Use of Mobile Phone by the Farmers in Receiving Agricultural Information from the Input Dealers
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of use of mobile phone by the farmers in receiving agricultural information and to explore the relationships between the selected characteristics of the farmers and their use of mobile phone. Data were collected from 76 mobile phone user farmers in 8 selected villages of Boira and Bhabakhali unions under Sadar Upazila of Mymensingh district during 12 September to 15 October 2009. In order to ascertain the extent of use of mobile phones by the farmers in receiving agricultural information from the input dealers on major aspects, such as availability of inputs, quality of inputs, market price of inputs, appropriate doses of inputs. Each of the aspects covered four dimensions and as such sixteen dimensions were covered. Farmers were asked whether their contacts with the input dealers were regular, occasional or not at all (based on the number of times per season). A 3 point rating scale was used to determine their overall use of mobile phones in receiving agricultural information. Extent of mobile phone use scores for each of the sixteen agricultural input related dimensions were computed by using Mobile Phone Use Index (MPUI). The MPUI for each aspect could vary from 0 to 152, 0 indicating no use and 152 very high use of mobile phones. However, the MPUI of the farmers varied from 20 to 142 for the sixteen issues. More than half (54 percent) of the farmers had medium use of mobile phone in receiving agricultural information from the input dealers while 14 percent and 32 percent of them had low and high use of mobile phone, respectively. Literacy level, annual income, cosmopoliteness, agricultural knowledge, aspiration, self-confidence and attitude towards technology of the farmers had significant positive relationships with their use of mobile phone. However, age of the mobile phone users had significant negative relationship while farm size and organizational participation of the farmers had no relationships with their use of mobile phone.