Policies Affect the Application of Information and Communication Technologies by Agricultural Extension Service
Problem statement: The majority of rural population in Iran has limited access to agricultural information. However, bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas has been a major challenge for authorities in Iran. Agricultural extension by its nature can have an important role in this regard. Approach: This study aimed at examining the perception of extension specialists in Iran about appropriate policies that can affect the application of ICTs by extension service. A questionnaire was developed and data was collected from 182 extension specialists. Regression analysis was used to analyze the data. The stepwise method was used in the regression analysis. Results: Results showed 80% of the variance in the policies which affect the application of ICTs by extension service could be explained by three variables, advocating the participation of rural population in ICTs project planning, open source system and the integration of conventional information delivery system with new ICTs. Conclusion and Recommendations: Results showed that in order to deploy ICTS as an appropriate technology for extension service in Iran, financial, social, human and organizational sustainability should be achieved over time. Policies that provide affordable access to information need to be carefully identified and examined. Agricultural extension in Iran needs to address the policy and regulatory issues that impact on the use of the ICTs. The issue is not to replace the existing technologies, but the extension service should integrate the conventional information delivery system with new ICTs.
Copyright: © 2009 Seyed Jamal F. Hosseini, Mehrdad Niknami and Gholamreza H. Hosseini Nejad. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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- Agricultural extension
- rural population
- extension specialists
- conventional information delivery system
- open source system