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Farmers’ intention to use text messaging for extension services in Trinidad

Narine, Lendel K., Harder, Amy, Roberts, T. Grady
Thejournal of agricultural education and extension 2019 v.25 no.4 pp. 293-306
communications technology, extension education, farmers, information needs, issues and policy, mobile telephones, surveys, Trinidad and Tobago
Purpose: The effectiveness of new extension approaches hinges on farmers’ willingness to adopt innovative ways to interact with extension. Therefore, this study explored farmers’ willingness to use mobile text messaging for two-way interactions with Ministry Extension officers. Design/Methodology/Approach: Guided by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), this study followed a correlational design and survey data were conveniently collected from 200 farmers of Trinidad. Findings: Findings showed most farmers of the sample knew how to send and receive text messages, and many owned Internet-enabled smartphones. In addition, most farmers were willing to communicate with extension officers through text messages. Practical Implications: Ministry Extension should revisit and revise their policies of communicating with farmers. Administrators should encourage extension officers to use SMS to respond to farmers’ requests and information needs. Theoretical Implications: While the UTAUT provided an appropriate framework for understanding farmers’ use of text messaging, researchers should tailor the moderator variables to the country’s context. Originality/Value: This study is the first to look at farmers’ willingness to use two-way information communication technologies in Trinidad. Results showed there is potential for Ministry Extension to use text messaging to communicate with farmers.