Factors affecting usage of marketing information systems in rural areas : a case of Ndabibi Division in Nakuru District
Smallholder farmers and rural traders lack an information system that can collect and analyze marketing information for decision making. As a result there is poor information dissemination and consequently poor market access in rural areas. For this reason most farmers and traders tend to be exploited by intermediaries (brokers and resellers). Research (Opala, 2004) has shown that these intermediaries, on average, extract onequarter of the wholesale value of smallholder farmer produce as it is transported and marketed between the farm gate and the whole sale buyer. In Ndabibi division, which is located in Nakuru District of Rift Valley province, smallholder farmers are involved in the production of maize, beans, potatoes and livestock keeping. Petty traders on the other hand are involved in running retail shops and the sale of foodstuffs and other wares on the open market. These groups of people are disadvantaged in that they lack information to make informed decisions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that affect the use of marketing information systems in rural areas and make recommendations for a sustainable marketing information system. The findings show that whereas most rural traders have access to information; they lack access to technology that can analyze information and make it useful for decision making. The study makes recommendations on a computer based marketing information system which shall accelerate use of information and lead to improved marketing decision making which will result in greater access to markets as well as increased economic growth. The research design for this study was descriptive. Questionnaires were used to collect data from a sampled group of respondents. The data collected was analyzed using SPSS computer package and conclusions and recommendations made.