Access and utilization of agricultural information by resettler farming households: the case of Metema Woreda, North Gondar, Ethiopia uri icon

abstract

  • The Government of Ethiopia has been implementing a resettlement program in Metema woreda in Amhara region since 2003. Previously in the Derge Regime, another resettlement program has been implemented in 1985 and voluntary settlers were in-migrating even before that. Extension service is mandated to assist them in order to improve the production and productivity of the farmers, enabling them to achieve food security and income generation. This study is aimed at assessing the new and previous settler farmers? access to and utilization of agricultural information from the extension service and as well as to identify the influencing factors. A two stage random sampling technique was employed and in the first stage of sampling, three PAs were selected purposively and the respondents were stratified into new and previous settler categories. In the second stage, probability proportional to size sampling technique was applied to each stratum. Finally, 160 sample respondents were selected using simple random sampling technique and interviewed using pre-tested structured interview schedule. Fifteen percent of respondents were female headed households. Both primary and secondary data were collected and analyzed to understand various aspects of access and utilization of agricultural information of farmers. Qualitative data were used to supplement quantitative data. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis and Tobit model. Except from seasonal extension orientation and mass media, in all cases there was significant difference between new and previous settlers? access to and utilization of agricultural information. In all extension methods, there were highly significant differences between male and female headed households in obtaining agricultural information, in the favor of males. The female headed respondents utilized the obtained information with comparable to male headed households. The agricultural information and support for utilization provided by the extension service were biased towards the previous settlers and males, and consequently the new settler farmers? and female headed households agricultural information access and utilization was very limited. The survey finding reveals that the current extension service has limited responsiveness, gender sensitivity and poor potential of addressing farmers? need. In the absence of responsive extension service that understands and addresses interests of various groups of farmers, the purpose of resettlement program would not be fulfilled. Result of the econometric model indicated that, settlement category, education level, settlement orientation, innovation proneness, production motivation, age of household head, frequency of market visiting and credit access had influence on the access to and utilization of agricultural information. The overall finding of the study underlined the importance of well organized agricultural information provision and supporting utilization of information through the delivery of credit and technologies based on the farmers? problem and need. Institutionalized and genuine resettlement program information provision in the highland also required. Therefore, policy and development interventions should give emphasis to improvement of such institutional support system so as to enhance the production and productivity of agriculture and to achieve the desired poverty reduction strategy in the resettlement program

publication date

  • 2008