Does Market Information Access Matter in Enhancing Farmers’ Decisions for Improved Livelihoods?
This paper reports on the findings of a study conducted to examine the extent at which agropastoralists in Monduli District access market information for informed decisions making inlivelihoods improvement. The objectives of the study were to determine market information needs, sources used by agropastoralists for accessing market information and to establish challenges agropastoralists face when accessing market information. The study employed multistage and purposive sampling techniques to obtain145 respondents. Data were collected using questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions, and observation. Quantitative data were subjected to descriptive analysis through SPSS and qualitative data were subjected to content analysis. Findings show that the majority of the respondents had large unmet information needs, particularly on products’ processing technology (29%), and on market links (18.6%). The popular channels used were interpersonal communication (73.1%), prints (62.03%), and social gatherings (63.0%). Major challenges deterred effective access to market information were distance from the source (61.1%), inadequate market information sources (39.1%) and inadequate ICT skills (38.2%). This paper concludes that; market information is critical in equipping agropastoralists with knowledge crucial for informed agricultural decision making. The paper recommends that market information repository centres for deploying market information and ICT training aimedat familiarising agropastoralists with market-related information packages be stablished. The paper further recommends that policy making instruments should include policies that specifically engagestakeholders’ culpability in solving the existing farmers’ market information problems.
Key words: agropastoralists, farmers’ livelihoods, agricultural markets, information needs, market information sources
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Copyright (c) 2020 Ephraem Silayo
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