Quality and dissemination of information for strengthening University-farming community engagement in northern Uganda

Information from Universities is important for social transformation in Africa but the ‘Ivory Tower’ university status often constrains effective information sharing with farmers. To address this effective communication for regular flows of information in all directions along agricultural value chains must be established. This research was part of a community action research project to promote university-farmer engagement with a focus on the dissemination channels preferred and the usefulness of the information shared to the farmers. Data were collected using semi-structured questionnaires and focus group discussions with 184 farmers. Findings revealed that inter-personal communication approaches were strongly preferred by farmers and they were most particularly interested in receiving information on pest control, post-harvest technology, value addition and marketing. As information channels, radios were significantly preferred while mobile phones were surprisingly less preferred, despite the relatively widespread ownership. The farmers also found the information disseminated to be useful and relevant if delivered in a timely manner. To sustain the relationship beyond the project, a system that provides some interpersonal connection from a distance is required. Subsequent research is focused on an ICT system that provides a platform for long-term engagement between the university and farmers.

Ekwamu, Adipala
Nampala, Paul
Issue Date:
Jun 30 2016
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
African Journal of Rural Development (AFJRD), Volume 1, Issue 1
Page range:

 Record created 2017-09-26, last modified 2018-01-23

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