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Exploring the ICT Preferences of Personnel from Agricultural Extension Organizations in the Northeastern Region of India

Although the public extension system in India is known to be one of the largest in the world, it still lacks coordinated effort in managing the links between research, extension, and farmers, resulting in non-uniform distribution of agricultural knowledge and technology. A vast majority of the population earning their livelihood through agriculture remain small and marginal farmers. Lack of computerized networks in agricultural extension departments, inadequate skilled manpower for disseminating agricultural information, and increasingly diverse needs of farmers across the Indian sub-continent pose hurdles in effective information transfer to the farming community. The use of information and communication technology (ICT) tools exerts a positive impact on agriculture worldwide by aiding speedy and effective dissemination of agricultural information. Increased awareness of modern ICT tools and their usage will contribute substantially to strengthening the extension network and expand its scope. This study explored the ICT preferences of personnel from agricultural extension organizations employed in public extension organizations in the north-eastern region of India. It found that electronic media is ranked below the conventional extension contact modes of print media and personalized contact regarding its use for disseminating agricultural information by the extension personnel. Demographic characteristics of the personnel from agricultural extension organizations such as sex, age, education, specialization, designation, and work experience were significantly associated with the pattern of ICT use specifically experience with ICT, frequency of use, training, and voluntary use.