The intent of this exploratory observational study was to ascertain the knowledge, experience, and attitudes of Malawian smallholder farmers regarding information and communication technology (ICT). This would establish a foundation for proposing ways in which ICT could best be used to provide information encouraging improved agricultural practices. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its economy is primarily dependent on agriculture, and the bulk of its food supply is produced by smallholder farmers. Non-government organizations such as NASFAM have been working with various international aid donors to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers. The literature review revealed that there had been almost no studies of the farmers themselves regarding their perceived needs for more information, so an interview guide was designed to elicit this basic information. This study reveals that while most Malawian smallholder farmers are literate, they have only minimal knowledge of ICT and a very limited concept of how it might be useful in improving their farming and marketing practices. The research also indicated that the farmers need more sources for financing their operations. The concluding chapter lists efforts that should be undertaken by the Malawian government and non-government organizations in order to maximize the benefits of ICTs for the smallholder agricultural sector.
|Advisor:||Lathan, Calvin A., III|
|Commitee:||Balog, Kevin J., Goldberg, Edward M.|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African Studies, Agriculture, Information Technology|
|Keywords:||Africa, Information and communication, Malawi, Nasfam, Smallholder farmers|
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