Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Availability and Usage of ICTs and E-Resources by Livestock Researchers in Tanzania: Challenges and Ways Forward

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Availability and Usage of ICTs and E-Resources by Livestock Researchers in Tanzania: Challenges and Ways Forward

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted to investigate the accessibility and use of e-resources in Tanzania. The methodology adopted for the study was survey in which questionnaires, interviews and observations were used in collection of the data. A total of 50 respondents participated in the study. The study revealed that livestock research institutes in Tanzania had very few e-resources for their researchers. It was concluded that most livestock researchers were not aware of most of the e-resources available hence they could not access and use them effectively in their research work. The researchers recommended for improvement of internet connectivity to enable efficient information searching from the internet.

Key words: ICTs; E-Resources; Developing countries; Tanzania

INTRODUCTION

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be defined as the techniques, methods and tools used to access information and to communicate with others. The term refers to electronic and computer based technologies. These are the technologies whereby the information is accessed and used in electronic format through the use of computers. Tanzania like many other developing countries is adopting the use of ICTs in almost all sectors of economy including the Livestock sector. This is because information and communication is a very crucial asset in all economic sectors of development in a particular country. Tumsifu (2002) has reported that, this technology has not gained the same momentum in Africa compared to other developing countries in its use and application; the African countries have been described as lagging behind in their adoption and use of ICTs.

The application of ICTs, particularly computer technology for information handling is increasingly important in Tanzania. Kapange (2002) had reported that, ICTs are crucial in facilitating communication and access to information for agricultural and rural development. Since agriculture is the national priority sector, it is one of the potentially beneficial areas for the application of ICTs for economic transformation. The development of networks and use of lowcost ICTs will enhance timely access to accurate and reliable information. Agriculture in Tanzania contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), export earnings and employs the vast majority of the working population. 70% of the export earnings are from the agricultural sector, which provides employment to about 80% of the Tanzanian population (M lambiti and Isinika, 1999). However, there are many constraints that hamper agricultural development, some of which include; poor farming techniques, poor transportation, diseases, unreliable market and poor ICT infrastructure. The poor ICT infrastructure greatly affects all areas of agricultural development, including training, extension services, marketing, documentation and dissemination of related information.

This paper discusses the status of ICTs and e-resources in livestock research institutes, availability of ICTs and e-resources, access and usage of electronic resources (e-resources), challenges and ways forward towards the use of the ICTs and e-resources. Livestock researchers have their own information needs which determine the sources of information they use. This influences their information seeking behaviour especially in electronic environments and their attitudes towards the use of ICTs. Siatri, (1998) suggested that, narrowing the focus of the study provided a better understanding of the information tools used by the particular group of scientists and a more detailed and accurate profile of the users leading to an in-depth understanding of the information seeking process.

OBJECTIVES

General objective

To investigate the extent to which livestock research institutions facilitate access and use of electronic information by livestock researchers in Tanzania.

Specific objectives

1. …

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