A Study on Smallholder Farmers’ Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to Get Access to Agricultural and Market Information

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Information and Communication Technology is believed to play a pivotal role in disseminating information and linking farmers with clients in the agricultural value chain. The purpose of this study was to assess farmers’ use of Information Communication Technology to get access to agricultural and market information. The study was guided by three basic research questions and, Roger’s Diffusion of innovation theory as a theoretical framework. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed in the study. Quantitative data was collected from 80 purposely selected smallholder farmers using interview questionnaires, while qualitative data were gathered from woreda agricultural office, market promotion experts and DAs. SPSS version 20 was used for the quantitative data coding and analysis. The findings of the study showed that Agricultural extension workers or DAs served as the main source of agricultural information, followed by radio and mobile phone. Radio was mentioned as the main sources of market information by the respondents. The study identified that farmers who are selling their products to cooperative associations are getting advantage on market price than those who are selling to small traders. Barriers such as language, lack of operating skills and illiteracy have also been found as obstacles to adopt the ICT technologies. The respondents are found at different stages of technological adoption. With regard to traditional ICT such as radio and ii television, the respondents reached the stage of confirmation by continuing to use the technology for agricultural and market information. However, since the majority of the respondents do not have access to some modern ICT devices and applications such as computer, they are not exposed to those ICT technologies and its application. Hence they have not even reached the stage of knowledge, according to Rogers’ stages of adoption process. For those who have reached the stages of persuasion, especially with regard to mobile telephone, the respondents knew the advantage of the technology and are willing to adopt; but lack of infrastructure such as electricity and network connections have become a problem. The study concluded that modern ICT such as mobile phone are not properly used by farmers to get access to agricultural and market information for various reasons such as lack of technological infrastructure, lack of basic operation and usage skills; and language barriers. Recommendations were also made based on the conclusions drawn from the findings that Ethio telecom should work together with Ethiopian electric power corporation in order to solve electric and network disruption so that farmers can adopt and make use of the ICT technology. Moreover, it is highly recommended that farmers should get ICT basic operation and usage skills in their village on adult literacy program scheduled by the government, so that they will be able to operate and use the ICT.



Smallholder Farmers