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1.1 Background to the Study
Information is one of the major resources that a business requires for improving their economic activities, products and services (Ikoja-Odongo, 2001). Information, being a factor in business, is the most important element of production because it is the key to effective management of all types of organizations. Underscoring information as an important element in business, Ikoja-Odongo (2001) accepted that “power comes from transmitting information, there by promoting innovative attitudes in production and high productivity.”
The 21st century witness availability of information in different varieties of formats and sources. Recognizing its importance, information is being sought in an increasing number of situations by a multitude of people (Ugah, 2000). The advancement of knowledge is made possible through research by scholars in all fields coupled with the fusion and fragmentation of disciplines and knowledge. In addition, thousands of other information packages, e.g., Journals, Magazines, and Newspapers, were being turned out by an ever-expanding publishing industry. The electronic media produces vast volumes of information.
Information is certainly a vital element for creativity and innovation, a basic resource for learning and human thought, a key resources in creating more knowledgeable citizens, a factor that enables citizens to achieve better results in their lives, and important resource for national socio-economic development (Byerly and Brodie, 1999). Gray and Perry (1975) observed that to be well informed implies three conditions, the information must exist in a suitable form, people must know it exists, and they must know how to find and use it. Thus, unless individuals are aware of the availability of information, they may often think that it does not exist.
Any bird reared or hunted for a useful purpose is a member of the bird group collectively known as poultry. Poultry farming can be referred to the keeping or rising of domestic birds including fowls; chickens; turkeys; geese and ducks; for production of meat or eggs. Most of these birds are domesticated and are managed on the same basic principles as domestic fowl (Oluyemi, 2007). The Encyclopedia Britannica (2009) lists the same bird groups but also includes guinea fowl and squabs, young pigeons and quails are also generally considered to be poultry. Poultry meat and egg production are very important means of bridging the gap in animal protein. The meat of poultry stands out of all livestock sources as it has very low quantity of cholesterol.
Poultry farming is capital intensive when it is done on a large scale. It has many branches such as feed milling; hatchery; brooding up to point of lay or meat; sale of feeds ingredients; medicament; sales of eggs and birds, (Adene: 2004). Poultry farming involved different type of birds which is either for meat production, egg production and those that serve the dual purpose.
1.1.2 Essence of Poultry Farming
Jadhav (2007), identified some of the reasons why people engaged in poultry farming such as:- Employment Generation (Direct), Employment Generation (Indirect), Sources of food, Sources of Earning, Additional to National Income and Use of poultry parts and products in other industries. Similarly, households keep birds for household consumption, sale and reproduction purposes including other social and cultural roles (Tadelle 2003). Moreover, poultry farming constitute an important component of the agricultural and household economy in the developing world, a contribution that goes beyond direct food production as well as employment and income generation for small farmers, especially women (Guèye, 2002).
These poultry, which make up around 80% of poultry stocks in many developing countries of Africa and Asia (Pym 2006). Significant improvements in poultry production systems can be achieved through well-designed and implemented information dissemination programmes that endow those involved in poultry farming (i.e. poultry farmers, extension workers, communicators, planners, policy makers, etc.) with necessary knowledge and skills ( Bradley, 1992). Moreover, rural poultry integrate very well and in sustainable way into other farming activities, because they required little in the way of labor and initial investment as compared with other farm activities (Tadelle, 1996). A further advantage is that small area of land is required to keep chickens.
Pederson (2001), reported that women owned most poultry flocks and that income generated from poultry production belongs to them. Seeberg (2002) also reported that 92% of the interviewed women kept the income from selling of eggs and chicken in their own hands and they sent more to their children, especially girls, to school. Experiences from Bangladesh showed that improved poultry productions increased farmer's livelihood and Women empowerment (Danida, 1998). The participation of women in rural poultry improvement programmes contributes to human development both by increasing access for rural women to income and knowledge, and by increasing production efficiency (Aboul-Ella, 1992).
1.1.3 Poultry Farming Practice and Management
Generally, there are four poultry production systems in developing countries and in Africa. These include the free-range system or traditional village system; the backyard or subsistence system; the semi intensive system and the small-scale intensive system (Gueye, 2000). The most common production system found in Africa are the free-range and backyard production systems (Gueye, 2003), and approximately 80% of poultry populations in Africa are reared in these systems (Gueye, 1998). The chicken in this system are a function of natural selection. As a result the performance of chickens under rural conditions remain generally poor as evidenced by highly pronounced broodiness, slow growth rates, small body size and low production of meat and eggs (Sonaiya, 2000).
Poultry production systems in Nigeria show a clear distinction between traditional low input systems and modern production system using relatively advanced technology. There is also a third emerging small-scale intensive system as an urban and pier urban small-scale commercial system (Alemu et al 1997). However, the smallholder rural poultry production that predominately exist in the country is characterized as including small flocks, nil or minimal inputs, with low output and periodic devastation of the flock by disease (Tadelle,
1.1.4 Stake Holders in Poultry Farming
Among the stakeholders in poultry farming are the customers, farm managers. Other stakeholders are government officials; entrepreneurs; shopkeepers; leaders of dairy cooperatives; feed and medicine merchants; retailers and wealthy consumers. The differences among stakeholders imply different interests and perceptions regarding poultry farming. Government officials may know little or nothing about the socio-economic and technical aspects of poultry production but they can be zealous in protecting their own private interests. Entrepreneurs may be retired or active government employees, house wives; single women; unemployed casual labourers; school children; and industrialists who know how to make good use of government subsidies and tax laws. Combined with the different forms of poultry farming, (poultry E- book,2013).
According to Jadhav (2007), Poultry farming requires information. This is because enough information on the building and housing of poultry birds is critical to the surviving of the poultry. Housing of poultry is one of the key factor to be considered in poultry. This is because ventilation and generation of heat is vital depending on the age of the birds. The information that a poultry farmer may also need again after the purchase of the birds is how to take care of the birds.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
For any community to function effectively a basic stock of information is necessary.
We are living in an information age, where we have become more dependent on information. Malhaam (2011) says that information have become significant factors for production of goods and services. Organizations depend on the collection of information pertaining to the purpose for which they operate. Curtis (2013) stated that information is a vital element for technological, educational, social and economic change. From the various area involved in poultry farming the need to generate, access and utilize different types of information is equally enormous. This is because enough information on the building and housing of poultry birds is critical to the surviving of the birds. Information on health of the poultry, feeding of the poultry, security of the birds, the breed of birds, marketing of poultry products etc are core information to the poultry farmers. Poultry are suffering from viral, bacterial, parasitic, fungal and nutritional diseases. Information on how to keep the poultry house clean and dry and vaccinating the farmed stock of the poultry birds against all the diseases is equally important.
However, constraints facing poultry farming production systems are related to high mortality (mainly due to Newcastle disease, and avian influenza also in many countries since its outbreak in Asia in late 2003). Housing, feeding, breeding, security, medicine, training/education etc are some of the factors. Disease and predators are known to be the major causes of mortality of the poultry in Nigeria (Holye, 2006). The value of information to any society and the poultry farmers inclusive is very important. Information to the poultry farmers brings about economic growth in poultry farming. The overriding motive for practicing any business is to make profit. It is unfortunate however, that many poultry farmers do not take time to learn why some poultry farmers failed. It is widely known that many poultry farmers have been forced out of business when they could not operate profitably (Ogundipe, 2008).
Information on all issues pertaining to poultry farming are available from several sources ranging from private organization, agricultural institutions, state and federal ministries of agriculture and international organizations or via internet, extension workers, community libraries, public media, pamphlets, etc for them to generate, access and utilize it. Much of the information contained what the poultry farmers need to improve their industry. Despite the fact that information is available to them many of the poultry farmers do not generate, access and utilize the available information to them, because over the years, our poultry farmers depend on indigenous or local information for improved poultry farming. Such information (indigenous or local information) refers to skill and experience gained through oral tradition and practice over many generations (Norem, 2012). According to Maw(2009), there was a predominant use of interpersonal sources of generating information such as neighbours of their farms, friends and relatives, and specialists in the process of decisionmaking.
Due to the inadequate poultry information access, generation and utilization pertaining poultry farming activities that include housing of the poultry, health of the poultry, security and good breeds of the birds and many others mortality rate and predators of the poultry became the major problem facing the poultry farming industry in Zaria Environ Kaduna State- Nigeria. Experience has shown that even simple vaccination and normal medication routine sometimes is confusing to some poultry farmers.
However, it is in the light of the aforementioned problems that this research was set to study information generation, access and utilization by the poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs.
1.3 Research Questions
This study sought answers to the following questions;
1. What type of information is generated by poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs?
2. Through which channels do the poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs access information?
3. What are the purpose poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs utilize information?
4. What are the challenges to information generation, access and utilization for poultry farming in Oshimili South environs?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are:
1. To determine the types of information generated by poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs.
2. To determine channels through which poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs accessed information.
3. To determine for which purpose poultry farmers in Oshimili South environs utilize information.
4. To determine the challenges to information generation, access and utilization for poultry farming in Oshimili South environs.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research work is significant in the sense that it emphasized and contributed to the poultry farmers to generate access and utilize necessary and available information for their industry. This research documents how information may improve poultry farming in Oshimili South environs. This may be information that will probably valuable in planning for poultry farming production by government, NGOs, and other agencies. Such documentation may be crucial to the planning and improvement of information systems of value to community users with special focus on poultry farming. This will also be particularly useful to the government and other development partners such as libraries, researchers etc. The results may also provide the basis for future research in the area of information on poultry farming. It also aimed at making the poultry farmers, stake holders, professionals and even others that want to join the business to generally aware the importance of information generation, access and utilization. The researcher wants to determine the strength and weakness on how they generate, access and utilize information. It would also encourage the nation; libraries; and other information centre to provide wider information channels that will contribute towards improving their
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study aims at investigating the spatial diffusion of poultry farm in Oshimili South which covers “Information Access, Generation and Utilization by Poultry Farmers in Oshimili South environs, Delta State- Nigeria” Oshimili South is surrounded by Asaba, Oko and Okwe cities.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study was delimited to Information Access, Generation and Utilization by Poultry Farmers in Oshimili South environs, due to the constraints of finance, the time within which the research is to be carried out. The researcher also encountered problems associated to absenteeism of farm managers in their respective farms during data collection.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms are as defined within the context of this study:
Spatial Diffusion; Spatial diffusion is the process by which an idea or innovation is transmitted between individuals and groups across space. It enables dispersion of concepts or things from a central point of origin to other locations that may or may not be directly connected.
Information generation: - The process of looking for information that is available.
Information Access: Receiving messages or information from its source.
Information Utilization: Referred to the use or converting received information into action. Poultry Farming: -The keeping or rising of poultry in different categories for the purpose of either for consumption, selling or other reasons.
Poultry farmers: Those engaged in the rearing and maintenance of Poultry.
Environs: A town with a collective surrounding.
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