Information needs of small- scale farmers in Tanzania: a case study of Kongwa district, Dodoma Region

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University of Dar es Slaam
This study was conducted in Kongwa district Dodoma region and it examined the information needs of small- scale farmers in Kongwa district. The study employed a case study research design and used a combination of methods to collect both quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative data (Focus Group Discussions, observations, and key informant interviews). Purposive and random sampling techniques were used to select a sample of ten (10) key informants and seventy (70) farmers from two Villages that were purposively selected. Key findings revealed that farmers have a wide variety of information needs including information on diseases, pesticides and pest control, weather conditions, agricultural implements, credit and credit facilities, markets, fertilizers and information on improved seeds, agriculture vouchers, and information on crop farming. Key sources of information used by farmers are the radio, neighbours or friends, village leaders, agriculture extension officers and personal experience. The findings further revealed that small-scale farmers face many constraints, including insufficient number of extension officers, the lack of a knowledge- sharing culture, lack of information services/centres, low level of awareness information sources, time constraints, inadequate funds, the lack of timely access to current and relevant information and language barriers. The study recommends that since the information needs of small- scale farmers are not static but change from time to time, there is a need to conduct periodic needs assessments in order to meet their current information needs. The Government should also increase number of extension staff so that more farmers can be accessed by them.
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Farmers, Small - scale farmers, Information services, Information needs, Kongwa district, Dodoma region, Tanzania
Benard, R.(2011) Information needs of small- scale farmers in Tanzania: a case study of Kongwa district, Dodoma Region. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at