INFORMATION DISSEMINATION ON AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA: A CASE OF STUDY ANAMBRA STATE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (ADP) AWKA
1.1 DEFINITION OF INFORMATION
Information is referred to anything that you are capable of perceiving, this can include written communication. Speaking communication, photographs, art, music nearly anything that is perceivable. This includes enormous assortment of stimuli, but realizable, everything we come in contact, which is capable of providing and does provides us with some sort of information.
INFORMATION ACCORDING TO WEBSITES THIRD NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY DEFINED:
Information as a process by which the form of an object of knowledge is impressed upon the apprehending mind so as to bring about the state of knowing it. This also includes some thing received or perceived or obtained- through information eg. Knowledge communicated by others or obtained from investigation, study or instruction.
FUNK AND WAGNALLS ENCYCLOPEDIA
Sees information as timely or specific knowledge acquired or derived signal element forming parts of massage or communication especially one assembled and made available for use by automatic machines, as in a digital computer usually machined in bits.
The Encyclopedia Biotical; Also defined agriculture as the science of cultivating the soil, growing and harvesting crop and raising livestock.
- A. Iwena (2002) Defied agriculture as the production of crops and animals for man’s use in other words, agriculture is defied as the deliberate effort made by man to till the soil, cultivate crops and rear animals for food and other purposes.
TYPES OF AGRICULTURE
There are two major types of agriculture namely:
- Subsistence agriculture and
- Commercial agriculture.
- SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE:
It is the type of agriculture which is concerned with the production of finding a farmer to feed himself and his family. In order word subsistence agriculture is a system of farming where by a farmer cultivates crops and rear animals in order to provide food for use by himself and his family only.
- COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE
This is the type of agriculture which is concerned with production of food. Animals and cash crops in large quantities for sale. It makes use of modern and complex tools and implement like tractors, plough, harrows, ridges, planters, which are required for successfulness of it’s practice.
It is a process or methods used in disseminating new ideas, techniques to farmers. This methods is grouped into (3) three classes:
- a) INDIVIDUAL METHOD:
The individual method includes farmer home visits aimed at direct contact between farmers and the extension agents. The purpose is to give advice or assist on wide range of farm and its problem. In order to succeed, it may require the assistance of volunteer leader to arrange meetings as to develop public relations with organization and important individuals.
- b) GROUP METHOD:
The group method involves the works together with groups of farmer supervision of the extension worker. (Eg)
- Group demonstration
- Field trips
vii. Agricultural show.
Agriculture show is usually organized by state or even federal government and it includes demonstration/ Exhibition of farmer product from improved agricultural practices.
- c) MASS MEDIA:
This method is used to awareness and interest in new ideas and technique among the majority of farmers. In order words, this method enables many people to know about the new innovation. Mass media includes CD ROM, radio, Television, Newspaper, Film show, Computer show case, Pamphlets, Banners, Hand bills and Handouts.
APPLICATION OF AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION
Over the years faculty members at university of Nebraska have designed computer network system for direct use by farmer’s along with wished agricultural specialists. There are now more than a thousand users of the system. The system disseminates/delivers information to Canada.
There are two board classes of the users:
- Agricultural specialist:- who advices other farmers
- Individual farmers, business and agencies making use of system directly.
In African, a deliberate effort/attempt have been by African governments to bring about agricultural development without much to show for these efforts. This can be attributed to the treatment of information delivery as matter of course by most African government. As often happens agricultural information is not integrated with other development programs to address the numerous related problem that face farmers.
Information is an essential ingredient in agricultural development programmes but Nigeria farmers seldomly feel the impact of agricultural innovation either because they have no access to such vital information or because it is poorly disseminated. The information provided is exclusively focused on policy maker’s researchers and those who manage policy decisions with scant attention paid to the information need of the largest beneficiaries of the policy decision. The non-provision of agricultural information is a key factor that has greatly limited agricultural development in development countries.
If the approaches to agricultural development programmes are to work, African governments needs to take new approaches to information dissemination and management that grow out from a clear understanding of what farmers information need are. For instance a researcher might use beef grower to estimate when a particular cattle will be ready for sale and what cost and gain of selling will be.
The cost of production for various crops can be calculated using crop budget and the economic value of land estimate with bay land. This programme also provided new items and message services.
ROLES OF INFORMATION IN AGRICULTURE
It is found that most of the role of information in agricultural development are perceived by many, but performed by few. Also moist of the role perceived are not performed by many of those who do perceived them. Industrial revolution taking new turn away from machines and instrument for taking over contain mental tasks example the handle of all forms of data thus we have seen the growth of computer from simple to the larger high speed flexible digital computer of today.
No one categorically claim to know all the information need of farmer especially in and an information depended sector like agriculture, where there are new and rather complex problems facing farmer every day. It is safe to assert that information need of Nigerian farmers revolves around the resolution of problems such as pest hazards, weed control moisture insufficiency, soil fertility, farm credit, labour shortage, soil/erosion and so forth.
Information needs by the local farmer may be in form of extension education, agriculture inputs, agriculture credit and marketing modern farm inputs are needed to raise small farm productivity. These inputs may include fertilizers, improved variety of seeds and seedings feeds, plant, protection chemicals, agricultural machinery and equipment and water. An examination of the factors influencing the adoption and continued use of these inputs will show that information dissemination is a very important factor. It is a factor that requires more attention than it now gets.
The farmer’s need of information is at moment being diffused by extension worker, other farmers, government parastatals and agricultural equipment dealers. The impact is yet to be felt.
Farmers are among the potential beneficiaries of agricultural credit in Nigeria but because of their low levels of literacy they are mostly unaware of credit, farmers need information relating to source of loan such as names of sources. They need information on the term of loan such as the interest rates, loan able amount and mode of repayment regarding agricultural credit debts to small farmers usually through channels such as relations, friends, neighbours, government officials, commercial and credit banks. Grass root organs such as village leads and local government officials are used to diffuse such information because of their personal touch with small-scale farmer. Extension agent needs to intensify their effort in educating farmers to increase their level of awareness.
In Nigeria, ministry of agriculture through the field level extension worker and broadcasting media provides agricultural marketing information farmers. A lot still have to be done in this area. Some of those in charge of marketing information are not trained for this job.
AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
With the past decades there has been burst of research activities and agriculture in Nigeria Universities and agricultural research centre located around all country far researching innovation that are capable of booting. The farmers agricultural production and Nigeria’s economic development have been discovered. The yam minisett-techniques, protein rich soyabean production and use of animal vaccine and drugs and labour saving devices are some of the many improved agricultural innovations not properly diffused. Prominent among the agricultural centres are:-
International institute for tropical agriculture (IITA)
The National Root Crops Research Institute. But unfortunately, most of these innovations do not reach the farmers field. This is because the medium for information disseminate in use is quite ineffective.
Institutional and governmental organ have been put in place to ensure that farmer get to know and adopt agricultural innovations relevant to their situation e.g. Agricultural extension and research license services (AERLS) The extension service of the agricultural development project (ADP), ministries of agricultural both state and federal levels, media forum for agriculture, co-operation extension centers (CEC) of universities and public enlightenment units of the 18 agricultural research centres. These bodies serve as facilitators of agricultural message by acting as communications departments. They use computer, leaflet, newsletters, posters, exhibits, visual aids and radio, programmes to communicate agricultural information. Radio and television programmes are popular although controlled by government with its attendant problems regarding the choice of programmes of all the existing channels of extension highest in terms of providing credible information and advice, especially on agricultural technology.
A major function of extension is to get the farmers into frame, is fairly widespread in the middle belt region of Nigeria where information about fertilizer is well diffused. Even through the demand for fertilizer is buyout, the supply is mostly inadequate to meet the demands.
Apart from use of extension for diffusion of agricultural innovation, other channels like rural development field staff, contact farmer, schoolteacher’s private sector, agric-business people staff of the ministry of agriculture and the electronic and print media are used. These channels have their strengths and weakness farmer to strengthen the effort of the print and broading media in ensuring proper agricultural information dissemination to farmers the media forum for agricultures was formed by media practitioners from all over Nigeria, with the aim of providing better support for agriculture by improving the quality of agricultural coverage in the media.
Again the targeted audience is not properly reached as the main beneficiaries of information carried by printed media and broad casting are urban elites not people at the grass root.
The purpose of agricultural development programmes (ADP) was to evolve a new concept of reaching the farmer with research findings and new discoveries in farming operations, this was not so, owing to the fact that most times farmers are left on their own while extension workers were quite busy trying to urbanize their work/accommodations. The problem of agricultural development cannot be discussed only in term of policies of the federal government the technique of production, which emanated from ignorance of the improved techniques of farming accounted for problems. Nigeria were more familiar with traditional technique which was in novelty and so not many Nigeria farmer’s got used to.
- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ANAMBRA STATE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Historical background:- Background study of agricultural development programme: Anambra state agricultural development programme (ASADEP), was inaugurated 5th, 1985 as one of the multi-state agricultural development project (MSADP-1) made up to the South East States.
A tripartite arrangement between the World Bank, FGNANSG ensures proper finding for ASADEP. No wonder in 1986, the federal government signed a loan agreement of USD 162 million for all MSADP-I which at present includes the following states: Anambra, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Plateau and Benue.
Old Anambra state (Anambra and Enugu States) got USD 22.4 million. That loan was terminated at June 30th 1995. There was an IFAA (International food and agricultural development). Loan of about USD 1.5 million expired in June 1997. Following the creation of state in Auguest 27, 1991 old Anambra state bifurcated into Anambra and Enugu states. It thus became necessary to restructure the former Anambra ADP and to establish two ADPS from the new territories. The World Bank provided fund for the creation of new headquarter builder in Anambra State. In January 1992, the present ASADP moved from Enugu to temporary office at Enugu –Ukwu. It was later moved to its own multi-naira magnificent headquaters office complex. In October 1995, the edifice is located on kilometer 41, Enugu-Onitsha express Awka.
The broad objective is to improve the standard of living and welfare of the rural smell-scales/holder farmer, throughout the state of raising by their productivity and farm income, via integrated rural development.
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Despite government effort to promote food production in Nigeria-through the use of various policy and programme, it appears that the efforts are yet to yield enough result. Village farmers are still lacking information about the latest research findings even where available, many still have no access to it.