Vol. 3 No. 1 (2018)

Information needs of and services to small-scale vegetable farmers in Wareng, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya

Zipporah Rop
Library Department
Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
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Abstract

Rationale of Study – Agriculture remains the most important economic activity in Kenya. Efficient and effective provision of information is essential to the success of agriculture. The aim of this study was to investigate the provision of information to small-scale vegetable farmers in Wareng Sub-County, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya with a view of establishing the challenges and proposing a model for effective and efficient information flow to the vegetable farmers in the county.

Methodology – The research used a case study approach. The population of the study comprised 75 small scale vegetable farmers and 13 agricultural and extension officers in Wareng Sub-County. Data was collected through questionnaires and structured interviews as well as from secondary sources. The data was analysed using content analysis.

Findings – The study found that vegetable farmers lack timely information specific to their information needs. The existing information systems and services were inadequate in satisfying the information needs. Furthermore, the study established that access to information was hampered by inadequate information resources and services.

Implications – The findings of the study may be used to encourage the government to recognise the fact that information is an essential input for an effective agricultural system and as such contributes in a positive way to agricultural development. The findings, therefore, can be used to propose improvements to the existing information services, systems and channels in disseminating information to vegetable farmers.

Originality – This study was original in terms of its focus and geographical orientation. Small-scale vegetable farming in Kenya is an important socioeconomic activity which provides employment opportunities to many citizens yet very little is known about the information needs of the farmers.

Keywords

Small-scale vegetable farmers, agricultural information, Wareng Sub-County, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya

 

Achieving information safety in a disaster environment: the way forward for Africa

Janes Ouma Odongo
Department of Governance and Public Policy
The Technical University of Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
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Abstract

Rationale of Study – Disaster incidents are becoming common globally. When they occur, disasters are known to cause great havoc resulting in high numbers of human fatalities and injuries; massive damage and destruction of property; and high degrees of strain on environmental resources. In most cases, people only associate Africa’s disasters with humanitarian consequences while completely ignoring other forms of damages and losses caused therein. The impact of disasters on records and information in Africa is generally ignored.

Methodology – Based on a desk review of secondary data, this descriptive study explored the information capabilities, potentials and risks that Africa has which can be threatened by disasters.

Findings – The findings of the study indicate that although records management in Africa is still largely paper based, electronic records management is picking pace across the continent in line with current global practice. However, the limited use of digital document signing technologies means that official signed records still have to be kept in hard-copies. This poses threats to records during emergencies. 

Implications – The author recommends that a more holistic approach should be taken in discourses regarding Africa’s disasters and their management. Most importantly, there should be meaningful disaster management focused on ensuring information security before, during and after disasters. This is considering that even disaster recovery efforts are largely hinged on the safety of these records. 

Originality – Although it used secondary data, this study was original in terms of its scope and coverage. It emphasises that emerging technologies that enable records to be processed, signed and stored without printing should be used to ensure environmental and information safety during disasters.

Keywords

Information security, disaster management, development, Africa

 

The status of the implementation of institutional repositories in selected newly established universities in Kenya

Pauline Ruguru Njagi
Murang’a University of Technology
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Dr. Ben Namande
Kenyatta University
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Abstract 

Rationale of Study – Academic institutions worldwide have embraced institutional repositories as a means to showcase their research globally. In Kenya, the majority of academic institutions with effective repositories are established universities. Little is known of institutional repositories of newly established universities in Kenya. This study evaluated the status of the implementation of institutional repositories of universities established between 2016 and 2017 in Kenya. 

Methodology – The researchers used a descriptive research design in this study. Data was collected from professional library staff in three newly established universities using questionnaires. The actual respondents were selected through information-oriented purposive sampling. The sample size was twenty librarians from Kirinyaga University, Machakos University, and University of Embu. 

Findings – All the university libraries investigated had functional institutional repositories. The libraries had developed submission and metadata policies. The staff charged with implementing institutional repositories had relevant skills, understood the scholarly communication cycle, and were responsible for recruitment of institutional repository content. The challenges faced in implementing institutional repositories included low levels of awareness of the existence of IR by the intended users, reluctant of the researchers in submitting their research with the IR, lack of resources, inadequate staff, and submission policy. 

Implications – The findings of this study buttresses the place of information repositories as a platform to share research literature and open access to scholarly materials globally even for newly established universities in developing countries. 

Originality – Unlike the majority of research on institutional repositories in Kenya which focused on established universities, this study tells the story of newly established universities in Kenya. 

Keywords 

Institutional repository, newly-established universities, academic libraries, Kenya

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