also true across the socioeconomic structure of developing and underdeveloped countries, including Bangladesh—an independent sovereign country in Southeast Asia.
Bangladesh is a country where the agricultural sector plays an essential role in boosting economic growth. In fact, this sector contributes 13.47 percent to the country’s GDP and 80 percent to its employment rate. Acknowledging the importance of ICT in agriculture, scholars Ghosh, Rafi, Mahmud, and Turn (2022) studied the farmers’ use of ICT as an extension tool in the Diyar region of Chapainawabganj district, Bangladesh through descriptive survey research with 200 respondents. They presented the farmers’ socio-demographic characteristics, the extent of use of ICT tools, and attitudes towards the use of ICT in 4 villages in Chapainawabganj district: Anupnagar, Alatuli Debinagar, and Islampur.
Several independent variables were used in the study: Age, family size, economic status, number of children, land ownership, monthly income, farming experience, cosmopolites, and extension contact. Meanwhile, the dependent variable used was the farmers’ extent of use of ICT tools. While ICT facilitates knowledge sharing among farmers, extension services, researchers, and exporters, the study’s findings show that the use of ICT tools among the farmers in the Chapainawabganj district was low. Radio was the most frequently used ICT tool in the study area to get agricultural information while television ranked first in obtaining non-agricultural information. The primary constraint of the farmers in accessing information was the lack of ICT facilities availability, and the participants’ attitudes towards information and communication technology usage are moderately favorable.
To read the full study, click this link.
Ghosh, M. K., Rafi, S. M., Mahmud, I. H., & Turin, M. Z. (2022). Assessment of the Farmers’ Use of Ict Tools in Farming Practices. European Journal of Applied Sciences, 10(3). 381-395. https://doi.org/10.14738/aivp.103.12395
Photo source: Asia-Pacific Farmers Forum
Article contributed by: Claudine Batimana, ComDev Asia intern