The role of information in improving fruits marketing for small - scale farmers in Lushoto district, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Information resources must be harnessed, however at the present the real challenge is not producing and storing information but getting small scale farmers to use information in improving performance in marketing of fruits. This study examined the role of information in improving the marketing of fruits among small-scale farmers in Lushoto district, Tanzania. The study used a sample of 118 respondents drawn from two villages using a cross-sectional design that integrated both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The study collected data through the deployment of structured self administered questionnaires that small scale fruits farmers filled in, face - to - face interviews with three key informants, and personal observations. Quantitative data were analysed with the help of the Statistical Product and Services Solutions (SPSS) version19 and Microsoft Excel 2007, whereas qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. The study findings, show that the informal sources of information small-holder farmers use to obtain marketing information include relatives, fellow farmers, brokers/middle men and traders. The channels of information farmers relied on for information were found to be informal and included traders, customers and relatives. On the whole, the study established that information helped small-holder farmers understand the quality and quantity of fruits required by the market in addition to equipping them with the ability to negotiate forcefully with buyers. On the basis of these findings, the study recommends that the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) in corroboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives should develop an agricultural marketing information strategy to cover famous crops, which are the mainstay and source of livelihood of small-scale farmers in different localities. Moreover, both internal and external markets should be promoted with relevant marketing information disseminated to the farmers through various formalised channels that are easily accessible to the farmers such as community radios and notice boards. Also, rural farmers should be educated on and encouraged to use market information from formal sources such as village leaders and ICT-based resources instead of depending entirely on informal sources which at times could be highly unreliable.
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Agriculture, Information services, Fruit Marketing, Small scale farmers, Lushoto district, Tanzania
Ngogo, J. J. (2013) The role of information in improving fruits marketing for small - scale farmers in Lushoto district, Tanzania, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam Available at (