Analysis of factors influencing information access among rural communities in Tanzania
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Information access in rural communities of Tanzania is very important as it keeps its members aware of what happened and what happening in the world. This importance can not be undermined since it helps farmers and other members of the rural community to make the right decision about their activities. Rural community areas are surrounded by many factors which in one way or another influence or hinder accessibility of information. Several works have been done on analysis of these factors; however most of them were conducted a number of years back. This study focused on providing the current survey on analysis of these factors. Specifically, the study analysed the following factors: source of power, penetration of mobile phones, subscription to networks, languages used and level of education, policy, government support, government administration and farming system. Mwanga District was used as a study area where descriptive research design was applied. Primary data were collected from farmers by using questionnaires while secondary data were collected from village reports and other research reports. The collected data were analysed by using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Findings show that in rural areas, there are unreliable source of power, higher penetrations of feature phones, high subscription to Vodacom network and high uses of Swahili language for communication, good government support and policy which favour farmer’s development. Generally, we recommend that the existing sources of information like information systems and other applications should be integrated to form one stop centre where all information can be accessed.