Community Radio Broadcasting and Agricultural Development

Abstract

The research is thrust to examine community radio broadcasting and agricultural development of Obosi town in Anambra State. Findings show that the success of agricultural development in rural community largely depends on the nature and extent of use of mass media in mobilization of people for development. The planners in developing countries realize that the development of agriculture could be hastened with the effective use of mass media. Findings show that the people of Obosi local government are having access to at least 3-4 television stations. However, the researcher adopted survey method in carrying out this research with 120 administered questionnaires to the selected respondents with six major communities in Obosi local government area. It was recommended that broadcast media should design and dedicate some airtime to agricultural programmes and should be aired at appropriate time with adequate time enable farmer easy access.

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1 Background of 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. Radio and television have been acclaimed to be the most effective media for diffusing the scientific knowledge to the masses in respect of agric program. In Nigeria, the literacy level is low, the choice of communication media is of vital importance. In this regard radio is significant, as they transfer modern agricultural process and planning to the literate and illiterate farmers alike even in interior or rural areas obosi within short time.

Radio is so useful because of it characteristics that give it ample edge over other mass media, such as: portability, sending signal to remote place, easy to operate, cost effective, can even be enjoyed while working on the farm.

Radio broadcast enlighten farmers on the use of various technologies and materials to boost agricultural development. At present, there are about more than 50 community radio stations in Nigeria both private and public, Abiola (2010).

The farmers can easily understand the operations, technology and instruction through radio because the instructions and other related messages are disseminated in local languages. There is no doubt the mass media, particularly radio has a tremendous influence on our behavior because it informs, stimulates, educates, entertains and mobilizes the citizen for development and to cultivated responsible outlook on community and national activities.

Radio has been recognized as having the potentials to effect human enhancement and develop a viable society.

Similarly, community radio is a type of radio service that caters for the interests of a certain area, broadcasting content that is popular to a local audience but which may often be overlooked by commercial or mass-media broadcasters. (UNESCO 2002)

Community radio is confined to a small geographical area. It depends on low power transmission covering not more than 20-30 km. radius. It serves a community which uses common resources for livelihood, has common development issues and concerns, which are relatively localized, nevertheless connected to national and regional development goals.

Community radio is a vibrant community broadcasting system to enhance pluralism and diversity. It is a truly people’s radio that perceives listeners not only as receivers and consumers, but also as active citizens and creative producers of media content.

Community radio is distinguished by three essential principles. Non profit making, community ownership and management and community participation. Community radio is also characteristics by its limited local reach, low power transmission and programming content that reflects the educational developmental and socio-cultural needs of the specific community it serves. For the purpose of community radio, a community is defined as a non-sectarian group of individuals who are traditionally bound and share a common socio-economic and cultural interest.

National Broadcasting Commission perceives Community Broadcasting as a non-profit, grassroots public broadcasting service through which community members are able to contribute and foster civic responsibility and integration. It provides platform for members of the community to serve their communal, developmental, economic, social and cultural objectives (Nigeria Broadcasting Code, 4th Edition, 2006) cited in National Broadcasting Commission (2009).

Similarly, the commission recognizes community broadcasting as broadcasting which is for, by and about the community; and whose ownership and management are representative of the community.

It primarily pursues a social development agenda. Community broadcast station exists basically to serve the underserved or marginalized community. The establishment of community broadcasting service will provide voices to numerous communities hitherto voiceless. It also provides access and disseminates information vital to the attainment of development goals i.e. the MDGs. (Nigeria Broadcasting Code, 4th Edition, 2006) cited in National Broadcasting Commission (2009).

It is against this backdrop that the research examines the role of community radio broadcasting and agricultural development of Obosi town in Anambra state with a view to examine the extent at which community radio has helped in promoting agricultural and rural economy.

1.2 Statement of the problems

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 farmers can get latest information, encouragement and latest farming tools for modern agricultural practice and there by increate their productivities.

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 The study also, gears towards community radio broadcasting and agricultural development of Obosi town in Anambra state.

1.3 Purpose of the study

The research is mainly designed to Community Radio Broadcasting and Agricultural Development in Obosi Town, Anambra State. Specifically, this study intends to investigate:

i. To examine the extent farmers in Obosi Town have gained agricultural knowledge through community radio programmes.

ii. To determine the duration agricultural programmes on radio is allotted.

iii. To ascertain if community radio educate and update Obosi farmers on latest farming tools and farm productions.

iv. To examine if farmers’ exposure to radio messages have improved their agricultural skills and knowledge.

v. To ascertain the challenges facing farmers in Obosi town

1.4 Research Questions

i. To what extent have farmers in Obosi town gained agricultural knowledge from community radio programmes?

ii. Does time provided for agricultural programmes on radio is enough and appropriate?

iii. Does community radio educate and update Obosi farmers on latest farming tools and farm productions?

iv. Does farmers’ exposure to radio messages improve their agricultural skills and knowledge?

v. What are the challenges facing farmers in Obosi town in getting adequate achieving agricultural information?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • H1: Farmers in Obosi town gained agricultural knowledge from community radio programmes.
  • H0: Farmers in Obosi town does not gained agricultural knowledge from community radio programmes.
  • H1: Farmers’ exposure to radio messages have improved their agricultural skills and knowledge.
  • H0: Farmers’ exposure to radio messages does not improve their agricultural skills and knowledge.

1.6 Significance of Study

Work of this nature will benefit a lot of people: Farmer will benefits 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 serve 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.

Community Radio stations fill the gap left by national and commercial media, and reach local audiences the national media ignore. They fulfill the role of public broadcaster, informing the public at a local level, and representing their views. In this way, they give a voice to the voiceless, enabling people to speak and make their opinions, grievances and ideas known to those who have the power to make decisions.

1.7 Scope and Delimitation

The scope of the study is limited to the Community Radio Broadcasting and Agricultural development of Obosi Town in Anambra State. However, for effective research, the study will be limited to five villages in Obosi Town.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

This research has been narrowed down to Obosi town area of Anambra state due to lack of fund, time, geographical structure and other considerable logistics since it is very difficult if not impossible to study all communities in Anambra State.

Similarly, a research of this nature cannot be carried out without some challenges raging from gathering materials relate for the work, financing the project, 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 other communities in Nigeria.

1.9 Definitions of terms

The definitions of the terms were operationally defined in order to have direct meaning to the research.

  • Community: People who reside in local areas which could be a town or village such as Obosi town.
  • Community Development: It entails the progress and positive changes on Obosi community that make it improve and expand.
  • Community Radio Broadcasting: It refers to the community broadcasting services that provide voices to numerous communities hitherto voiceless especially in Obosi town.
  • Agriculture: It is the science or practice of farming and rearing of animals in Obosi town area of Anambra state.
  • Agricultural Development: It is all forms of ways to improve the practice and processing of agriculture in Obosi town.
  • Obosi Town: Obosi is a town in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria. Obosi Ukwala is sited at a hill like area bordered by Onitsha to the North west, Nkpor to the North east and Oba to the south-east.