ICTs usage tendencies of public extension workers in Turkey


JOURNAL OF FOOD AGRICULTURE & ENVIRONMENT, vol.9, no.1, pp.618-623, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Page Numbers: pp.618-623


Taking advantage of international economic opportunities a country must create and utilize information and communication technologies (ICTs) in all sectors of its economy. Establishing an ICT infrastructure that supports practice and training is an imperative since e-learning has become an integral to the internal business process in many large organizations ranging from industry to universities. In this study, the ICT capacity of the public extension service in Turkey was analyzed using data collected from 538 extension workers in nine agricultural zones. Frequency, cross-tabulation, chi-square, Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis test, were employed for interpreting the data in the study. Some personal characteristics of extension workers, such as age groups, gender groups and education groups, were used for comparing the extension workers. According to the research findings, cyber/digital extension techniques, mainly Internet and e-mail, have found only limited application in Turkish extension services. In Turkey, just 40% of extensionists regularly use ICT in their work. ICTs usage levels vary according to age, education and gender. The varieties of web pages visited and actors contacted via e-mails during extension activities help to establish a more participatory and interactive structure in agricultural knowledge systems. The Internet is often used by 40.7% of extensionists in Turkey. They spend about 50.3 hours per month on the Internet. The topics accessed on the Internet were agricultural content and information needed for self-directed learning etc. In the last year, 26.8% of extensionists used information from the Internet in preparing some advice for farmers. An average of 18 of extension advice to farmers is based on information from the Internet. In the case of frequent internet users, 38% of their advice to farmers is based on information from the Internet. The most significant factors restricting the use of ICTs in extension were language proficiency of extensionists, the costs of Internet computer hardware and connection and limited knowledge about ICTs.