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PROJECT TOPIC: UTILIZATION OF INFORMATION SOURCES BY ARABLE CROP FARMERS

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CHAPTER ONE1.0 INTRODUCTION1.1 BACKGROUND INFORMATIONAgriculture with its positive impact on the Nigerian populace is faced with myriad of problems among which is low utilization of technologies. The low utilization of technologies by the farmers may be ascribed to inadequacy of information. Information, in a broad context refers to organized data recorded in various forms (Yahaya, 2003). Information could also be messages that are perceivable and recognizable value to the receiver. Information is therefore a raw resource for knowledge. In the agricultural sector, arable farmers need information about their farming activities.Aina (1989) stated that lack of information on modern agricultural technology is a key factor limiting agricultural development in Nigeria. Low accessibility to agricultural information leads to low adoption of improved technologies, which invariably affects farmers‟ productivity and could lead to poverty (Ozowa, 2005). Utilisation of improved farm practices requires adequate information, which has to be effectively disseminated so that the clientele receives it, understands it and regards it as a valid basis for action. For instance, while it has been established that farmers use various media sources (Keregero, 1993), it is where farmers seek information that they also find information relating to agricultural practices ranging from agronomic, processing and storage, which are of tremendous importance to the success of arable farmers. The choice usually lies with the source of the message to be transmitted; it must be knowledgeable about a particular channel of communication before employing it. The undisputable fact is that different channels perform different functions in the transmission of information on farm matters (agricultural development), depending on the stage of adoption process, the characteristics of innovation, the socio – economic and personal characteristics of audience (Farinde, 1991; Njoku, 1990). Farinde (1991) and Farinde and Jibowo (1994), have established that the effectiveness of any communication channel depends most in particular on its selection as an appropriate channel or medium of communication. Hence a better way of understanding information utilization is to determine the sources of such information. The selection depends on the size and type of audience, the characteristics of methods, e.g. cost of procurement, complexity, availability and feedback potential (Farinde, 1991). Any system initiating and stimulating development has a responsibility to provide and disseminate information about its activities to make the people knowledgeable about things happening around them, and also generate in them the right attitudes and encourage the adoption of desirable value systems.



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