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This study analyzed Agricultural Communication for Improving Productivity among Rural Farmers in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. The research problem was the persistent low agricultural productivity in Nigeria, as a result of lack of access to adequate agricultural information by the rural farmers to their improve productivity. It looked at the Communication methods being used by the Ogun State
Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP) to pass relevant Agricultural Information to its rural farmers, to improve Productivity. It also examined how farmers access Agricultural Information, and the challenges being faced by OGADEP and the farmers, in passing, as well as, receiving the information respectively. Four research questions were generated for the study. In collecting data, both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Survey research and structured interviews were adopted. The population of the study was in three categories; rural farmers in Odeda, extension agents in the area and the OGADEP information officer in the State: 3,155, five (5), and one (1) respectively. Three Hundred and Fifteen (315) rural farmers in this local government, five Extension Agents, covering the areas under the LGA and the OGADEP Information Officer formed the population of the study. It adopted stratified sampling under the probability sampling method. Data were collected through both primaryand secondarysources. Questionnaires and face-to-face interview were used to collect primary data for the study. The findings revealed that Extension Agents (EAs), and the Mass Media, are the main Methods being used by OGADEP in passing Agricultural Information to the rural farmers. Findings also showed that the Mass Media and the EAs were the major sources of Agricultural Information for the farmers. The result also revealed the various challenges being encountered in passing and accessing information by the EAs and the farmers respectively and their suggested solutions. Also, the farmers preferred getting their information from sources, with immediate feedback. The Study recommended that there should be improved communication as a means of ensuring farmers get access to Agricultural Information.
1.1 Background to the Study
Due to the challenges of hunger, unemployment as well as poverty, and the continuous
increase in population, which characterise the Nigerian nation, the need to ensure food
security through agricultural sector is being agitated by various levels of government.
It is believed that, if Nigeria, as a nation, can again get it rightful place in Agriculture,
most of its present problems will be solved. This is because, agriculture, in the past,
has proved, not only to feed the country, but generate revenues for the government to
carry out its various developmental programmes, in addition to providing employment
opportunities for the citizen. It is thus, no wonder that today, several steps are being
taken to fast track agricultural development in the country.
However, in ensuring this, the importance of information in facilitating agricultural
development cannot be under estimated. Dissemination of appropriate information to
farmers from places, like, Research Institutes, Universities, as well as relevant
authorities in the area, using the right communication methods, is very important, if
the utilizers of the information (the farmers) must make meaning out of it and respond
as intended. The accessibility of information by these farmers, especially those in the
rural areas, has been identified by various scholars (Sharma, 2003; Oyekunle, 2011;
Arokoyo, 2012), as one of the major factors, militating against development of
agriculture in Nigeria today. The use of effective communication to promote
agricultural development is being advocated for by stakeholders, as, it has been
identified, that, no development programme can succeed without the effective use of
Agricultural communication therefore, is the effective transfer of agricultural
innovations from Technologydevelopers, to the end users, that is, the farmers. For this
transfer of information to be effective and the desired result achieved, it requires the
use of appropriate methods or channels, in order to elicit the desired response from the
intended beneficiaries (Farmers in this instance). Thus, communication has avital role
to play in any efforts towards ensuring improved rural productivity. Dissemination of
information using the right communication technology is very important, if the
receiver must make a meaning out of the messages being received (Oyekunle, 2011).
Oneof the functions of themedia, amongother numerous ones, is to educatethe public
on issue, ranging from developmental issues, programmes and projects of the
Government, through a medium or media. Realizing the importance of
communication, in the development of any society, the Nigerian Government at all
levels, at one time, or the other, made mass use of the media of communication, to
disseminate important messages to mobilize the people, towards a particular
programme or policy. This tactic has been applied to Agricultural sectors over time.
Programmes like the Operation Feed the Nation, and the Back to Land of the 70’s by
the Military Government of General Olusegun Obasanjo (Rtd.), were some of the
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