Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 23, Issue 3, 2017; Page No.(1437-1440)

PERCEIVED MOTIVES FOR USING THE AGRI-EXPERT SYSTEMS BY EXTENSION PROFESSIONALS

Modem Ravikishore, Purru Supriya, Allan Thomas and P.M. Vishnu Narayanan

Abstract

The problems in agriculture are often multidisciplinary and very complex because of affecting complex events. It has been suggested ‘agri-expert systems’ approaches will succeed with this kind of problems. It is, therefore, important to recognise perceived motives for using these computer systems in agriculture. This study investigates the perceived motives for using the agri-expert systems by extension professionals with respect to Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) expert systems for fertilizer recommendation, pest, disease diagnosis, and management of weeds in crop fields. A survey was conducted among three targeted segments of Kerala extension professionals with a sample of 100 respondents actively involved in the field of agriculture to rank perceived motives for using the agri-expert systems and to depict the agreement among the three targeted segments in rating the perceived motives for using agri-expert systems. Results showed the perceived reasons ranking by extension professionals in using agri-expert systems which revealed that ‘saves a lot of time’as first ranked reason followed by ease of use, correctness and reliability of advice, credibility of the developer, user interface, credibility of domain expert(s) and price of the systems respectively. Results also revealed that there was partial agreement in the rating/ranking of perceived motives for using agri-expert systems among extension professionals, front line extension personnel and scientists either at 0.05 or 0.10 percent level of significance. Based on these results there is greater need to enrich extension professionals’ knowledge about the benefits of agri-expert systems by conducting appropriate training programmes in a timely manner even when experts wisdom is not available for effective decision making.

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