Evaluation of web-based online agricultural information relevant to Tanzanian maize producers
Keywords:agricultural information, online resources, maize production, authority, completeness, timeliness, understandability, Tanzania
This study examined the quality of web-based online agricultural information relevant to the maize industry in Tanzania. Selected online sources were evaluated to assess the agricultural information available in terms of four dimensions of quality, namely: authority, completeness, timeliness, and understandability. The study identified a wide variety of web-based online information on maize production, including information on seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, and grain-handling. It was found that the information was of variable quality. Among the 39 online sites studied, several lacked contact information, had outdated content, and contained information that was missing some important details, and none provided weather information. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on online agricultural information in an African context where the agricultural sector is central to national economic development. The online agriculture information evaluation tool used in the study can potentially be of use, in its current form or adapted, to researchers beyond Tanzania.
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