Date of this Version
Farmers use mobile phones to access information needed to improve their agricultural practice. However, in cases where they do maximize their mobile phone utilization, they may be hindered by some socio-economic factors which may lead to inadequate access to agricultural information. Therefore, this study investigated the influence of socio-economic factors on famers’ use of mobile phones for agricultural information in Nigeria. The research adopted a survey design. The study population was 9,650 registered farmers in Yewa South Local Government, Ogun State, Nigeria. The proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used. The instrument used was structured questionnaire. Data were collected from 363 farmers; thus the study had 93%. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, Regression and Multi regression analysis. Findings from this study revealed that majority of the farmers use mobile phones daily (75.5%). It was further showed that farmers use mobile phones for specific purposes such as making phone calls (mean= 3.47), and receiving text messages (mean= 2.90). The findings also revealed that farmers use mobile phones to acquire different types of Agricultural information such as fertilizer and pesticide information (mean=2.52), and market information (mean=2.31). High tariff deductions from telecommunication companies (mean=3.53) was a major constrain. Findings further revealed that family size (β= .173; P˂.05), and Farm Size (β= .168; P˂.05) had positive significant influence on farmers’ use of mobile phones for agricultural information while Age range (β= -.031; P˂.05), Gender (β= -.027; P˂.05), Marital status (β= -.18; P˂.05), Educational qualification (β= -.031; P˂.05), Years of farming (β= -.126; P˂.05), Farm income per month (β= -.021; P˂.05) had negative influence respectively. Finally, socio-economic factors jointly influenced farmers’ use of mobile phones for agricultural information (F = 3.81; R² = .58, p < .05). The study concluded that, socio-economic factors collectively contribute to farmers’ use of mobile phones for agricultural information. Therefore, it is recommended that telecommunication companies in Nigeria, in conjunction with the Federal Government, should provide a low tariff plans for farmers. This would enable them to adequately utilize their mobile phones for agricultural information.