Challenges of smallholder farmers in accessing agricultural information in Southern Ethiopia

G.R. Megerssa1*, B.G. Gemede2, A.W. Jarsa2

1Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, Jimma University, Ethiopia 2Rural Development and Agricultural Extension, Wolaita Sodo University, Ethiopia

(Manuscript received 1 September 2019; accepted for publication 27 December 2019)

Abstract: The study was focused on identifying sources of agricultural information and analyzing challenges faced by smallholder farmers in accessing agricultural information in Southern Ethiopia. To achieve the stated objectives the study district was selected purposively from Wolaita zone by selecting five kebeles randomly. At the end, a total of 150 sample households were randomly selected from these five kebeles. To collect the data both primary and secondary sources were used for the purpose of this study. Primary data were collected directly from sample respondents through structured and semi-structured interview schedules, observation and focus group discussions. Secondary data were collected from Woreda agriculture and rural development office report, and other relevant books, journal articles and the Internet. After the relevant data were collected, the descriptive statistics such as mean, frequency, and percentage, and the inferential statistics such as chi-square tests were also used. The findings indicate that female farmers, illiteracy, location of market center, information seeking behavior of farmers, low rate of extension-farmers linkages, inadequate operational skill of aids, language barriers, lack of training, lack of rural electrification, lack of development agents, absence of rural networks, inadequate reading materials, and inappropriate time of broadcasting are the main challenges smallholder farmers were faced with. Therefore, to overcome the challenges strong commitment and reformation should be done in the study area by the concerned stakeholders.