The contribution of media towards farmers? adoption of new methods of farming : a case study of horticultural famers in Mwea (Kenya)

Author: Zacharia, Malima

Awarding University: Daystar University, Kenya

Level : MSc

Year: 2011

Holding Libraries: Daystar University Library ;

Subject Terms: Farmers/Agricultural extension work/Media/Broadcasting/Language/Mwea, Kirinyaga South District/Radio/Horticulture/ ;

Pages: 0

Advisors: Makingu Mondi

Abstract:

This study examined whether the media?s coverage of agricultural stories in Kenya was likely to inform farmers to adopt new methods of farming. The research area was Karie in Mwea, Kirinyaga South District in Central Province of Kenya. Three objectives informed this study. The first objective was to examine the extent to which the media in Kenya helped to create awareness about new farming methods among farmers. The second was to assess the extent to which the media coverage on agricultural issues influenced farmers in Kenya to adopt new farming methods, and lastly, the study intended to explore the extent to which application of new methods of farming helped farmers to increase their production. Three sampling procedures were used to select the sample for this study. First, the study used stratified sampling procedure to select a sample size of 90 farmers to fill in questionnaires. Purposive sampling procedure was used to select eleven chairpersons and eleven technical advisors for in-depth interviews. Finally, the study used systematic sampling procedure to select five groups among the eleven registered horticultural grower groups in Mwea for the focus group discussions. To assess the validity of the data collected in the field, the researcher decided to do face-to-face interviews with the producers of the two agriculture programmes, namelySikio la Mkulima (KBC) and MugambowaMurimi (Inooro FM). The study showed that the media played a significant role in creating awareness among farmers on agriculture issues, influencing farmers to adopt new methods of farming such as planting recommended seeds, applying recommended fertilisers, and spraying pesticides for the purpose of controlling chronic pests which were destroying their crops before. However, this study discovered that vernacular radio stations played a greater role in empowering farmers with new methods in agriculture than the mainstream media. This was due to the fact that farmers listened to vernacular radio stations more than other stations. The findings also suggest that farmers? production had increased by an average of 50% after the application of new methods of farming introduced to them through the mass media. It was also found that despite the fact that farmers were watching TV stations and reading newspapers, they had not got any information on how to improve their farming activities. These findings imply that TV stations and newspapers in Kenya are not doing much to inform farmers on new farming methods.