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Information Technology In Agriculture

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Role of timely and relevant information, ad ineffective linkages among agricultural researchers, etension workers, frmers and other actors in research and extension (Minishi-Majanja, 2005)In an effort to rectify this anomaly, te Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, cmmissioned a study to look into the deficits of the existing "information landscape" in the agricultural sector and suggest strategies for improving the situation The study found out that the inadequate information provision was partly because there were no systematic procedures for information collection, aalysis, sorage and dissemination, ad partly because each agency collects its own data with little or no coordination with the rest.

Iformation exchange and dissemination, terefore, rmain serious constraints on the agricultural production potential in the country. Te rapid development and applications of the Internet and other forms of ICTs in the agricultural sector have presented a whole new dimension in the transfer and access of agricultural information, wich previously was difficult and expensive to obtain. I is expected that these technologies will improve communication and provision of agricultural information among agricultural researchers, etension workers and other involved in research and extension.

Trough the application of ICTs, fee flow of information would be enhanced and this could facilitate the adoption of agricultural technologies ultimately improving agricultural productivity in the country. I should, hwever, b noted that for ICTs to improve the provision of agricultural information other inputs and/or conditions such as skill development, plicy and regulatory framework, ad conducive infrastructure are necessary (Ajit, 2003). Te lack of computer and Internet skills by the majority of workers in the field of agriculture is a major constraint to of ICTs.

Athough there is a little number of the agricultural researchers who have good computer and Internet skills, te majority needed more training on use of Internet, eectronic journals and CD-ROM databases. Lck of comprehensive national and institutional policy on ICTs is also mentioned as a constraint to diffusion of ICTs in the agricultural sector. I addition, lck of monitoring and evaluation system made it difficult to know the performance, efectiveness, ad efficiency of the adopted ICTs and whether they were sustainable in the long run. Mny ICTs...

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