Use of Information Communication Technologies among Agricultural Extension Officers in Lesotho
AbstractThe study assessed the use of ICTs among public and private extension officers in Lesotho. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 86 public and 19 private extension officers. Data collected was analysed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), using frequencies, percentages, mean, and standard deviation, multiple regressions and t-test. Extension officers use ICT tools to obtain information on new technology (79.1%), preservation of farm produce (79.1%); identify time of planting crops (75.6%), call attention of extension officers (75.6%) and cultural practices (75.6%). Serious constraints to the use of ICTs, as perceived by extension officers were: high cost of ICT (83.7%); poor basic infrastructure (79.1%); non-availability of technical personnel (72.1%), failure of service (73.7%) and non-availability of genuine parts. There is a strong relationship between independent variables and use of ICTs. There is also a significance differences in the use of ICTs between public and private extension officers. It is recommended that policy makers improve national e-readiness and make more ICT tools available and accessible to extension officers. Constraints of high cost, lack of ICT infrastructure and training of technical personnel should be dealt with.
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