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Assessment of Mobile-Based Extension Service Usage among Medium- Scale Tea Growers in Kandy District, Sri Lanka

Authors:

K. G. M. J. W. Gunapala ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About K. G. M. J. W.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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U. I. Dissanayeke,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About U. I.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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C. E. Munasinghe

Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Deniyaya, LK
About C. E.
Advisory and Extension Centre
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Abstract

Tea (Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze) is one of the major foreign exchange-earning agribusinesses in Sri Lanka, where several mobile-based extension services have emerged to deliver information to tea growers. This study has focused on the present status of mobile-based extension services, perception, and factors affecting the usage of mobile-based extension services by medium-scale tea growers. A survey was conducted over the telephone using a random sample of 56 medium-scale tea growers in the Kandy district. The majority were above 50 years old (77%), and educated up to the advanced level (77%). The majority (59%) were part-time tea growers, having experience (75%) in tea cultivation for ten (10) years or more. All respondents owned mobile phones, and the majority (89%) had smartphone access to the Internet. According to the perception of users, current mobile-based extension services have a problem with knowledge improvement. The results of the Pearson Chi-Square test showed that the awareness of mobile-based extension services was significantly associated with education level χ2 (4, N=56) = 9.951, p< 0.05. The usage showed significant associations with the education level, χ2 (4, N=56) = 12.245, p< 0.05 and Internet access χ2 (2, N=56) = 9.148, p< 0.01. The study concludes the necessity to improve current mobile-based extension services to be more oriented toward technology transfer and develop a single Information and Communication Technology platform to support all media formats for information sharing among medium-scale tea growers.
How to Cite: Gunapala, K.G.M.J.W., Dissanayeke, U.I. and Munasinghe, C.E., 2022. Assessment of Mobile-Based Extension Service Usage among Medium- Scale Tea Growers in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research, 33(3), pp.289–298. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tar.v33i3.8573
Published on 01 Jul 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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