Using Information and Communication Technology in Promoting Access to Information Needs of Poultry Farmers in Nigeria: A Case Study of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria.

ONYENEKE, Cajetan O. and SOLOMON-UWAKWE, Blessing and AZUBOGU, Ngozi (2016) Using Information and Communication Technology in Promoting Access to Information Needs of Poultry Farmers in Nigeria: A Case Study of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria.. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 110 - Agricultural Libraries.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Using Information and Communication Technology in Promoting Access to Information Needs of Poultry Farmers in Nigeria: A Case Study of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria.

This paper discussed how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can enhance access to agricultural information needed for promoting poultry farming in Nigeria. Specifically, the study assessed the roles played by the library of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria in meeting the information needs of poultry farmers with the aid of ICTs. The University was purposively chosen for this study because of its strategic and vantage position in the entire South East region of Nigeria and it also has adequate rural ICT infrastructure including a tele-centre where farmers, extension officers and agricultural researchers interact and share knowledge about latest agricultural research outputs. Various techniques were adopted in data collection for this study. Primary data was collected through interviews and questionnaire. Interviews were used to collect data from the farmer. A total of twenty-six (26) randomly selected poultry farmers were sampled and interviews conducted on them. Questionnaire was used to collect data from twenty (20) University library staff. Observation technique was used to collect data at the tele-centre. Documentary review of some previous studies on ICTs and agricultural information in Nigeria was done for secondary data collection. For the data analysis, simple descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentage were used. Findings of the study show that computers/internet, radio, television, and mobile phones have potentials of meeting the information needs of poultry farmers in Nigeria if they are used effectively. Findings show further that radio and television adverts and jingles are most suitable for all categories of poultry farmers in their information sourcing. Mobile phones and television are the most preferred and used communication channels amongst the farmers while the educated amongst them prefer using computers and internet. Moreover, some of the ICT applications such as short messaging services and calls were also used by the farmers. Based on these findings, the researcher recommends that Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Umuahia, Nigeria should: (i) provide adequate ICT facilities to create more avenues and platforms for poultry farmers to source and satisfy their agricultural information needs; (ii) the tele-centre at the University should be expanded and more facilities provided to accommodate more farmers; (iii) the University should increase their internet bandwidth for better and improved internet connectivity.

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