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Lincoln University

1. Lutuli, Ncebakazi. Mobile applications as a tool for participatory extension: a case study of the Lima Farmer Support application : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (Agricultural) at Lincoln University.

Degree: 2019, Lincoln University

Traditionally, agricultural extension in South Africa has been quite linear, focused largely on increasing production, improving yields, training farmers and transferring technology. This traditional approach produced poor results for the country’s small-scale farmers. Shortcomings in the traditional method have encouraged a shift to more participatory extension methods that involve farmers in the innovation process and recognise local knowledge. The biggest drawback of the participatory extension approach is its cost. However, mobile applications can potentially turn farmers into trainers, improving farmer-farmer knowledge diffusion and reducing extension costs. This research examined user acceptance, facilitating conditions and application characteristics as key factors influencing the use of a mobile application developed by Lima, a non-government rural development organisation based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. This investigation was guided by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), and the application’s characteristics were evaluated using an approach that puts ‘People at the Centre of Mobile Application Development’ (PACMAD). Interviews were conducted with eleven of Lima’s facilitators, eleven of their farmer clients, one manager, and two application developers. Information from the interviews was supplemented with direct observation, data generated by the application itself, and document review. NVivo was used to code the data for pattern-matching analysis. Patterns in the data were compared against propositions suggested by the UTAUT model. Where the patterns matched, the propositions were confirmed, where they did not, analysis progressed to explanation and theory building. This study found that the most critical factors influencing facilitators’ acceptance of the application were performance expectancy, facilitating conditions and social influence. Amongst farmers, the key determinants were performance expectancy, facilitating conditions, trust, peer recommendation, and investment priorities. The facilitating conditions most important for farmers were the availability of user-support and access to markets. Prior experience with mobile applications of any sort positively influenced the largest number of factors that directly encouraged the use of Lima’s application by facilitators and farmers. The study also found that farmers who engaged in land-intensive enterprises, such as pigs and poultry, were more likely to adopt the application. Relevance, ease of use and the ability to function off-line were the application characteristics that appealed most to both farmers and facilitators. Based on these findings, this study concluded that mobile applications could support participatory extension if they provide relevant services and actionable advice to farmers; are introduced by a reputable organisation and experienced facilitators as part of a broader initiative linking farmers to markets; and if they select master farmers who engage in land-intensive enterprises and who have…

Subjects/Keywords: South Africa; Technology adoption; agricultural extension; smallholders; Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT); mobile applications; agricultural information systems; 050203 Environmental Education and Extension; 070106 Farm Management, Rural Management and Agribusiness; 170202 Decision Making; 080502 Mobile Technologies; 170201 Computer Perception, Memory and Attention

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APA (6th Edition):

Lutuli, N. (2019). Mobile applications as a tool for participatory extension: a case study of the Lima Farmer Support application : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (Agricultural) at Lincoln University. (Thesis). Lincoln University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10182/10895

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Lutuli, Ncebakazi. “Mobile applications as a tool for participatory extension: a case study of the Lima Farmer Support application : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (Agricultural) at Lincoln University.” 2019. Thesis, Lincoln University. Accessed September 19, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/10182/10895.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Lutuli, Ncebakazi. “Mobile applications as a tool for participatory extension: a case study of the Lima Farmer Support application : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (Agricultural) at Lincoln University.” 2019. Web. 19 Sep 2019.

Vancouver:

Lutuli N. Mobile applications as a tool for participatory extension: a case study of the Lima Farmer Support application : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (Agricultural) at Lincoln University. [Internet] [Thesis]. Lincoln University; 2019. [cited 2019 Sep 19]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10182/10895.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Lutuli N. Mobile applications as a tool for participatory extension: a case study of the Lima Farmer Support application : A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Commerce (Agricultural) at Lincoln University. [Thesis]. Lincoln University; 2019. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10182/10895

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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