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Influence of information literacy skills in accessing agricultural information: with special reference to paddy farmers of Ampara district, Sri Lanka

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Mashroofa, Mohamed Majeed (main author), Wathmanel Senevirathne (author)
Conference paper
Publication Date:
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, The Hague, Netherlands.
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
communication methods, farmers, government, information needs, literacy, productivity, rice, access, communication gap, Sri Lanka (Southern Asia), information communication technology, verbal communication
17 pages., via depository, IFLA Library., Access to information plays crucial role in getting best agricultural products with some other factors such as soil, weather, biochemical products and their application. Several types of information are required by farmers of Sri Lanka for agricultural activities. This study focuses on the relationship of information literacy and the enhanced access to agricultural productivity. Therefore, this research aims to determine the information literacy level of paddy farmers of Ampara district in Sri Lanka in accessing agricultural information and explores how much this support the enhanced agricultural productivity. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select sample paddy farmers of Ampara district. 57 farmers were selected as the sample from all nineteen D.S. divisions of Ampara as three from each division. Survey method was used to collect data for this study. Questionnaire and Interview were used as research instruments. District Officer of Agriculture was interviewed and farmers were administered with questionnaires. Result was analyzed mainly quantitatively by using SPSS and Mini Tab. Qualitative analysis is also carried out. This study resulted that majority respondents preferred verbal communication, print sources and the use of computer and internet is reported poor. Communication gap, poor communication services, lack of libraries, lack of information literacy skills, poor infra structure and inadequate extension services might have caused poor access to information. Department of Agriculture under Central government and Agrarian Services Board under provincial ministry serve to these farmers as much as possible to provide information. However the information received by farmers indicated that it is not to the expected level. Therefore, it is concluded that government and local authorities should develop the existing services, information and communication systems to facilitate the farmers to access relevant information on time in order to gain best agricultural productivity. Though the perception of farmers indicates that they are information literate, facts and information related to format, mode and sources they preferred shows that these farmers are not much skilled on information literacy. This study recommends educating the farmers on access to information. Information Literacy should be taught to the farmers from the grass root level.