Information and communication technologies (ICTs) and women empowerment are two central topics in agriculture. ICTs have been studied in the agricultural context as these are conduits of accurate and timely knowledge that could improve agricultural practices. Meanwhile, focus on women farmers in agriculture has been evident, proving their critical role and participation in the industry.
Recognizing the importance of both ICTs and women farmers, scholars Jha and Kashyap (2022) conducted a survey to determine the ICT utilization patterns of women farmers in the district of Uttarakhand in India. One hundred and twenty randomly selected women farmers served as respondents. It was revealed that all women had mobile phones and used them once or twice daily. However, they all used these mobile phones mainly to communicate and maintain relationships. Almost all also said their mobile phones were for entertainment. Fewer respondents used their mobile phones for agricultural purposes. In such context, they were primarily seeking weather information and the latest agricultural information.
Meanwhile, only ten respondents said they owned a computer and relied on it to maintain relationships and gather general information. Forty-five respondents said they could access the internet primarily for communicating and maintaining relationships. Furthermore, the survey results also revealed that higher ICT use could be observed among those with more education, higher family income, more media devices, and higher social participation. In contrast, those with larger families and older used ICTs the least.
The survey results meant that more could be done to encourage women to use ICTs for agricultural purposes. Policymakers, academics, and administrators must have concerted efforts to ensure women farmers’ access and use of ICTs. Continuous education and improvement must also be made to ensure ICTs effectiveness and efficiency in disseminating agricultural information and advancing women’s role and participation in agricultural activities.
Source: Jha, S. & Kashyap, S.K. (2022). Utilization pattern of ICT tools among farm women in Uttarakhand. Journal of Community Mobilization and Sustainable Development, 2, 321-326
Photo Credit: Sarihdayan. CC-BY 3.0.