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Users's Attutude Towered Agrobased Services Provided by Telecommunication Operatos in Bangladesh

In: Business and Management

Submitted By BithiZannath
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Pages 32
ABSTRACT
Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy of Bangladesh which provides 63% employment and contributing 18.6% to the national GDP. But unfortunately the farmer’s community is one of the most deprived ones in our country and frequent access to information remains one of the crying needs for a long time period. It can enable them to enhance their quality of life. It has been argued that telecommunication operators can come to aid in this respect. Telecommunications operators have already expanded their services and provided specialized agro-based services to the farmers. This paper attempts to investigate the attitude of the farmers about these agro-based services provided by the telecommunication operator. It also explored the characteristics of the user’s and their perception.
Data were collected from 120 respondents who were the user of telecommunication operator’s agro-based services from selected areas from August 18 to October 15, 2011. The data were collected through a structured interview schedule. Evidence from interviews, personal observations suggest that most of the user of these services were young, had little farming experience with small farm side and from small to medium families.
These services were treated helpful to overcome their obstacles to information collection but still not efficient like the means they use to collect information traditionally.
They wanted information in various field of agriculture especially in the area of price, weather information cultivation technique disease treatment, fertilizer dose etc.

Small farmers found it as a very effective any of information service especially in case of emergency situation and due to its cost effectiveness. But the mechanism need to use this services found sometimes difficult especially for the illiterate farmers.

Introduction:
Agriculture, the science of raising crops and animals, began some 10,000 years ago in the Middle East when animals were first raised in captivity. It has been a part of human life for many thousands of years; especially for the people of country like Bangladesh where agriculture remains the most important sector of the economy, contributing 19.6 percent to the national GDP and providing employment for 63 percent of the population.

The need for agricultural information is probably almost as old as the agriculture itself. Most agricultural information from that time until the mid- nineteenth century was passed from one farmer to another by word of mouth. But time has passed and with the passage of time the pattern of agriculture and activities related to agriculture has also changed. This has been forcing people to find new and effective way to collect desirable information. Significant improvements in technology-supported information services have created opportunities for their utilization by the farmers to meet their information need. Mobile phone has become more relevant in the modern days and agriculture is one of the sectors that benefited from it. Mobile phone without doubt is one of the main instruments that can help agriculture community especially to ease the communication process and agriculture community must be encouraged to utilize it wisely. Mobile phone can help the farmer in getting information on agriculture every time they need it providing the solutions they face in their work.

Telecommunication operators today provide a wide range of services in agricultural sector and play a significant role in the development of agricultural sector of Bangladesh. A low cost automated information system for the agricultural sector will have a greater positive impact over GDP.

The purpose of this paper is to identify the benefits telecommunication operators provide to the farmers. It examines farmers’ information needs and to what extent these services can meet up their ultimate needs. This research investigates how Bangladeshi farmers interact with mobile telephony and how they negotiate the resulting difficulties. What farmer’s think about these services, how they interpret this new trend of information flow comparing with the traditional way they habituated are also the motive of this paper.

The Country:
Bangladesh officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is full of great cultural values and story of a nation with high self esteem.
After a bloody struggle for liberation from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh was established as a parliamentary democracy. The borders of present-day Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became East Pakistan, part of the newly formed nation of Pakistan. However, it was separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (994 mi) of Indian Territory. Due to political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination, and economic neglect by the politically-dominant West Pakistan, popular agitation grew against West Pakistan and led to the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, And after 9 months, in 16th December 1971, Eastern Part of Pakistan became an Independent country which is known to be Bangladesh .
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It has a unique geographic location. The geographical settings of Bangladesh describes, it is situated in Southern Asia, bordering the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and India With a geographic coordinates 24 00 N, 90 00 E. (CIA World Fact Book 2008)

Bangladesh is a semitropical and monsoonal type of country with a hot and rainy summer and a dry winter. The total land area is about 144,000 sq km where 133,910 sq km is covered by land and 10,090 sq km is covered by water. It has 4,246 km of land boundaries where 4,053 km is with India and 193 km with Burma. Bangladesh has a coast line of 580 km (CIA World Fact Book 2008). .
Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy, with an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad The population of Bangladesh at 15/03/2011 is 142.3 million (census 2011 results) it is the 8th most populous nation in the world. It is also the most densely populated large country in the world, and it ranks 11th in population density. The population is relatively young, with 60% being 25 or younger and 3% being 63 or older. Life expectancy is 63 years for both males and females.
. Bangladesh has experienced steady economic growth at a rate of approximately five percent annually during the past decade. The country is listed among the Next Eleven economies. It is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the D-8 and BIMSTEC, and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement. However, Bangladesh continues to face a number of major challenges, including widespread political and bureaucratic corruption, economic competition relative to the world, serious overpopulation, widespread poverty, and an increasing danger of hydrologic shocks brought on by ecological vulnerability to climate change.

Bangladesh has a primarily agrarian economy. Agriculture is the single largest producing sector of the economy since it comprises about 18.6% (data released on November, 2010) of the country's GDP and employs around 45% of the total labor force. The performance of this sector has an overwhelming impact on major macroeconomic objectives like employment generation, poverty alleviation, human resources development and security. Pluralities of Bangladeshis earn their living from agriculture. Although rice and jute are the primary crops, wheat is assuming greater importance.
Manufacturing of ready-made garments is another contributing sector in Bangladesh provides employment for over 2 million people, many of them women, and generates nearly 75 percent of the export earnings of the country. Beside ready-made garments, foreign remittance, prawn culture , handicraft etc are also contributing to the national GDP.
In Bangladesh a social status can be defined in terms of money, property, education, job or even popularity in the locality. Even though the society in Bangladesh is still male dominated, but the current spread of education among the population is changing this situation

Telecommunication Sector in Bangladesh:

Information is the lifeblood of most market economies. Efficient flow of information is a must for the development of any sector. That’s why Information and communication technologies are proposed as essential tools to disseminate the knowledge and information in path of development for any country. Specially the telecommunication technologies which appeared as the vital tool. Mobile telephone is now an effective last time solution to improve access the information for the people all around the world.
It was March 10, 1876, an important day for human civilization, Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) along with his assistant Thomas Watson invented the telephone, the first step towards developing means of communication. We’ve come a long way since then. Today, telephone is a part of our everyday life. Nowadays, the phone is not only used for making calls, among many other functions it’s used for communicating through text-messages and so called multi-media messages, as well as to connect us to the internet. The telecom industry is nowadays not only by means of millions, but by means of billions. Actors in this industry are seeking the most profitable markets throughout the world.
Where this is the scenario of the whole world Bangladesh is not an exception. Consumer demand in Bangladesh makes the mobile market one of the fastest growing markets in the world. The state owned BTTB has been the monopoly telephone service provider is provided to be incapable of providing sufficient interconnections to meet the demand of mobile services

providers. In this situation Bangladesh government allowed private sector participation in telecom sector by granting the permission to operate as a private service provider in 1989. This license was awarded to two operators, BRTA (Bangladesh Rural Telecom Authority) and Sheba Telecom Pvt. Ltd. Opening its mobile phone sector for private and foreign investment in 1989, Bangladesh holds the pioneering figure among LDC’s. Pacific Telecom launched the country's first mobile phone service and subsequently, three more mobile phone licenses were issued, in 1996, 2004 and 2005 (Alam and Yusuf 2007b). The mobile phone operations decisions were never being influenced by any International agreement but held up as an independent entity for making market to grow. Self learning and liberalizing the mobile phone sector shaped up in a sequential strategy for Bangladesh. From 1993 till 1996 the mobile phone services were monopolized by one company; Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Ltd. which didn’t let the customer benefitted, however, with the commissioning of mobile phone service by Grameen Phone Limited and Aktel in 1997, the situation started to improve in terms of price reduction and quality. Currently there are 6 mobile operators in Bangladesh. They are namely

· Grameenphone – Joint venture (62%) with a Norwegian company Telenor.
(Grameenphone n.d)
· Banglalink – Joint venture with Orascom originated from Egypt.
(Banglalink n.d)
· Robi– Joint venture between Telecom Malaysia Berhad TM and A. K.
Khan& company limited (Aktel n.d).

· Airtel – An investment of Dubai and Abu Dhabi Group UAE.
(Waried n.d)
· TeleTalk – Public limited company but 100% share have been owned by the government of Bangladesh. (Teletalk n.d)
· Citycell – Joint venture with SingTel Asia pacific investment Pte limited.
(Citycell n.d )

With the passage of time mobile phone become one of the most essential thing for the people of Bangladesh. During first six months of 2007, Bangladesh recorded 7.7 million (1.3 million/month) subscribers. At this pace, the expected mobile subscribers by the end of 2007 were 35 million and a market penetration of around 25%, signifying year-on-year growth of up to 70%. The total number of Mobile Phone Subscribers has reached 32.33 million at the end of October 2007, when BMI’s expectation was about 35 millions. As of April 2008, the total number of mobile phone subscribers stands at 40.34 millions. And the average growth rate falls in the range of 1 million subscribers per month.

Telecommunication and Agriculture:
The farmers’ community in Bangladesh is one of the most deprived ones in terms of economy and access to social facilities. In a country like Bangladesh farms are extremely small, cultivation is dependent on the uncertainties of variable rainfall and average output is generally low. Value addition in agriculture requires technological, institutional and price incentive changes designed to raise the productivity of the small farms (Todaro, 2000). The structure of the agrarian system in Bangladesh is considered as a major impediment for balanced rural development (Rogaly, Harris-White and Bose, 1999). Small farmers are entangled within a vicious cycle because of sharecropping, tenancy, money lending and other structural and financial relationships with owners and traders (Crow, 1999). The situation of the vulnerable farmers is exacerbated by the land erosion, drought, flood, deforestation and other natural calamities. These together with lack of access to finance reduce farmers’ propensity to take risks. The bargaining power of farmers in the input market is not very strong with the result that farmers pay high prices for inputs thereby reducing their net earnings. Lack of bargaining power also impacts adversely on the prices farmers receive for their produce. Low net earnings in turn reduce the capacity and incentive to make productivity improving investment. information is not always obtainable and may not always be reliable, so there is increased risk of poor market performance and failures. Imperfect

Information and high transaction costs can constitute major impediments in the agricultural marketing process (Dao, 2004). The potential impact of lack of knowledge and other relevant information on the bargaining power and productivity of the farmers is reflected in the figure-1. Kizilaslan (2006) argues that proper dissemination of information for agricultural and rural communities is a crucial tool in the fight against poverty and deprivation. Information helps the poor to avail of the opportunities and also reduce their vulnerability. Kiplang’at (1999) postulates that dissemination of relevant information to the farming communities can facilitate the effective adoption of agricultural inputs, decision making on markets and adoption of scientific methods. However, lack of dissemination of information across the agricultural supply chain is a major concern in the developing world.

The "Information Age" has arrived, and institutions and individuals everywhere are striving to understand and cope with it. The technologies now being used operationally to disseminate information to more remote areas are but the leading edge of more advanced systems. Telecommunication operators are done this job very efficiently. Agricultural sector can also be facilities through these technologies and mobile telephone can be the most effective tool. From the discussion it is clear that mobile phone technologies are already today a serious medium for communication, truly available for an enormous number of people. In Bangladesh a large majority of the population have access to mobile phones (Islam & Grönlund, 2008). So it can be used for important development issues.

In Bangladesh only two telecommunication operators provide specialized services for the farmers along with their regular services among the six telecommunication operators. They are Grameen Phone Ltd. and Banglalink. Benefits provided by these operators are:

1. Buyers &sellers can search the details of the desired agro product

2. Price related information

3. Buyer’s location & contact information.

4. Information about cultivation technique

5. Information of planting, irrigation.

6. Information about new Varity

7. Disease treatment.

8. Fertilizer dose

9. Input related issue.

10. Information about feed, antibiotics medicine of poultry, dairy & fishery.

11. Weather related information

Problem Statement:
The research paper aim to find out the real scenario of the benefits provided by different telecommunication operators for the agricultural sector and the users interaction with the services. Here the consideration mainly on the
“User’s Attitude Towered Agrobased Provided by the Telecommunication Operators in Bangladesh.”

Objective of the Study: 1) To find out the demographic profile of the users. 2) To find out the agrobased benefits provided by the telecommunication operators. 3) To give solutions on the basis of findings

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Most research needs to begin with a literature review: earlier studies on and around the topic of research. These include books, journals articles, and online pages for example government websites, corporate websites and catalogs. We have conducted the literature search connected to the topic to support and direct the research. The services provided by the telecommunication operator are not very old for Bangladesh. That’s not a large number of studies conducted on these services. However this search was mainly conducting on the, Journal databases, Library Journals, websites and Textbooks.
Modernization of rural telecommunication in Bangladesh: Problems & Prospects (2002 ) studied by Towhidul Islam. This paper highlights some major problem areas which dissever considerable attention for both short term & long term planning & suggests some possible options. The discussion covers the following aspects of rural telecommunication determining a forecasting technique for demand growth ;socio economic benefit; digital technique and network model ;and transmission and switching system maintenance.

Bidit.L.Dey (2009) studied on “Use & Appropriation of mobile Telephony Technology by the Rural Bangladeshi Farmers”. This research paper investigates the use &appropriation of mobile telephony as the means for achieving agricultural development in Bangladesh. It examines how the farmers make use of the mobile telephony technology, how the technology integrated with their lifestyle and what impact results from the interaction.

Irin Parvin, Anwarul Islam, Fouzia Nasreen Sultana(2007) studied on Information Communication Technologies in Rural Development of Bangladesh. They represent an overview of the role of in rural development and offer a vision for its development as a thrust area for intervention. They highlight the need for ICT policy status ICT infrastructure as well as service delivery through ICT in Bangladesh

Consumer Perception & Attitude Toward Mobile Communication(2003) studied by Samia Masud & Omprokash Gupta .This paper investigate the demand of the consumer from the telecommunication service providers, their reaction and consumption behavior. A survey was conducted to understand consumer attitude toward mobile communication & factor that could contribute to adoption& success of this sector.

Reconciling the supply of scientific information with user demands (2007) studied by Elizabeth C. McNine. The predominant assumption in the literature is that for environmental decision making diffusion of more useful information along with production is very essential. By concentrating efforts

on increasing the supply of scientific information, scientist may not be producing information relevant and useful by users. Users may have specific information needs that go unmeet or may not aware of the existence of potentially useful information. This paper defines the practical problem of reconciling the supply of scientific into. With users, explain the goods of reconciling the supply and demand for scientific information and define what constitutes useful information.

Informatics: in Agricultural Resources for Development (2009) studied by C.Graham Mc.Laren. This paper offers the information landscape in agricultural sector, enabling technology, Qualify and quantity of information their capacity to meet the need and associated complexity. It tries to reveal the problems of disseminating information to farmers. It assumes innovative strategies for combining internet, telecommunication video, and print technologies at appropriate levels are bridging the gap and empowering farmers to make better production and market decisions

.

Maya,Natalla (2010) studied on Policy recommendations to improve the competitiveness of small scale farmers in Columbia through into and communication studies. They provide some policy recommendations as to how ICT could effectively stimulate the development of small scale agriculture. They analyzed the food market supply chain and argued that systematic food supply chain is needed to overcome same of the challenges of small scale agriculture. This paper describes the multiple actors and stakeholders of small scale agricultural chain, alongside with learning of

successful (and filed) ICT strategies. Specific policy recommendations are made that aim through the use as mobile technologies to improve the condition among different supply chain.

Catalyst supports pro-poor growth in a wide range of value chains through facilitation of market mechanism in Bangladesh (2008) studied by Martin Dietschi. It assumes that with the emergence of new information and communication technologies such as the internet and mobile phones at the same time new opportunities also arrange to reach small producers in areas remote from the economic centers. In this paper experience of the farmers with the different scheme conducted by different telecommunication systems are presented. At the same time problem faced by the users and possible solutions are also placed in this paper.

Bidit Lal Dey, Renee Prendergast,David Newman studied on How can ICTs be used and appropriated to address agricultural information needs of Bangladeshi farmers? This paper attempts to analyze the use of the ICTs from the perspective of the farmers. They found that different services provided by the existing telecommunication system can enable farmers to obtain information on input and output prices, the weather and so forth

Arpita Sharma(2011) studied on Community Radio as an Effective tool for Agricultural Development .In this paper community radio is highlighted as an effective communication tool .Scenarios of several African countries are mentioned here farmers of which countries are adopt this communication technology . The concept of community radio, area of services, how farmers are benefited from this technology and demand of the farmers regarding this service are the main focal point of this research paper.

Multipurpose Community Telecentres in Bangladesh: Problems & Prospects(2009 ) studied by Md. Shafiul Islam.The purpose of this paper is to discuss multipurpose community information and knowledge centres (MCTs) and then describes and assesses the telecommunication facilities (and hence information access and provision) of such telecentres in Bangladesh including radio, television, telephone and internet facilities. The paper then highlights problems and prospects, in rural areas of Bangladesh, of information access through the telecentres.

An Agricultural Market Information Services(AMIS) in Bangladesh: Evaluation & Mobile Phone Based e-Services(2010) studied by M. Sirajul Islam. An agricultural market information service (AMIS) can be one of the important tools for reducing such social inequality by integrating the farmers with their markets more efficiently. Following the failure of a web-based AMIS initiated by the Government of Bangladesh and considering the wide availability of cellular networks, a mobile phone based AMIS was implemented on a pilot basis in some remote villages for the farmers of Bangladesh. This paper evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of this mobile service in terms of users, technology, process and facilitating

conditions in a rural context. In general this is an interpretive case study as well as an evaluation research which is based on two small scale surveys and observations. Based on a literature review, a conceptual model is also applied for a systematic evaluation. Findings show that effectiveness of a rural e-service depends on the design and delivery of the service in accordance with the individual’s information needs, adaptive technologies with easy accessibility within a given infrastructure, affordable services with a rational business model, adequate awareness and efficient communication with the respective community.

Survey in farmers: A Case Study (2002) studied by Joost Penning. This research paper deals with a large percentage of farmers who do not respond to mail surveys. To gain insight into why farmers do not respond and how to improve response rates, a three-step research design was developed. First, an initial survey, based on in-person interviews with 15 farmers, was sent to 100 farmers. Second, farmers who did not respond to this mail survey were contacted by phone to investigate the reasons for not responding. Third, based on the information from these nonrespondents, the survey instrument was revised and sent to 3,990 U.S. farmers. This studies show that the period in which the survey is sent is a crucial factor in the willingness to participate, along with the form and amount of compensation, the sender of the questionnaire, and the perceived length of the questionnaire.

Agro Based Industries, Mobile phone, & Youth studied by Md. Shafiul. This paper tends to know the perception of Malaysian young agro based entrepreneur regarding the contribution of mobile phone in their agribusiness. Results indicated that majority of respondents used mobile phone frequently while majority of the respondents had high perception on the contribution of mobile phone in their agro-business productivity. Results also indicated that majority of Malaysian agro-based entrepreneurs believed that mobile phone can help them in getting information on agriculture every time they need it. Pearson Correlation employed proved that age has negative and significant correlation with perception on mobile phone contribution.

Market Information Service:A Guide Line to Developing Agricultural Markets & Agroenterprises (2001) studied by Daniele Giovannuul. This paper attempts to find reason to fail to meet the need the farmer’s need. The author distills experiences and lessons from other studies and individual experts in the field on the reasons for such common failures and what can be done to avoid them. Critical topics such as institutional structure, dissemination methods, and funding are outlined to guide the reader through the basic issues that must be addressed in order to create a successful Market Information Service.

Analysis Appropriation & Usability in Social & occupational Lives: An Investigation of Bangladeshi Farmers Interact with the Use of Mobile Telephony studied by David Newman. The purpose of this paper is to understand how Bangladeshi farmers interact with mobile telephony and how they negotiate the resulting difficulties. The paperseeks to identify how farmers integrate mobile telephony into their daily life.

Methodology

Methodology of any research paper describes the approach to the project. The ambition is to describe the process of the gathering and compiling information for the project work as clearly as possible, in order to enable a critical review of the credibility of the final results. The choice of methodological approach depends upon the nature of the investigation to be carried out, its purpose and problem statement. For this project, the main approach was mainly determined by the guidelines for the task. The problem statement and purpose that was composed for the project in the beginning has guided the work from collection of information to analysis of findings in relation to theory.
The study was conducted to identify the user’s attitude towered the agro bsed services provided by the telecommunication operators. Necessary data were collected from the operating farmers of the selected area analyzed in terms of the objectives set for the study. The study was based on the primary data. Primary data are data that has been collected by the researchers himself to answer their own formulated research questions.

Selection of the study area:
The selection of the study area is an important step which largely depends upon the purpose of the study. It is already being mentioned that the study aims to identify the demographical prospectus of the service users and their attitude towered those services. The local of the study were 7 villages under Homna thana of Comilla district which are Monipur, kolagasia, Chanderchar, Kalipur, Gharmora, dorikandi , Purbahat; Few areas of Mirpur thana of Dhaka district and few areas of Savar. The main reasons for selecting these areas as the study area are given below:
1. Availability of the service users
2. No study was conducted previously in the study area
3. Easy accessibility and good communication facilities
4. It was familiar with the area. Language and other socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents in the selected area. The anticipated cooperation was high which indicated the likelihood of obtaining a reasonably accurate set of data.

Preparation of the Schedule:
The schedule was designed in accordance with the objectives of the research. Data were collected from the farmers by survey methods through personal interview with the farmers for which necessary schedule were to be prepared. Information about the farmer’s demographic profile, what benefits they get from the telecommunication operators what problems they face to use these services.
.

Selection of Sample:
Sampling was done to select representative farmers or service users to minimize time and cost because it is not possible to collect data from all the users. Two things need to be considered for the selection of sample for the study. First one is the sample size should be large enough to allow for adequate degrees of freedom for statistical analysis. In other words administration of field research, processing and analyzing of data should be manageable within the limits imposed by physical human and financial resources. 120 farmers were selected who were using different agrobaed services provided by the telecommunication operators. Data were collected by the researcher herself where purposive random sampling technique was followed.

Period of Data Collection:
Data were collected through personal interview by the researcher herself with the respondent. Data were collected during the period from August 18 to October 15, 2011 through a structured schedule.

Analysis of Data:
Data collected were classified, tabulated and analyzed in terms of the objectives set for the study. Both tabular and statistical techniques were used to find important relationships among the relevant variables.
Tubular Technique: Tubular Technique of analysis is generally used to find out the crude association or difference between two variables. In this study tabular technique was used to illustrate the whole picture of analysis. The sum, mean gross return etc. of this technique is based on arithmetic average. The advantages of tabular analysis are: i) Computation of data involves less works; and ii) It illustrates the whole picture of analysis as well as the results of analysis

Different measures:
Appropriate procedures were followed for measuring the personal characteristics of the respondent, like as age, education, family size, farm size and experience in farming.
A five- point Likert-type scale was used to measure farmers’ attitude towards telecommunication operator’s agrobased services. The scale contained thirteen statements in relation to various benefits provided by the telecommunication operators in agricultural sector. The statement was expressed either in positive view or in negative view. A statement was considered positive if it indicated favorable attitude towards the benefits. If the case was reverse, if was considered as a negative statement. The respondents expressed their opinion against each statement as ‘strongly satisfied’, satisfied ’, ‘no answer’, dissatisfied’, strongly dissatisfied. Scores assigned to the above five responses were 5,4,3,2 and 1 respectively for positive statements and a reverse score was given for the negative statements. The statistical technique used for the analysis was range , percentage and mean.

Survey analysis and findings

In this chapter, all empirical information that was gathered to be analyzed in relation to the objectives of the study. The discussion in this chapter is to be conducted under three headings and the gathered information are also arranged according to these headings. These headings are about the demographic profile of the respondents express some characteristics of the users, their interaction with the services and their satisfaction level towered the services as well as it provides information on profiles of the respondents, descriptive statistics for each of the statements or items used in the study.

Selected Characteristics of the respondents:
Five selected individual characteristics of the respondents that means the user of the telecommunications operators agrobased services. These characteristics formed the independent variables. The findings in connection with the selected characteristics of the respondents are presented in the Table 4.1

Table 4.1: Descriptive statistics of the selected characteristics of the farmers

|Characteristics |Categories |Respondents |% of respondents |Observed score |Mean |
| |Young (21-35) |73 |61 | | |
|Age | | | |23-45 |33.7 |
| |Middle (36-50) |45 |37 | | |
| |Old |2 |1 | | |
| |(51-65) | | | | |
| |Illiterate (0) |22 |18 | | |
|Education | | | |0-16 |6.79 |
| |Primary |28 |24 | | |
| |(1-5) | | | | |
| |Secondary (6-10) |38 |32 | | |
| |Higher (above 10) |32 |26 | | |
| |Small |38 |32 | |4.58 |
| |(1- 3) | | | | |
|Family Size | | | |3-9 | |
| |Medium |60 |50 | | |
| |(4-6) | | | | |
| |Big |22 |18 | | |
| |(above 6) | | | | |
| |Very small (upto |44 |36 | | |
| |0.205) | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | |0.02-4.0 | |
| | | | | | |
|Farm Size | | | | | |
| |Small (0.206-1.0) |52 |44 | | |
| |Medium (1.01-3.0) |20 |17 | | |
| |Big |4 |3 | | |
| |(above 3) | | | | |
| |Little (1-5) |60 |50 | | |
|Experience in Farming | | | | | |
| | | | |2-30 |9.5 |
| |Medium (6-15) |34 |28 | | |
| |Long (above 15) |26 |22 | | |

The data presented in the above table can be well described through the following table.

[pic]

Age:
The graph shows that majority of the respondents were in younger age. 61% respondents were young, aged were between 21 & 35. 45% of the respondents were middle aged 36 to 50 years old. Only 1% respondents were above 50% years old. The average age was 33.7 which reflects that users were mostly younger.
Education:
The educational status of the selected respondents in terms of percentage of literacy varying level was 32% had secondary level education, 26% had higher secondary level education, 24% had primary level education and 18% who had no education. That means educated people used these services more than the illiterate people.

Family size:
Most of the people used the services were from medium to small size family. 50% of the respondents were from medium sized family and 32% were from small sized family. Only 18% had large family. The average number of the family member of the user was4.58 fall in medium category.
Farm size:
The size of the most farm of the service user was small to very small. 44% of the users had the farm size ranged 0.206 to 1 hector. The farm size of 36% of the respondents were upto 0.205 hector. 17% of the respondent had a farm size ranged 1.01to 3 hector and only 3% of the respondent had a farm above 3 hector that means the owner of a large farm.The average size of the farm was .0543.
Experience in farming:
Farmers with little experience use the service more (50%) who had 1 to 5 years experience in farming, 28% of the farmers had experience from 6years to 15 years and only 22% had the experience the farming above 15 years.

Perception of the Respondent’s about the service:
At this part of this chapter farmer’s interaction with the telecommunication operator’s provided benefits and what perception grow about the service in their mind will be discussed according to the information gathered from the survey
Farmer’s information need:
Farmer’s have information need in several fields. Like information about the market price of their output, price of the input need to produce the output. Location of buyer and seller of agricultural product is also an area in which farmers want information. They need information to solve the problem of disease attack in their farm. They need information about the up-to-date cultivation technique, new variety. They also want accurate weather related information. We can display these needs through the following graph according to the gathered information.

[pic]

The above graph reflects that information about disease treatment and fertilizer dose are most demanding field for the information by the users. 68% of the farmers want the information for treatment of the disease as well as about the fertilizer dose. Query for the other information was 32% for the cultivation technique, 28% for the price related information, 22% for the buyer’s and seller’s location, 14% for the inpu68%t related information and only 8% for the weather related information.

Problem faced by the farmers: The technologies telecommunication operators use to provide information to the farmers is quite new for them and they face many problems to use this technology. The problems discovered from the survey were high cost of the service availability and accessibility of the service non-flexibility. Users of one operator don’t able to enjoy the benefits provided by other operators with the same SIM card. Language barrier is one of the problems faced by the farmers when using this service. Network is also a problem to get information through mobile phone in rural area of Bangladesh.
Compare with traditional information source:
The following figure provides a comparison between the efficiency of traditional sources and telecommunication sectors as the provider of the agrobased information.

[pic]

Survey showed that 58% of the user thought traditional source of information provide better service than telecommunication operators that means majority of the respondents thought traditional source is more efficient. Other 42% thought telecommunication operators provide better service than traditional source of information. But most of them thought services provide by telecommunication operators is helpful to overcome the obstacles to get information.

User’s satisfaction level:
Here we discuss farmers attitude toward agro based services provided by telecommunication operators on basis of data collected by using five point likert type scale. The information gathered on the following table

Table 4.2 Responses concerning farmer’s attitude towards agro based services provided by telecommunication operators

|Statement |1 |
| |2 |
| |3 |
| |4 |
| |5 |
| | |
| | |
|Identify the satisfaction level about the accessibility of the |24 |50 |28 |14 |4 |
|service | | | | | |
| |21% |41% |23% |12% |3% |
|Identify the satisfaction level about the cost of the service |8 |10 |8 |56 |38 |
| |6% |8% |6% |46% |34% |
|What do You think about the reliability of the services |6 |50 |34 |28 |2 |
| |5% |42% |28% |24% |1% |
|It is provide adequate information you need |24 |46 |12 |28 |10 |
| |20% |39% |10% |23% |8% |
|It is a times saving way of acquiring information |4 |8 |12 |46 |50 |
| |3% |7% |10% |38% |42% |
|The mechanism to use this services are more complex |4 |60 |20 |30 |6 |
| |3% |50% |17% |25% |5% |
|What do you think about customers care services of the |4 |34 |22 |54 |6 |
|telecommunication operators? | | | | | |
| |3% |28% |18% |45% |5% |
|How much happy about the weather related information |16 |39 |43 |20 |2 |
| |13% |33% |36% |17% |1% |
|How much happy about the information related to cultivation |18 |12 |68 |20 |2 |
|technique | | | | | |
| |15% |10% |57% |17% |1% |
|How much happy about the information related to disease treatment|4 |56 |30 |24 |6 |
| |3% |47% |25% |20% |5% |
|How much happy about the information related to fertilizer dose |6 |10 |12 |66 |26 |
| |5% |8% |10% |55% |21% |
|How much happy about the input related information |24 |60 |20 |16 |0 |
| |20% |50% |17% |13% |0% |
|How much happy about the price related information |44 |30 |24 |10 |12 |
| |37% |25% |20% |8% |10% |

the score for each statement could range from 1to5. For the positive statement & where 1=Highly dissatisfied/disagree 2= Dissatisfied/disagree 3=Neutral 4=Satisfied/agree 5=Highly satisfied /agree
In case of negative statement scoring is done as

5=Highly dissatisfied 4= Dissatisfied 3=Neutral 2=Satisfied 1=Highly satisfied

From the above table we can draw the following graph. Where we can see majority of the user show dissatiesfaction towered the service.

[pic]

30% users were dissatiesfied and 12% were highly dissatiesfied with the servce compared to 27% satiesfied and 10% highly dissatiesfied respondent. 21% respondent had neutral attitude.

Accessibility:
Above table show that most of the respondents were dissatisfied about accessibility of the service. 41% of the respondents were dissatisfied and 21% of the respondents were highly dissatisfied where 12% of the respondents were satisfied and only 3% were highly satisfied in this respect. 23 % of the respondents show neutral attitude.

Reliability:
42% of the respondents were dissatisfied with the reliability of the information and 5% were highly dissatisfied. Here 24% of the respondents were satisfied with the reliability of the information and only 1% were highly satisfied. 28% of the respondents stayed neutral about the reliability of the source of information. That means majority of the user thought the provided information are not reliable
Cost of the service:
Cost of collecting information is one of the concerns for the farmers. The above table showed that 46% of the respondents were satisfied and 34% of the respondents were highly satisfied about the cost of the service, where 8% of the respondents were dissatisfied and only 6% were highly dissatisfied in this respect. 6 % of the respondents show neutral attitude.
Time:
Farmers thought it is a time saving way to collect information. 42% of the respondents were highly satisfied and 38% of the respondents were satisfied. Only 7% were dissatisfied and 3% were highly dissatisfied this with this characteristics. 10 % of the respondents remained neutral towered this respect.
Adequacy of the information:
It shows a varying degree of satisfaction among the respondents. Above table show that 39% of the respondents were dissatisfied and 20% of the respondents were highly dissatisfied where 23% of the respondents were satisfied and only 8% were highly satisfied in this respect. 10 % of the respondents show neutral attitude.
Mechanism to use the service:
Above table show that most of the respondents were satisfied about Mechanism to use the service. 50% of the respondents were dissatisfied, 3% of the respondents were highly dissatisfied. 25% were satisfied and only 5% were highly satisfied in this respect. 17 % of the respondents remained neutral.
Customer care service:
Above table show that most of the respondents were satisfied about Customer care service. 45% of the respondents were satisfied with the customer care service of the operator, 5% of the respondents were highly satisfied. 28% were dissatisfied and only 3% were highly dissatisfied in this respect. The percentage of neutral attitude was 18 % of the respondents

Weather related information:
In case of weather related information most of the farmer’s showed neutral attitude. 36% of the farmers were neutral. 17% of the respondents were satisfied, 1% of the respondents were highly satisfied. Where 33% were dissatisfied and 13% were highly dissatisfied in this respect.

Information about treatment of disease:
47% of the respondents were dissatisfied, 3% of the respondents were highly dissatisfied. 20% were satisfied and only 5% were highly satisfied in this respect. 25 % of the respondents show neutral attitude.

Information related to fertilizer dose:
55% of the respondents were satisfied, 21% of the respondents were highly satisfied. 8% were dissatisfied and only 5% were highly dissatisfied in this respect. 10 % of the respondents show neutral attitude.
Information related to cultivation technique:
In case of cultivation related information most of the farmer’s showed neutral attitude. 57% of the farmers were neutral. 17% of the respondents were satisfied, 1% of the respondents were highly satisfied. 10% were dissatisfied and 15% were highly dissatisfied in this respect.
Input related information:
Majority of the respondents were highly dissatisfied with the import related information. 50% of the total respondents were highly dissatisfied, 20% were dissatisfied, 13% were satisfied and 17% remained neutral toward the benefit.
Price related information:
37% of the respondents were highly dissatisfied, 25% of the respondents were dissatisfied, 16% of the respondents were satisfied, 18% of the respondents were highly satisfied. 20 % of the respondents show neutral attitude.

Conclusion & Recommendations:
Agricultural sector can be treated as the backbone of Bangladeshi economy. It is the means of livelihood for most of our rural population but sustained agricultural growth is critical to uplifting the living standard of the people as well as generating rapid economic growth. To achieve such sustained growth ensuring smooth and frequent access to info is inevitable. Both Government and private sector are working to ensure enough access of information for the farmers. It is argued that telecommunication operators can play a vital role in this case. Telecommunication operators provide a wide range of benefits to the farmers. Farmers as well come to contact with these activities. The intention of this paper was to find out the actual scenario of these benefits, farmer’s thinking about the service and their attitude. From the above discussion we can conclude that: 1. The user’s are mostly young have small farm size and little experience in farming. 2. A significant proportion of the user thought that the service telecommunications operators provide to the farmers are helpful to overcome the obstacles to collect the information but still not efficient like their traditional way of collecting information. 3. Telecommunications operators provide solution to some preliminary level of problems only. They are unable to provide solution of any complex problem of farm.

4. Users are mostly satisfied with the cost of the service, time saving characteristics, fertilizer dose and disease treatment related information of the service.

5. Accessibility, mechanism of the service and reliability of the information made most of the user dissatisfied.

6. They wanted government intervention to make this service more affordable to them.

Recommendations:

Telecommunication industry is one of the fastest growing sectors not only in Bangladesh but also in the whole world playing the crucial role in communication. Like other countries these sector can be proved as a key player in agricultural sector. Farmers have a wide range of information thrust and telecommunication operators can be appeared as the most significant supplier of such agrobased information to the farmers. Though telecom operators in Bangladesh have already started their journey in this way, there needs a lot of changes and improvements to be an agro friendly actor. Here we put some recommendations:
1. The benefits provided by the telecom operators are not yet much popular or known to the farmers. So initiatives need to be taken to aware the farmers about the given benefits.

2. Though weak network is one of the concerning problem which make the services in accessible to the users so infrastructural improvement should be done to make the service accessible even the rural area of Bangladesh
.
3.Tele communication operator should make their services reachable to the farmers as quickly as possible because delay in getting respond make the farmer skeptical about the effectiveness and efficiency about the process.

4. Most of the time farmers get only the solution of some preliminary problem. They fail to acquire solution of complicated problem through problem. So the telecom operators may recruit more expertise to provide the proper solution.

5. When assessing “information and service needs” of the target market it should be demand driven not supply driven, and always focus should be on local knowledge dissemination;

6 Not only the telecommunication operators but also the farmers have something to do. Farmers need to have the belief that this service can satisfy their information need that means it is going to be useful for them.

7. Public-private partnership-based program should be considered. Govt may involve in this process and make this service more affordable to the users

8. Only two telecommunication operators provide specialized services to the farmers. Govt. may take initiatives to involve other operators in agricultural sectors.

9. Users of one operator cannot enjoy the benefits provided by the other operators .So a collaborative strategy may be taken by the operators to cover more people.

10. Providing education about the various beneficial uses of mobile phones

List of Refferences:
Reports:

Bayes, A. (2001), “Infrastructural and rural development: insights from a Grameen Bank village phone initiative in Bangladesh”, Agricultural Economics, Vol. 25, pp. 261-272.

Lio, M. and Liu, M. (2006), “ICT and agricultural productivity: evidence from cross-country data”, Agricultural Economics, Vol. 34, pp. 221-228.
Wiredu, G(2007) “User’s Appropriation of Mobile Technology: Motivation, Condition and Design properties”, Information and Organization,Vol.17, pp110-129

Dey, B, Newman, D(2011) “Analysis of Appropriation &Usability in Social & occupational Lives: An Investigation of Bangladeshi Farmer’s Use of Mobile Telephony”, Information Technology & People, Vol. 24, pp 46-63

Islam, S.(2009),”Multiple Community Telecenter in Bangladesh: Problems & Prospects”, Electronics Library, Vol. 27, pp 537-553.

Metz, T, “Informatics in Agricultural Research for Development”, Advances in Agronomy, Vol. 102, pp 135-157.

Internet based sources:

The Need of a Parcel-Based Information System to Support Agricultural
Sector From: http://ascu.go.ke/DOCS/ASDS.Final.pdf Agriculture in Bangladesh, Accessed 2008 From: http://enwikipedia.org/wiki/Ag_inBd Agricultural Sector Development From: http://.fig.net/pub/cario/papers/ts-34/ts-34_05inan_reis.pdf Published sources:

Willium,Z,2003, Business Research Methods

Hossain, Z and Reza, Z. 2004, Methods of Statistics

Cooper, D and Schindler, P. 2002, Business Research Methods, Mc GRAW-Hill, New Delhi…...

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