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Assessment of information needs of rice farmers in Tanzania; A case study of Kilombero District, Morogoro
Date of this Version
This paper aims at assessing the information needs of rice farmers in Tanzania using rice producers in Kilombero District as a case study. The study was carried out in four purposefully selected villages in Kilombero District, Morogoro Region. The study used a sample size of 80 respondents.The study employed a case study research design and used a combination of methods to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Data were collected by using documentary review, questionnaires, focus group discussions and personal observations. Quantitative data were analysed by using SPSS, while qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. The results of the study revealed that rice farmers have a wide variety of information needs including information on marketing, weather condition, agricultural credit/loan, new seeds,storage method,planting methods, diseases and pest control, and pesticide availability and its application. Key sources of information used by farmers are their family or parents, personal experience, neighbors and agriculture extension officers.
The study findings also revealed that the barriers to accessing agricultural information in the study area are associated with lack of information services, inadequate number of extension agents, inadequate funds, lack of awareness of information sources and information not easily accessible. It is therefore recommended that there is a need for government and other institution responsible to lay more emphasis on sustainable practices on information accessibility to rice farmers and also to disseminate information to them and address their information needs properly.