Mobile crowdsourcing in crop production for farmers in rural areas of the South Kivu (DRC)

Thumbnail Image
Kahasha, Iranga Emmanuella
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Vaal University of Technology
In most African countries, agriculture remains a key factor in economic development with over half the population living in rural areas and directly or indirectly deriving their livelihoods from agriculture. Agriculture still faces several challenges that prevent it from being able to make its maximum contribution to economic expansion, despite it being the backbone for economic growth. As a major cause for change in all spheres of human lives, information and communications technology (ICT) has played a positive role in different segments of society, such as agriculture, education and community development. However, it could play a greater role in agriculture by assisting farmers who face challenges on a daily basis. Farmers may lack an operative way to gather farm produce data, to obtain information from other interested parties (e.g. agriculture advisers) and to record farm input expenses and expenditure on farm chemicals. These and other challenges experienced by farmers may be solved by gaining ICT access through using available technologies. Farmers need to benefit from earlier unexploited opportunities regarding the provision of cost-effective communication and learn about advanced practices previously unknown to them. In this research study, the researcher studied factors that influence farmers in the adoption of a mobile crowdsourcing portal for agriculture purposes. A model was used to measure the perception of farmers about the technology after having used it for a season. The model consisted of the following variables: quality factors; perceived ease of use; experience; perceived usefulness; attitude toward using; and behavioural intention to use. A test for reliability and validity proved that the model was acceptable. The results of the data analysis indicated that there was a strong relationship between the multiple independent factors and the dependent variable in the model. The researcher concluded that mobile crowdsourcing applications are perceived as enhancing agricultural development in remote areas with regard to data accessibility, the development of crop production, support in the decision-making process and their importance in sustaining agricultural activities.
M. Tech. (Department of Information and Communication Technology, Faculty of Applied and Computer Sciences), Vaal University of Technology.
Mobile crowdsourcing, Crop production, Rural areas South Kivu, Agriculture, Economic growth