Role Of Mass Media In Disseminating Agricultural Information To Oil Palm And Plantain Farmers
The study examined the role of mass media in disseminating agricultural information to oil palm and plantain farmers in Edo state, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to examine the socio-economic characteristics of oil palm and plantain farmers in the study area, Ascertain Respondents’ accessibility to mass media, Ascertain the media type sought for agricultural information, Ascertain Respondents” preference of mass media for seeking agricultural information, Ascertain the perceived role of mass media to the Respondents, Ascertain the constraints faced by Respondents in accessing mass media and finally to Ascertain the problems inhibiting the cultivation of oil palm and plantain in the study area. A total number of 200 respondents were selected randomly and data were collected with the help of well structured Questionnaire and it was validated by expert judgment and analyzed using frequency count, percentage, mean and hypothesis was tested using Pearson Product Moment Correlation.
Result showed that all oil palm farmers were male and most (57.0%) were male for plantain farmers. Both oil palm and plantain farmer’s have a mean age of 53 years and 54 years respectively, with mean farming experience of 12 years for both farmers. Both oil palm and plantain farmers have the most regular access to hybrid variety with mean of 2.68 and 3.86 respectively. It was also observed that majority of the farmer’s sought agricultural information from the television, followed by Newspapers and Radio.
There was significant difference between access to hybrid variety, agro chemicals and its relevance to the respondents for oil palm farmers at (r = – 0.201, P = 0.045), (r = – 0.047, P = 0.013) and (r = 0.0225, P = 0.025) respectively all at 0.05 level of significance. For plantain farmers there was significant difference between respondents’ access to hybrid variety and its relevance at (r = – 0.217, p = 0.030) at 0.05 level of significant. Finally, it is recommended that more efforts should be intensified in providing more agricultural information to farmers through the mass media most especially during the resting hours of the evening and local community viewing centres should be established by government.
1.1 Background Information
According to the business dictionary, information is defined as a “Data that has been verified to be accurate and timely. It is specific, organized for a purpose and presented within a context that gives its meaning and relevance which can lead to an increase in understanding and decrease in uncertainty .Reits (2010)defines information need as a gap in a person’s knowledge that,when experienced at the conscious level as a question, gives rise to a search for an answer .information is a fact or knowledge provided or learned as a result of research or study(smith 2001). It is the fact and knowledge needed to answer some question faced by people in their daily life
The world Encyclopedia defines information as an ordered sequence of symbols that can be interpreted as a message. Information is any kind of event that affects the state of a dynamic system. The value of information lies solely in its ability to affect a behaviour, decision or outcome e. a piece of information is considered valueless if, after receiving it, things remain unchanged. Agriculture play an essential role in everyday human activities ranging from the provision of primary needs like food, clothing and shelter to secondary needs like construction, manufacturing etc. while much of the world is still stuck in subsistence agriculture practiced majorly in remote part of the country, a little proportion of agriculture is just being practiced under the light of civilization and modernization.
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