Realigning Library and Information services and extension services to sustain agricultural information services in Zimbabwe: Case of urban farming

CHISITA, Collence Takaingenhamo and CHINYEMBA, Forbes and MATARANYIKA, Tendai and MATIZA, Marshall (2015) Realigning Library and Information services and extension services to sustain agricultural information services in Zimbabwe: Case of urban farming. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 150 - Agricultural Libraries SIG.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1193
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Realigning Library and Information services and extension services to sustain agricultural information services in Zimbabwe: Case of urban farming

Globally the key role of agricultural information services cannot be underestimated because agriculture and food production are key facets of inclusive development. Farmers have dynamic and intricate information needs that can be fulfilled through well coordinated agricultural information services premised on appropriate modern technologies. The world over, access to agricultural information through modern technology has become the epicenter of all facets of the national economy and the struggle for sustainable development. Agriculture is the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy but however its success is premised on a number of factors chief among them being access to timeous and accurate information. The paper will explore information services that agricultural libraries provide to extension officers, for example, provision of information on prevention and cure of plants, animal’s diseases, training, crop assessment and farm management among others. It will further explore the challenges and opportunities that agricultural libraries face in providing for the information needs of farmers in urban areas. It will examine agricultural libraries and extension services nexus in the context of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT’s).The writers will explore the critical role of libraries in promoting access to agricultural information in print and electronic format. Furthermore, the paper will highlight how agricultural libraries can strengthen agricultural extension through utilization of innovative strategies like m-technologies. It will also suggest strategies to realign agricultural libraries and extension services to provide for sustainable development in agriculture. The paper will also look at how the use and optimization of information can lead to better crop, animal and land management. The writers will look at how to get information to urban farmers as a measure to ensure higher yields. It will also do an investigation of the link between agricultural extension libraries and urban farmers. The writers strongly believe in the immense potential of agricultural extension libraries in changing urban farming directly and indirectly. Agricultural extension libraries can help in the sustainable development of urban farmers whose crop yields can benefit many a households and livelihoods. Crucially, the paper will establish the overarching importance of agricultural extension information for sustainable agriculture development. The paper will also look at ways of developing linkages between agricultural extension libraries and urban farmers. Access to agricultural information has been the major driving force of development in agriculture and the paper will look at how dissemination can be enhanced so as to meet the informational need of urban farmers. M-technologies have had a profound and cumulative effect on sustainable development hence their correct and consistent use will give positive results.

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