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The purpose of this study was to assess the role of community radio as an effective tool for agriculture agricutural development in Obokun LGA. The study also sought to investigate the perceptions and attitudes of the farmers towards the program, find out how the farmers use agricultural information to improve farming methods and explore farmers’ opinion on how community radio promote agriculture. It was carried out in Obokun LGA, Osun State. The study used mixed methods. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used. The data collection instruments used in the study were questionnaires and interviews. The target population of the study was all small scale farmers aged between 25 to 65 years in Obokun LGA. Qualitative data was analyzed in the form of words and narratives. On the other hand, quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The main findings of the study revealed that the radio programhad influenced most of the farmers to become better at their farming practice (96.6%) while 76.7% had been able to practice a new farming method learnt from the program. In addition the findings indicated that 91.4% of the farmers found the program useful and 81% of the farmers had been able to use information from the program to improve their farming practices. The study recommends that the producer should include topics on maize disease precaution and control, making biogas and waste product usage. Additionally topics on agribusiness, especially those that relate to production and markets as well as where farmers can borrow finances should be explored so as to improve farming practices.
1.1 Background to the Study
The success of agricultural development programmes in developing countries largely depends on the nature and extent of use of mass media in mobilization of people for agricultural development. The planners in developing countries realize that the development of agriculture could be hastened with the effective use of mass media.
Radio and television have been acclaimed to be the most effective media for diffusing the scientific knowledge to the masses. In a country like Nigeria, where literacy level is low, the choice of communication media is of vital importance. In this regard the television and radio are significant, as they transfer modern agricultural and information technology to literate and illiterate farmers alike even in interior or rural areas within short time.
Nigeria farm and home broadcast with agricultural thrust were introduced in 1966, to enlighten farmers on the use of various technologies and materials to boost agricultural development. At present, there are about 50 of such radio units all over the country. With the mainstream of Nigeria population engaged actively in agriculture, television and radio could serve as a suitable media of dissemination of farming information and latest technical know – how because of its audio-visual potential of television. The farmers can easily understand the operations, technology and instruction through television. Among the several mass media, newspaper and farm magazine are still commonly used. They have a vital role to play in the communication of agricultural information among the literate farmers. Increasing rate of literacy in the country offers new promises and prospects for utilizing print medium as a means of mass communication. The print media widened the scope of communication. It is cheap and people can afford to buy and read them at their convenience. It is a permanent medium in that the message are imprinted permanently with high storage value which makes them suitable for reference and research. Agricultural journalism is of recent origin in India. It came into existence just five decades ago. It is now gaining importance, particularly after the establishment of Agricultural Universities in Nigeria such as University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Makurdi, e. t. c and technical information needs to be provided to the farmers at the right time and in the right way, so that the productivity can be increased.
In the view of increase in literacy level to 52.11 percent during 1991, print media has acquired a greater role in dissemination of information on improved agricultural practices to the farming community and also to inform the public in general. The coverage of different subject matter by radio, television, newspaper and farm magazine are almost similar with regard to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, agricultural marketing, agricultural engineering and cooperatives.
In this research, an attempt is made to deal about the importance of radio, television, newspaper and farm magazines and their effect in promoting modern agricultural process in Ife-East Local government.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Most media outlets focus less on agriculture simply because it is considered a boring topic. However, agriculture greatly sustains the livelihood of the population in every country especially in Africa. Some African journalists and researchers from Anglophone countries have been trained to promote the coverage of agriculture and rural development issues in mass media so that farmer can get latest information, encouragement and latest farming tools for modern agricultural practice.
Therefore, the study examines the contribution of broadcasting media in dissemination of agricultural message to the rural dwellers with specific focus on the enlightenment and educative programmes of broadcast which help in promoting agriculture and to know the best medium to communicate and educate farmers as majority of them are illiterate. The study therefore examines broadcast media as means of disseminating agricultural information using Obokun local government area of Osun State as a reference point.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
There is no doubt nowadays that research Institute Agricultural development programmes (ADPS), Ministry of Agriculture and Natural resources (MANR) depends solely on or in combination with other methods of disseminating agricultural information to rural farmer, the use of broadcast media (radio and television).
This study will focus on the problems and prospect associate with focus on the problems and prospect associated with using radio and television to teach rural farmers new agricultural innovations. The specific objectives of this study are as follow:
- To know the extent rural farmers have gained through the broadcast media.
- To find whether the time provided for agricultural programmes on radio and television is appropriate.
iii. To know whether the huge amount incurred by agricultural organizations activities on these media is justified.
- To be able to make useful empirical recommendation on how farmers can benefit from agricultural programmes dissemination through radio and television.
- To identify problem association with dissemination of agricultural information on radio and television.
- To know whether there is feedback between the source and receiver.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent have rural farmers gained agricultural knowledge from radio and television programmes and news reports?
- Does time provide for agricultural programmes on radio and television is enough and appropriate?
iii. Do radio and television educate and update farmers on latest farming tools and farm production?
- Do farmers exposure to radio and television messages improve their agricultural skills and knowledge?
- Does amount of money incurred by agricultural organizations on enlightenment activities on media is justified?
- How can farmers benefit from agricultural programmes disseminate through radio and television?
vii. Is there any challenge facing radio and television in disseminating agricultural information to farmers?
viii. To what extent do broadcast media receive feedback from farmers during agricultural programme?
1.5 Scope of the Study
This research as being narrowed down to Obokun Local Government area of Osun due to lack of fund, time, geographical structure of Osun state other considerable logistics since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all the 774-local government in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Work of this nature will benefit a lot of people: Farmer will benefit from the result of research findings as they will know how they can learn through their radio and television set.
Media outfits especially radio and television stations will at the end of this work dedicate airtime for programme that will focus extensively on agriculture while presenter should be groomed for the purpose.
To boost food production and be self sufficient to terms of raw materials in the state and the country in general, new proven agricultural innovation has to get to the teeming faming population within the shorter possible time.
To achieve this, radio and television have served as a faster means of disseminating agricultural information to rural farmers in their farms and homes. If this is done successful it is the belief of these researchers that food production in the state will increase tremendously.
The importance of this research is to serve as background information for researchers from other institution upon which they can rely authentic information. Also, to educate the upcoming communicators and interested individuals about the broadcast media for dedication of information problems and prospects.
Government at all levels will find mass media relevant especially in assisting government to disseminate programming and policies on agricultural development.
1.7 Limitation to the Study
A research work of this nature cannot be carried out without some challenges raging from gathering materials relate for the work, financing the project, raveling to the research focus area (case study), it is also a difficult tax to combine class work, assignment and project writings together.
However, despite the aforementioned challenges the research will still come up with reliable and genuine findings that can be generalized to all 774 local governments that constitute the Nigeria.
1.8 Definition of the Terms
Role: This is synonymous to function or contribution of the something and something.
Mass Media: This is an umbrella term that covers all the means of communication of the wider and larger audience such as radio, television and newspaper.
Promoting: This means to improve, to develop something.
Agriculture: It is the science or practice of farmers and rearing of animals.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter reviews what has been written in relation to radio and agricultural development.
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- THE PERCEPTION OF MEDIA STAFF WELFARE ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF JOURNALISM IN NIGERIA
- THE PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF CAMPUS BROADCASTING STATION IN NIGERIA
- THE ROLE OF THE MASS MEDIA ON THE ATTITUDE OF TEENAGERS ON THE PREVALENCE OF HIV/AIDS
- EFFECTS OF VIOLENT FILMS ON NIGERIAN CULTURAL VALUES