Extent of Use of ICT Tools by Hill Farmers and Associated Social Factors

Manik Lal Roy, Nirmal Chandra, Anirban Mukherjee, Renu Jethi and Kushagra Joshi

Abstract


Hill farmers are the practitioners of complex, diverse and risk-prone agriculture. They are also facing lack of
information dissemination channels which causes a huge communication gap in hills. The lack of information
dissemination channels in hills is highly attributed to the geographical disadvantages of distantly located hamlets
and fragmented household of hills. ICT has a significant role to bridge the gap of information dissemination in
hills. In the present study an attempt has been made to delineate the extent of use of ICT tools by hill farmers and the
associated social factors which influence the extent of use of ICT tools by the farmers. The study was conducted in
Mahatgaon cluster of Hawalbagh block in Almora district, Uttarakhand taking a random sample of 100 farmers.
The data was collected by a pre-tested structured interview schedule through personal interview method. The study
revealed that majority of farmers often used mobile phone (98%) followed by TV (97%), telephone (60%), radio
(57%) and internet (49%) as ICT tools. The ranking of the ICT tools used by the respondents was also done on the
basis of MWS. It was found that mobile was in the first rank followed by television and radio. Internet was found to
be in the last rank as far the usage is concerned. Out of total 14 independent variables studied, it was identified that
factors viz. annual income, no. of crops cultivated, herd size, social participation, extension contact, mass media
exposure and innovativeness were highly associated with the extent of ICT usage at 1% level of significance
whereas factors viz. education, family size, landholding, training attended were associated with the extent of ICT
usage at 5% level of significance.

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