AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF AKBC RADIO PROGRAMME “THE FARMER” ON THE ADOPTION OF INNOVATIONS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of AKBC radio programme “the farmer” on the adoption of innovations in uyo local government area. A total of sixty (60) farmers selected from various farming professions in Uyo local government areas were used as respondents in the study. The questionnaire (interview) was employed as instrument for data collection and data were analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies. the findings revealed that out of the sixty (60) farmers actually interviewed on the distribution pattern of farming practice, part time farmers (58.3%) were more in number than the full time farmers (41.7%) showing increase in farming practice. The respondents (96.3%) affirmed ownership of radio set and are regular listeners to radio farmer programme. The innovations adopted are practiced by the respondents include fertilizer application (41.7%) need control (16.7%), animal vaccination (8.3%), pest control (8.3%) and hate planting (8.3%). some reasons were expressed for not adopting innovations fully. This includes lack of funds (83.3%) and difficulty to practice (16.7%). It was recommended among others that AKADEP should encourage more “Radio Farmer” listeners’ group in each extension block in all the Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 The Problem And Its Setting
In Nigeria, nearly seventy percent of the population depends on agriculture for a living (Emenyeonu 1995:225). Conscious of the important role agriculture plays in our Economy, concerted effort have been made by Federal, State and Local Government to ensure the promotion of agricultural development.

Agricultural development have centred on the adoption of improved seeds, improved breeds of livestock, fertilizer usage, use of crop protestants, simple machines and equipment. Others are soil conservation measures, better processing and storage methods and efficient marketing system by farmers. These innovations are aimed at improving remarkable the output ratio of farmers and their overall well being.

Nothing is more important today in Nigeria then increased agricultural production and this is the key to better life.

Yusuf (1996:61) says greater production can be achieved [through popularizing of improved agricultural practices. This is accomplished by influencing farmers to adopt new ideas and practices through effective communication. One of the recognized strategies for improving agriculture is the development of informed farming population as well as effective extension (Obibuaku 1983:95). Extension involves the conscious use of communication to pass on these innovations to farmers and help them make good decisions. One of the basic objectives of agricultural extension is to teach farmers improved methods and persuade them to adopt innovations with a view to increasing their production and income.

Agricultural extension therefore is a service or system for assisting farm people through information in improving farming methods or techniques for the purpose of increasing production efficiency and income, gettering levels of living and lifting the social and educational standard of rural life (Etuk 1990:205). As a matter of fact dissemination of innovations through extension programmes has been widely accepted as a solution to backwardness or low productivity in agricultural production (Ukhedebah 1997:22). Modernization of agriculture means, adoption of modern innovations. Diffusion of innovations, in this regards, is of fundamental importance because it transfers research based information from knowledge creation centres to areas where the information is unknown and could be put to productive use (Atala and Abdullahi, 1989:361).

However, agricultural policy makers and change agents have come to realized that the mass media can and do play a pivotal role in assisting extension programmes. The media particularly radio has certain advantages which make it suitable for communicating innovations to farmers. With the invention of transistor radio in 1947, million of villagers have been receiving information of all kinds.

The messages get to audience faster and chapter regardless of their literacy level, distance and geographical barriers. Radio seems to have an edge over the other media of mass communication as its acceptance among the rural populace is far greater due to the fact that radio lends itself to the predominant oral culture of the people.

Radio waves take the message to the people, they do not depend on a good network of roads, fuel supplies or a serviceable transport, nor do they demand high level of literacy in order to reach the farmers in the remote areas with timely information, for the programme has to be broadcast in English and native language. (Etuk 1990:206) Radio is a poplar medium for transmitting knowledge, ideas and information to the masses.

Nzeneri (1996:209) noted that, almost every home in developing countries has a radio. And most of the community members like to carry their radio to places of work like farms, offices, or workshop. Whichever method used, the key indices of extension activity are the number of persons who adopt them even if eventually on only a small portion of their farm.

Extension agencies in developing countries including Nigeria make use of variety of mass media methods of communication to bring about desirable changes in attitude and behaviour of clientele.

Despite the growing for increase agricultural product to feed the teeming population in the state, farmers in UmunneochiLocal Government Area who are mostly peasant farmers are still indulging in their crude and traditional methods of agricultural practices. They produce only a small scale year out to satisfy the needs of their families.

Being aware of this agricultural backwardness by farmers in the state, the media unit of the Akwa Ibom State Agricultural Development Programme (AKADEP) has been producing programme on relevant agriculture innovations using the Akwa Ibom State radio to air the programme to the farmer. This programme has the following air time schedules in radio: Monday’s 4:45pm (English) and Fridays 6:30pm- 7.00pm(vernacular)

1.2 Statement of the Problem
The threat of starvation due to inadequate production of food stuff has necessitated wide spread concern for mass education on agriculture in Nigeria.

The main problem facing Nigeria’s agricultural sector today is not the lack of technologies and ideas on how to bring about changes but taking these innovations and ideas to the ultimate user. This demands a suitable and effective communication medium.

The Akwa Ibom State Agricultural Programme, (AKADEP) recognizing this fact has instituted a radio programme, “the farmer” in AKBC radio to help disseminate information on innovations in the field. Though this radio programme has been on air for quite a long time now, it appears not to have a wider impact on farmers in Uyo Local Government Area. What then is the impact of the programme on farmers in Uyo Local Government Area?

1.3 Objectives of Study
The objectives of this research work were:

i To determine whether the programme is a major source for communicating innovations to farmers among other sources.

ii To determine those innovations communicated through the programme and the level of adoption of those innovations by farmers in Uyo Local Government Area.

iii To determine the problems which hinders access to the programme and the non adoption of innovations communicated through it.

1.4 Research Questions
i Is the programme a major source for communicating innovations to farmers in Uyo L.G.A. among other sources?

ii What are the innovations communicated through this programme and the level of adoption of those innovations by farmers in Uyo L.G.A.?

iii Is there any problem which hinders access to the programme and the adoption of innovations communicated through its programme by farmers in Uyo L.G.A.?

1.5 Significance of the Study
It is assumed that the AKBC radio programme “the farmer” has been an effective channel of communicating innovations to farmers in the state and thus it key to improve farming methods in state.

This research is important because it will help us to know the level of accessibility and acceptability of this programme by farmers in the state.

Also it would help to reveal the level at which this programme has contributed to the discarding of the crude agricultural practices by farmers. It will enable us to assess the level of diffusion of innovations through the modern mass medium.

1.6 Delimitation
The Akwa Ibom State Agricultural Programme (AKADEP) has been using the AKBC Radio and Television to disseminate information on agricultural innovations to farmers in the state. For proper and accurate fact-finding, the research focused specifically on the “Radio farmer”.

The AKBC radio programme “The Farmer”, is a programme that disseminates information on new ideas and practices in agricultural sector in Akwa Ibom State but for accurate investigation and evaluation, the research is limited to farmers in Uyo L.G.A. and their agricultural practices.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 57 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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