UNDERLYING FACTORS AFFECTING UTILIZATION OF COMPUTER – BASED INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES BY AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION PERSONNEL IN AKWA IBOM, NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA
Keywords:Computer-Based Internet Technologies, Utilization, Underlying Factors, Extension Personnel, Akwa Ibom State
The study sought to examine factors affecting utilization of Computer Based Internet Technologies (CBIT) by extension personnel in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Relevant data were obtained from 180 respondents, while data analyses were achieved with the aid of descriptive and inferential statistical tools. Findings showed that 57.8 % of the respondents were male, 91.7% were married, with a mean age of 43years, while 62.8% respondents had no formal computer training. It was also revealed that, of the nine surveyed CBIT facilities and applications, only mobile phones were highly utilized, while I-pads/laptops and YouTube were the least utilized. It was also revealed that 62.8% respondents indicated that they had a low level of CBIT utilization, while level of CBIT utilisation was found to be influenced by financial, training, policy/personal barriers, social, technical and management factors. Results of tested hypotheses revealed that CBIT utilisation was not influenced by respondents’ personal characteristics, and no significant difference was observed in terms of level of CBIT utilization between field extension personnel (FEP) and supervisory extension personnel (SEP). It was concluded that extension personnel are constrained from using CBIT due to the prohibitive cost of CBIT software and maintenance, inappropriate infrastructure and lack of access to training opportunities. It is recommended, among others, that policy makers should facilitate the evolution of appropriate CBIT policies to enhance access to appropriate tools by extension personnel.
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