ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 93 Number 2
Perceived benefits of mobile phone usage among arable crop farmers: Implications for service providers in Nigeria. (129)
The study assessed the perceived benefits of mobile phone usage among arable crop farmers in Oriire Local Government Area of Oyo State. A multi stage sampling technique was used to select a total of 131 arable crop farmers in the study area. Data were collected by administering structured interview schedule on the selected respondents. Frequency counts, percentages, and Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) were used in the data analysis. The result revealed that the mean age of the respondents was 50years. Majority (63.4 %) of the respondents were males, a high percentage (84.70 %) were married and the mean household size of the sampled farmers was 6 members. The major uses of mobile phone by the crop farmers include: contacting local buyers of farm produce (WMS =2.63) followed by receiving information on current market prices (WMS =2.57) and hiring farm labour for farm operation (WMS =2.15). The farmers reported the benefits of mobile phone usage as to include making marketing of farm produce easier, access to timely marketing information and reduced transactional cost. The major constraints to mobile phone usage were poor network (WMS=1.78), high cost of calls making (WMS=1.21), problem of charging the phone battery as a result of erratic power supply (WMS = 1.12) and expenses on recharge cards (WMS = 1.12). Empirically, years of schooling (r = 0.413, P 0.05), households size (r = 0.260, P ?? 0.05), amount spent per week on mobile phone usage (r = 0.348 P ?? 0 .05) had positive and significant relationships with perceived benefits of mobile phone usage. It was recommended among others that extension institutions should improve the dissemination of agricultural information through the use of mobile phone for optimum benefits of arable crop farmers in the study area. Also, the network service providers should improve their areas of network coverage in the rural areas for easy access of information by farmers.
Keywords: Arable crop, farmers, benefits, mobile phone, usage, service provider, Nigeria Agricultural Extension