Effect of Agricultural Information on Farm Production: A Case Study of Farmers of Nyakayojo Division, Mbarara Municipality
Ahabwe, Arnold Bagambe
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This study is based on the continued use of rudimentary farming practices by farmers as observed by the researcher for the many years he had been participating in his father’s poultry business. The researcher hence intended to find out if farmers obtained information regarding the modern farming practices, before or while carrying out their agricultural activities. The purpose of the study was to assess the accessibility, credibility and ability of farmers to interpret agricultural information, as investigated on Nyakayojo Division farmers, Mbarara Municipality, Mbarara District. The research process was guided by three hypotheses; investigating relationships between accessibility of agricultural information, credibility of agricultural information and ability of farmers to interpret agricultural information with farm production. The study used a sample of 25 farmers selected through non-probabilistic, purposive sampling and data was collected through semi structured questionnaires and interview guides. This data collected was coded accordingly and analyzed using Excel and SPSS (Software Package for Social Scientists). Data was analyzed at two different levels: descriptive statistics, using frequency counts and percentages. The second, bivariate: was application of ANOVA and Spearman’s correlation to test the nature and strength of relationship between the variables. Although the study discloses that majority (69.4%) of the respondents accessed agricultural information, 44.4% of the respondents indicate that the accessed agricultural information is not credible and 43.1% indicate that the agricultural information received is difficult for them to interpret. The study concluded that a big number of farmers accesses agricultural information but most of them are unable to interpret it. Those who can read and interpret the agricultural information find limited credibility in much of the agricultural information accessed. These study results compel the researcher to recommend that government must deliberately allocate more funds to interventions that will increase accessibility but also credibility of agricultural information to close the current gap. As a policy matter, the government of Uganda should start looking at agriculture as business for the elite who can easily interpret, apply and benefit more from improved agricultural technologies. It is the only sure way of developing agriculture in Uganda if all these recommended interventions are adequately implemented.