Access to and use of metrological information by farmers in Mbarara district
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This study aimed at assessing the access and use of meteorological information by farmers in Mbarara district. The study was carried out in four randomly selected villages in Mbarara district Rugando sub-county and a sample size of 110 respondents was used. The study employed a survey research approach which used a combination of methods to collect quantitative data. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires and interview guide and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Most of the farmers interviewed had accessed weather information. Most of the farmers revealed that they usually get information from the radio (90%) and a few of them from televisions, newspapers, extension workers and fellow farmers. Other farmers also revealed that they use their traditional knowledge and experience to predict weather changes. However, the results from the study revealed that most of the local farmers do not use weather information in their decision making. This was attributed to two major constraints which included poor timing of weather forecasts and less understanding of weather information especially bulletins that are always broadcasted in English which is hard to be understood by local people. It is therefore recommended that management of the meteorological station should make sure that forecasts are broadcast at an appropriate and convenient time for farmers and translated into the local language, Runyankore, which people can easily read and understand to increase the usability of the information.