Extension Agents’ Use of Mobile Phone Applications for Agricultural Extension Service Delivery in Ebonyi State Agricultural Development Programme, Nigeria
AbstractThis study assessed field extension agents’ utilization of mobile apps for extension service delivery in Ebonyi State Agricultural Development Programme (EBADP). The study employed quantitative research design involving 100 Field Extension Agents who were administered with structure and validated questionnaire. Descriptive statistical tools were employed in the analysis of data generated. The result of the analysis shows that the most utilized mobile apps for extension service delivery were Whatsapp (76%) and facebook (53%). Lowland rice production (65%), cassava/maize/vegetable production (58%), and upland rice production (47%) were the most recommended packages of crop production component that was extended using mobile apps in EBADP. However, these apps were highly underutilized for extension services due to constraints such as unavailability of network coverage in rural area (84%), lack of institutional policy for application of mobile apps in extension service (75%), low ownership of smartphones among farmers (73%), poor framers’ knowledgability on the use of mobile apps (67%), poor internet connectivity (66%), unstable electricity (64%), and lack/inadequate training programmes on mobile apps use for extension services (48%). The study recommended that government should initiate e-extension policy, making mobile apps extension services mandatory for public extension organization; extension organization should develop specific mobile apps that will support extension service delivery; and organizing training programmes for extension agents on the use of mobile apps for extension service delivery.
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