This paper is based on the second of a twopart report on a British Library Research and Development funded project which surveyed the information needs of, and provision for industry, commerce and agriculture in Northern Ireland. This article examines information provision for the agricultural sector while part one was concerned with the industrial and commercial sectors. The main information providers to the agricultural sector were identified as the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, The Ulster Farmers Union, The Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association, The Milk Marketing Board, The Livestock Marketing Commission and the agricultural education and research establishments. Each of these providers were interviewed as was a 2 sample of farmers throughout Northern Ireland. The survey of farmers showed that for the most part, farmers were satisfied with the present level of provision. It was noticeable that their information needs were not as acute as those of the industrial and commercial sectors. This could be attributed to the fact that most farms in Northern Ireland are small and there is a heavy reliance on tradition. Most farmers surveyed were of the impression that the information was available if needed. It was entirely coincidental that this survey was conducted at a time when active consideration was being given to the possible imposition of charges for the Department of Agriculture Advisory Services. Farmers rated the present advisory services quite highly, although few were aware of the full range of services available to them. This survey should be a useful pointer to existing trends in the use of services and should also indicate gaps in provision.
Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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