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Information needs and barriers of rural smallholder farmers in developing countries: A case study of rural smallholder farmers in Malawi

Collection:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Contributor:
Phiri, Austine (main author), Chipeta, George T. (author), Chawinga, Winner D. (author)
Format:
Online journal article
Publication Date:
2019
URL:
https://doi.org/10.1177/0266666918755222
Published:
SAGE Journals
Location:
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
communication analysis, communication barriers, extension, information behavior, information needs, information sources, interpersonal communication, small farmers, technology, digital divide, Malawi (Africa, Eastern)
Notes:
14 pages., via online journal., The purpose of the study was to investigate the information needs and barriers of rural smallholder farmers in Mzimba North in Malawi. A mixed methods approach was adopted for the study and the Wilson’s Model of Information Behaviour (1996) guided the study. A questionnaire and focus group discussion guide were used to collect data from 202 rural smallholder farmers. The study found that the major information need of rural smallholder farmers was crop husbandry as revealed by the majority of rural smallholder farmers 149 (77.6). The study found that majority of rural smallholder farmers 180 (94.8%) were aware of information sources. The study also found that the predominant information sources consulted by rural smallholder farmers were personal experiences as indicated by the majority of rural smallholder farmers 185 (96%). The major challenge faced by rural smallholder farmers was lack of mobility as revealed by the majority of rural smallholder farmers 147 (76.6). The study recommends that the Department of Agriculture Extension Services (DAES) should empower the social structures such as families in rural settings with agricultural information.