Information Seeking Behavior of Agricultural Researchers and Extension Workers In Selected Agricultural Information Centres in Nairobi County, Kenya
MetadataShow full item record
Kenya is currently facing food security issues and every effort is being made to increase agricultural productivity within the country. Agricultural researchers and extension workers are some of the stakeholders who are being looked upon to steer the country’s agricultural development. However, this kind of development cannot be achieved without leveraging on the proper management and use of information. There is need to adequately understand the information needs of these agricultural officers and their information seeking behavior in order to furnish them with timely and quality information. It is towards meeting this goal that this study was formulated to understand the information seeking behavior of agricultural researchers and extension officers within Nairobi County, Kenya. The research objectives were understanding of agricultural researchers’ and extension workers’ information seeking behavior, establishing their opinion on the quality of information resources in their information centers, extent to which they use agricultural information in their information centers, and identifying challenges they faced in the retrieval of agricultural information from their information centers. Two of the major agricultural research agencies in Kenya, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA), were sampled as representative locations for the study. Additionally, four research objectives were proposed together with their corresponding questions in order to guide the entire research process. Suitable theoretical and conceptual frameworks were also developed from an extensive review of various literatures to help guide the researcher as well as widen his understanding of the research topic. A descriptive research design was selected as a suitable method through which the objectives of the research would be achieved. This methodology involved development and administration of semi-structured questionnaires to 97 sampled respondents. The collected data was analyzed quantitatively. The research used tables to present research findings in line with the preestablished research objectives. The study findings revealed impressive trends in the search and use of agricultural information resources among extension workers and agricultural researchers in the two sampled agencies. The two categories of agricultural information users were found to prefer agricultural information from electronic journals and organizations’ websites compared to print materials from public libraries and information centres. The need to overcome professional challenges and achieve professional growth was among the key reasons for searching information among the respondents. Majority of respondents were adequately aware of their information needs and also competent in articulation of their information needs. Additionally, information centres in the two agricultural research agencies were found to be performing quite well in terms of acquisition, management, and provision of information services to their users. However, some of the users were not satisfied with the current services being provided. Timely access to quality information stands out as one of the major challenges facing agricultural information users among other challenges. The study concluded that agricultural researchers and extension workers have impressive information seeking behavior and are adequately capable of retrieving information relevant to their needs. The study recommends that agricultural information centers undertake more information literacy training, improve on the quality and delivery of information services, increase their subscription to open access publications, and also enhance user-friendliness of their information management interface in order to enhance access and utilization of agricultural information among these categories of users. The study also suggests that a further study should be conducted among agricultural information centres in order to assess the operational environment and factors that may hinder their effective provision of quality information services.