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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Factors influencing smartphone usage of rural farmers: Empirical analysis of five selected provinces in China

Ma, Wanglin; Owusu-Sekyere, Enoch; Zheng, Hongyun; Owusu, Victor


The increasing usage of smartphones by practitioners in various fields of expertise is attracting global attention. However, scanty evidence exists on smartphone usage among rural farmers in developing countries. Using data collected from 1286 rural farming households in five provinces in China, this study investigates the factors influencing rural farmers' decisions to use smartphones. The findings from a Probit model reveal that education, health condition, asset ownership, income levels, peers' smartphone usage, internet access, cooperative membership, access to credit, and off-farm work participation are the main factors driving smartphone usage of rural farmers. The age of the farmer rather affects smartphone usage negatively and significantly. Further heterogeneous analysis shows that the influences of factors on smartphone usage vary across the survey provinces.


smartphone usage; probit model; influencing factors; rural farmers; China

Published in

Information Development

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
    SDG16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Information Studies
    Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)