ICT and technological development in advancing tea research in Kenya
Agriculture is the backbone of the Kenyan economy and it is constantly influenced by changes in technology. Because of the rapid development of ICT in the world, each organization or person has to concern their products and services more towards modernized and ICT related manner. This research contribute to understand the technological development and use of ICT in advancing tea research, identify the constraints associated with ICT use and propose recommendations with managerial implications towards the improvement of present ICT system in agriculture sector of Kenya. Tea producers and farmers in Kericho County were selected for the survey. A scoring system was used to develop continuous dependent variables which were used in regression models to identify the variables most significantly influencing ICT use. Least significant difference technique was used to identify comparisons of constraints in ICT use in advancing tea research. There were 60.6% of the participants who used ICT related equipment or facilities for their tea production and tea related business and 76.1% of the participants had ICT uptake problems, where telecommunication and internet reported higher impact on tea sector. The participants stressed the cost of technology, lack of training, trust level in the ICT system, lack of ICT proficiency and lack of technological infrastructure as challenges for ICT use in advancing tea research. Managers can use these results to promote ICT use in tea research that can lead to more efficient communication and increased demand for the firm’s products and services. The usage of different ICT applications was comparatively high in tea sector and in general the usage of mobile communication was common among all participants. This survey results provide insights which suggest corrective steps to expedite ICT and technological development in advancing tea research and prioritize the necessary research in the sector.