Awareness And Usage Of Social Media For Sourcing Agricultural Information By Agricultural Professionals In River State

Agricultural Education Project and Seminar Material

Awareness And Usage Of Social Media For Sourcing Agricultural Information By Agricultural Professionals In River State


Abstract


Social media plays an important role in transmitting information to large number of audiences simultaneously. As agricultural system becomes more complex, farmers’ access to reliable, timely and relevant information sources becomes more critical to their competitiveness. This study therefore examined the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in river state. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select 120 respondents out of which only 111 questionnaires were retrieved. Primary data were collected on preferred tools, information sought, benefits and constraints. The analytical tools employed were descriptive statistics such as mean, charts, and frequency counts. The findings of the study revealed that the mean age of respondents and farm size of the respondents were 28years and 17.6 hectares. WhatsApp (68.5%) and Facebook (58.6%) were the most preferred tools for dissemination of agricultural information. Provision of solution to agricultural problems (278.4) and increased production quantity and quality (254.6) were identified by the respondents as the major contributions of social media tools in the dissemination of agricultural information while Inadequate / erratic power supply (245.6), slow internet connectivity (235.2) and high cost of data (234.3) were the most realized constraints. Alternate source of power supply and internet connectivity of all networks should be improved upon to enable them have access to continuous flow of agricultural information. Also, help line centre can assist farmers with prompt response to problems to reduce the high cost of purchasing data.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Agricultural sector has been described as the most important sector of the Nigerian economy which holds a lot of potentials for the future economic development of the nation as it had done in the past (Victoria and Nnamdi, 2019). However, the Nigerian agricultural sector is recently characterized by inefficiencies. Repositioning the collapsing Nigerian agricultural sector therefore requires the application of viable innovations especially in the dissemination of available agricultural technologies (Izuchukwu, 2015).

In agricultural development, information is critical because it is a tool for communication between stakeholders and serves as a channel for assessing trends and shaping decisions (Darshan, Meena and Meena, 2017). Farming requires information and technical expertise hence the need for extension services however, due to various factors extension services are not readily available to all farmers. A consensus exists that extension services, if functioning effectively, improve agricultural productivity by providing farmers with information that helps them to optimize their use of limited resources (Muyanga and Jayne, 2006). The basic information needs of farmers are information on crops, production techniques, production equipment and agricultural inputs, market information and weather forecast among others (Milovanović, 2014).

Increasing smallholder productivity is one the greatest challenge of the century. This is worrisome due to the growing populations, growing demand for food, rising poverty, economic stagnation, worsening environmental degradation, and climate change (Thomas and Laseinde, 2015). The agricultural sector in most developing countries is becoming increasingly knowledge intensive. As researchers at the global, regional, and national levels continue to generate new information, agricultural systems is becoming more complex with farmers’ access to reliable, timely and relevant information sources becoming more critical to their competitiveness. According to Diekmann, Loibl and Batte, (2009), information must be relevant and meaningful to farmers, it must be packaged and delivered in a way preferred by themto enhance their agricultural productivity and help combat the problem of food insecurity.

Information is considered critical in agricultural development because it is a tool for communication between stakeholders and serves as a channel for assessing trends and shaping decisions (Kalusopa, 2005). Farming requires information and technical expertise hence the need for extension services (Wangu, 2014). Although, agricultural extension agents have been disseminating information through the use of communication methods such as farm and home visits, the use of contact farmers, mass media and so on (Olaniyi, 2013). This is because medium of connection was limited in nature as it could not cover large audiences and may not have tackled the challenges of disseminating on-going individual or institutional research work. Furthermore, these channels did not allow for the individual’s prompt contribution, positive criticism or a platform for global discussion. These methods are now limited and therefore calls for the use of new emerging information and communication technologies by agricultural information providers for the benefit of farmers (Olaniyi, 2013).

The evolution of social media (SM) provided a visible solution to this challenge. Social media refers to the internet-based digital tools for sharing and discussing information among people. It refers to the user generated information, opinion, video, audio, and multimedia that is shared and discussed over digital networks (Andres and Woodard, 2013). Social media enables blogging, tagging, discussion, networking, and so on. The various platforms include; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google, WhatsApp, Blog, LinkedIn etc. Social networks are seen as an important mechanism for the spread of information and technology (Baerenklau, 2005 and Young, 2009). Also, it has also been considered to be an effective tool in disseminating agricultural information among farmers and they constitute the most powerful social media for disseminating information quicklyenabling farming community to make informed decisions regarding their farming activities, especially in the rural areas of developing countries (Kakade, 2013 and Lwoga,2010). In Nigeria, the use of social media is growing in importance among agricultural researchers, peers, colleague, professionals and the youth. The availability and easy accessibility of direct connection through mobile phones make social media friendlier to use in sourcing or generating information or hosting research reports (Thomas and Laseinde, 2015).

According to Sokoya et al., (2012), Successive governments have continued to invest in the agricultural sector in order to boost agricultural production. Furthermore, various governmental and academic agencies are also involved in agricultural research (Flaherty et al.,2010). In spite of this, the sector is yet to live up to expectations. One of the factors said to be responsible for this is poor communication of agricultural research results. Even with the wealth of agricultural research churned out from research institutions in Nigeria, there is the challenge of prompt availability, awareness and full use of professional research reports, prompt connection and networking with a wider medium to capture a larger audience among agricultural researchers (Sokoya et al.,2012). Generally, the extent of awareness and use of social media as a veritable source of agricultural information is still in thought, more importantly among youth farmers. It is against this background that this study seeks to assess the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in River state. The findings and recommendations from this study will provide information to policy makers and other relevant stakeholders for formulation of agricultural policies targeted at encouraging youth participation in agricultural activities at young farmers.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Most farmers access information from extension workers, libraries or websites. The number of extension workers has been decreasing while farmer numbers have been increasing; hence the need for innovative services to address this gap (Gakuru et al., 2009). The agriculture sector in developing countries is becoming increasingly knowledge intensive. Researchers at the global, regional, and national levels continue to generate new information. As agriculture systems become more complex, farmers’ access to reliable, timely and relevant information sources becomes more critical to their competitiveness. Information must be relevant and meaningful to farmers, in addition to being packaged and delivered in a way preferred by them (Diekmann, Loibl & Batte, 2009).

Farmers constantly manage and adapt their farm businesses in order to remain competitive in a changing world. This is done by among other ways, fine tuning existing practices and technologies or by adopting innovations, such as novel products, technologies or practices. Where there are a number of alternatives, it is necessary for the farmer to choose which innovation, or suite of innovations, will provide the most benefit and best meet the needs of the farm business (Hill, 2009). Kaine (2004) explains that this process is highly involving or important to the farmer as it usually has significant implications for the farm business. Therefore, when making an important decision the farmer will devote time and effort to collecting information, considering the alternatives and selecting the best option, in order to minimize the risk of “getting it wrong”. This process is known as complex decision making (Assael, 1998).

Complex decision making requires the collection of a range of information from a number of sources (Bystrom & Jarvelin, 1995). As individuals, farmers have their favored information sources (Vergot et al., 2005), which they use depending on the specific information being sought (Solano et al., 2003). De Silva and Ratnadikwara (2008) state that a two-way process enables farmers to share lessons and best practices related to their farm enterprise, thus incorporating their knowledge base as well. Social media is increasingly being used as a medium of sharing information and creating awareness. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs have been used to engage with various audiences. The users generate and shape the content. Social media strengths are complementing traditional media in facilitating the shaping of content. Social media is accessed using ICT channels like mobile phones and computers.

Agricultural studies have largely examined how farmers source general information (Vergot et al., 2005, Villamil et al., 2008). Rehmann (2011) and Hassan, Shaffril, Samah, Ali & Ramli (2010) have researched on the media as a source of agricultural information while Rhodes & Aue (2010) have done a research on adoption of social media by agriculture editors and broadcasters. Aina (2006); Stefane et al, (2005); Kaniki (1991), have analyzed farmer information sources and information needs. Studies like Halakatti, Gowda, and Natikar (2010) Meitei and Devi (2009) have shown that radio, television and print media have been the main sources of information among farmers however social media as a source of information has not been explored much. There is less local literature on the same, presenting a knowledge gap, which this study intends to address. The purpose of this study is to establish the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in River state.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in River state; Specifically, the study aims;

  1. To examine respondents preferred social media for information dissemination
  2. To find out respondents’ information needs sought from the internet with the use of social media
  3. To ascertain the extent to which respondents derived benefits from the use of social media in utilising agricultural information
  4. To examine respondents’ perceived constraints in accessing agricultural information from social media

1.5 Research Question

The study will provide answers to the following research questions;

  1. What is preferred social media for information source and dissemination ?
  2. What is information needs sought from the internet with the use of social media?
  3. What is the extent to which respondents derived benefits from the use of social media in sourcing agricultural information ?
  4. What are the perceived constraints in accessing agricultural information from social media ?

1.5 Hypothesis of the Study

The study formulated and tested the following hypothesis;

  • Ho: Social media is not a useful source agricultural information in River state
  • H1: Social media is a useful source agricultural information in River state

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is important because social media as a medium is being used as a tool for informing, educating and persuading the masses alongside traditional mediums. Hence this study seeks to find out how effective social media is in communicating to small holder farmers and how this can bring about development in the agriculture sector. The study is also necessary in order to understand the efficiency of social media platforms in communicating to its target audience. It will be useful to researchers, scholars and organizations who are interested in understanding the efficiency of social media as a medium of communication.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally examine the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in river state. The study will be carried out in River state whereby a focus group of farmers will be engaged, interviews of key informants from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Agricultural Information Resource Centers and a survey will be carried out.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Blog:

It is a web page in which a writer can publish their opinions and allow for comments from other readers.

Facebook:

It is an online social networking platform that has various common interest groups whereby the users share videos, links, pictures and messages.

Internet:

It is a system of interconnected computer networks around the world.

New Media:

It refers to on-demand access to content anytime that is accessed using digital technologies like the internet and any digital device, and allows for user feedback and participation.

Podcast:

It is a digital audio file that is available on the internet for downloading and can be streamed online to a computer or mobile device.

Social Capital:

It is the expected collective or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.

Social Media:

A medium of communication that uses Web 2.0 which enhances the creation of user generated content. It includes various platforms like Face book, Twitter and You tube.

Skype:

It is a software application that allows for free voice calls over the internet.

Twitter:

It is an online social networking and micro blogging service that allows users to send and receive messages which are called ‘tweets’.

Users:

They are audiences of social media who generate and use the content on social media..


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in river state. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the awareness and usage of social media for sourcing agricultural information by agricultural professionals in river state. The study is was specifically focused on examining the preferred social media for information dissemination; finding out respondents’ information needs sought from the internet with the use of social media; ascertaining the extent to which respondents derived benefits from the use of social media in utilising agricultural information and examine the perceived constraints in accessing agricultural information from social media.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 111 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are farmers and agricultural professionals in River state.


5.3 Conclusion

Despite the challenges faced by farmers in the study area, the benefits derived shows that the role of social media cannot be overemphasized, and information sourced through the social media are crucial to the farmers needs which could enhance their productivity.

Alternate source of power supply and internet connectivity of all networks should be improved upon to enable them have access to continuous flow of agricultural information. Also, help line centre can assist farmers with prompt response to problems to reduce the high cost of purchasing data.


5.4 Recommendations

  1. River state can establish centers whereby farmers can access agricultural information online.
  2. Social media can play a role in building feedback mechanisms and allowing for the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of agricultural projects. Social media can also be utilised more because it is cheaper to access hence it can be advantageous to organizations who want to disseminate agricultural information.
  3. Social media can be used to complement extension services in areas where there are geographically dispersed groups and where extension officers cannot effectively reach all farmers due to various factors.
  4. Social media can also be used to access various markets; local and international.
  5. Social media can complement communication campaigns that for instance persuade users to take up agriculture as an alternative source of employment and it can also be beneficial as a platform for lobbying on agricultural matters.

Get Complete Project Material

6,000 Naira

The Complete Material Will Be Sent to You in Just 2 Steps

Quick & Simple…


Step One Purchase

Make Payment (Through Transfer) of ₦6,500 to the Account Below

Zenith BankAcc No: 1225513212
Samphina Academy
Current Account

Or CLICK HERE To Pay With Debit Card


FOR STUDENTS OUTSIDE NIGERIA
CLICK HERE To Purchase Material ($25)

Step Two Purchase

Send the Following Details on WhatsApp ( 08143831497) After Payment

  1. Payment Details

  2. TOPIC: Awareness And Usage Of Social Media For Sourcing Agricultural Information By Agricultural Professionals In River State

The Complete Material Will Be Sent To You On WhatsApp After Receiving Your Details
T & C Apply


  Contact Our Help Desk


Need a Different Topic? Perform a Quick Search



List of Related Works

Click on Any Topic to Preview the Content

samphina.academy

Samphina Academy

Samphina Academy is an Online Educational Resource Center that is aimed at providing students with quality information and materials to aid them in succeeding in their academic pursuit.