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Encouraging and Discouraging Factors in Application of Information and Communication Technologies in Agricultural Extension in Isfahan Province of Iran

Gholamreza Pezeshki Rad; Zahra Haji Hashemi; Mohhamad Chizari.

Abstract
The benefits of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for agricultural extension purposes and activities are obvious. The main objective of this article is to identify encouraging and discouraging factors in application of ICTs in agricultural extension in Isfahan province of Iran. This study investigated areas of ICTs application by Extension Workers (EWs), too. The research design was a descriptive method. The population includes 320 Isfahan province EWs that 200 person were choose by census and stratified sampling methods. In our contribution we focused on finding. Face and content validity of the questionnaire was established using a panel of experts consisting of faculty members in the Departments of Agricultural Education and Extension, Tarbiat Modares University and extension officers in the Isfahan Province Agricultural Jihad Organization. Cronbach's Alpha to estimate the reliability of the instrument was among 82.6 - 87.8. On the ranking of principal areas of applying ICTs by EWs in extension “typing letters/report”, and “prepare and protect file on process basic agricultural and rural information”, and “access to the latest agricultural news and information”, had most usage. The main result of the study revealed that the EWs in the study approximately use ICT quite a bit. For EWs ICT Encouraging Items Principal Factor Analysis extracted four factors which accounted for 76.24% of the total variance. And Factor analysis for EWs ICT discouraging Items extracted six factors which accounted for 62.84% of the total variance

Key words: Agricultural Extension; Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); Encouraging and Discouraging Factors; Extension Workers (EWs); ICT Application; Iran



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