Effects of Farmers’ Socioeconomic Characteristics on Access to Agricultural Information in Ngaka Modiri Molema District of the North West Province
Information plays an important role in enhancing agricultural development. Agricultural extension exchange information with farmers to improve their production, however, farmers use other sources to access the information they need to improve their production. However, their access to agricultural information may be hindered by some socio-economic characteristics. Therefore, the current study identified the effects of farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics, their sources of agricultural information and the constraints they face in accessing agricultural information. A proportionate sample of 120 respondents was selected randomly from the participants. The data was collected through a pre-tested questionnaire and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to perform statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentages were used. On the basis of to what extend different information sources were used by farmers the rank order was used. Further, bivariate analysis was used to test the level of association among selected variables. The results show that the majority of the respondents were over the age of fifty and were males. Most of the respondents went up to high school level of education. More respondents had a land size of up to five hectares. Further, the results showed that there existed a significant relationship between respondents’ age, education and their sources of information. The results further revealed that fellow farmers and extension staff were the major sources of information. However, distance from the extension staff and lack of awareness of new technology were identified as the constraints that the respondents face in accessing agricultural information. The results of the study therefore reveal that there is a need for farmers to access relevant and timeous agricultural information to improve their production.
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