Results shed light on the reasons for mobile phone adoption, agricultural uses, and perceived impacts of uses among holders of small- to medium-sized farms working with VEDCO in Kamuli District, Uganda.
While it was speculated that farm group leaders would be earlier adopters due to their roles as liaisons with VEDCO, on average, mobile phone ownership (in years) among farm group leaders (M = 2.
Due to their contact with VEDCO, farm group leaders may have received knowledge of agricultural uses of mobile phones first.
In particular, comments from interviewees focused on the ability of the mobile phone to increase their knowledge of, and access to, microfinance loans from VEDCO.
Approximately 52% of respondents cited at least one use of the mobile phone for consulting with expert advice from nongovernmental and governmental agriculture extension agents, such as VEDCO or The National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS).
Agricultural advice, as well as access to agricultural inputs, such as labor, seeds, plant cuttings, livestock, and loans from VEDCO or NAADS; consultation with veterinarians; and increased access to market information were mentioned as agricultural resources that increased productivity.
Increases in reach, indicated by nearly 53% of respondents, include the ability to gain access to agricultural experts, including agricultural development-based organizations, veterinarians, and fellow VEDCO farm group members.
Percentages and illustrative examples for the unique use themes for all VEDCO farm group members, as well as a breakdown by gender and leadership status, can be found in Table 5.
According to one respondent, use of the speakerphone function came about because of training by VEDCO and VEDCO farm group members.