RADIO AND MOBILE PHONE OWNERSHIP OR ACCESS BY SMALLHOLDER FARMERS OF EASTERN UGANDA AND ITS POTENTIAL USE FOR PUSH-PULL TECHNOLOGY DISSEMINATION
A baseline survey of ownership or access to radio and mobile phone was conducted in seven districts of eastern Uganda in 2015. The purpose of this survey was to assess the role of radio and modern communication technologies to promote push-pull technology as an integrated management approach to control striga and stemborer and improve soil fertility. The selected districts are where icipe is currently disseminating the technology. The survey was conducted from seven districts where 30 respondents from each were identified for the study. Semi structured questionnaires were administered where data including household demography, ownership and or access to radio and mobile phone was collected. The data were analyzed using STATA (version 13). The findings show that there are over eight (Ateso, Luganda, Samia, Japadhola, Lugisu, Lusoga, Kiswahili, and English) languages spoken in the surveyed districts. Most of the respondents speak more than one language. Overall, ownership of radio and mobile phone was at 82% and 87% respectively with slight differences between men and women. Moreover, those who do not own radio and mobile phones also stated that they have access to one. On average, 83% of the respondents (174 out of 210) said that they do receive text messages, whereas, only 53% of the respondents indicated that they also send text messages. A great proportion of the respondents (91%, 80%, and 77%) received agricultural, weather and market information through the radio. Over 65% of the respondents reported benefiting from the agricultural programs broadcasted via radio. 45 and 50% stated that they benefitted from market and weather information. However, the level of benefit rendered from mobile phones with regard to agricultural, market and weather information was negligible. The study showed that radio and mobile phones are best suited mass communication media to transfer technologies such as push-pull to address cross-cutting problems such as striga, cereal stem borer and low soil fertility. It will strengthen the agricultural extension service delivery at large.
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