Information and knowledge sharing using information communication technology (ICT) application amongst small scale farmers in Lusaka province of Zambia.

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Shawa, Catherine
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The University of Zambia.
Evolution of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has led to various tools and methods being developed enabling communities and individuals to create online social networks known as Social Media platforms. Online social networks are platforms for sharing information and knowledge in real time. The main objective of the study was to evaluate current Social Network platforms being accessed by Small Scale Farmers in Lusaka Province of Zambia and develop an integrating small scale farmers’ information and knowledge into a single online support system. The research study design was qualitative, quantitative method and empirical study was conducted using questionnaires. The target population was 46,000 of which a sample size of 397 (at 95% confidence level) was calculated using Epinfo start calc. Stratified sampling method was applied. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS and Excel. Inclusive, are views from Small Scale farmers’ partners. In this study 91% of people who took part were successful respondents. Using detailed literature review, questionnaire and structured interviews, the study deduced that 97% of small scale farmers searched for information using ICT applications. Of the successful respondents, 51% cited none availability of required searched information. Notably, 61% of information available was believed not to be authentic. However, only 52% of respondent who believe information not being authentic said they required expert advice on available information. Incidentally, 84% of respondents agreed to the idea of having a single integrated information support system.. The study yielded that farmers face various challenges including inadequate information, difficulty in accessing information, none availability of searched material, lack of authenticity and lack of expert advice respectively. The study recommends that deliberate Agriculture ICT policy be in place on small scale farmers’ information. Through this, implementation of single online support system with expert presence be effected. This will lead farmers to access different agricultural information needs.
Thesis of Master of Engineering Degree in Project Management.