THE ROLE OF TELEVISION IN PROMOTING AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
The primary objective of this study is to examine how television plays a role in promoting agricultural development in Nigeria with specific reference to Enugu State. In carrying out this study, the method in which the researcher used to collect her data was questioner. The target population for the study was media practitioners, development experts, farmers, academicians and the rural dwellers in Enugu metropolis. A sample size of 384 was drawn. The researcher asked research questions and formulated research hypotheses from the research questions for the study, Data were collected, analyzed and interpreted using descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Also chi-square (X2) was used to test data generated from the hypotheses. Table and sample percentage were also used to analyze the result. The result of the study revealed the following:
· The television facilitate and enhanced agricultural development in Nigeria.
· That NTA broadcast development information to rural areas in Enugu state.
· Also, most of the research hypotheses were confirmed positively.
Finally the researcher drew conclusion and recommendation for further studies on the topic.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Development has been defined as a process of change which is aimed at achieving self-reliance and improve the living condition of under privilege majority of the population, (Linden 1989: 36).
The role of media in all aspect of development in any given society cannot be over emphasized. Radio and Television are instruments of mass education. They combined their audio-visual impact to maintain an edge over other forms of mass media. Television can be used in a number of ways to educate, inform, entertain, sensitize as well as generally socialize. As a result of these factors stated above, one can say that for effective agricultural and rural development, the role of Television in achieving them cannot be over stressed.
However, this research work is indeed to examine the role which Television plays in promoting agricultural development in Nigeria.
Agricultural is the central occupation for majority of the people in Nigeria.
The prime target of this study is address the information and communication gap that exist in the country between the farmers and the improved farming method. Conversely, Governments who suppose to carry out this task of promoting and developing agriculture by creating adequate awareness through the media has now diverted all programmes in the political and economic oriented programmes. If these abundant political and economic orientated programmes are playing their expected roles on the target audience, then sufficient and adequate agricultural programmes will no doubt play their expected roles on the farmers.
However, in the aspect of agricultural promotion in Nigeria, the need for television in particular and other forms of mass media in general in ensuring agricultural promotion is as vital as other role played by the media in the development and advancement of a nation. Because television is a powerful instrument of development in all ramification. As a result of this, its use in the overall development of rural or urban areas must be given special attention, to development experts. This is because its power to communicate makes it one of the most efficient means of reading rural and urban dwellers in the society. As Baran (1999: 4) states, “Communication is the transmission of a message from a source to a receiver”. This means that, if appropriate channel or device is not used to communicate to rural areas on agricultural related matters they will find it difficult to adopt the necessary agricultural programme prospects and ideas which will encourage them to develop. Through appropriate use of television to transfer message on the agricultural programme prospects and ideas which will encourage them to ventor into agriculture, it becomes very imperative desired goals and objectives of dealing so effective use of television will definitely guarantee effective means of paying attention to the agricultural needs of farmers especially those residing in the rural areas.
Gerbner (180) cited in Griffin (1991: 301) asserts that;
TV’s power comes from symbolic content of the real life drama show hour after hour, week after week. At its root, television is “story” and a society’s stories give coherent picture of what exist, what is important, what is related to what and what is right. Also to buttress Gerbners point as stated by Griffin (earlier cited). McQuail and Windatil (1981: 36) write that, “The medium image held by the receiver causes expectation of the medium content and may thus be assumed to have an influenced on the receivers choice of content as well as on his way of experiencing it and responding to it.
This means that proper use of Television broadcasting and its content for promoting agriculture all over Nigeria will increase the chances of the rural and urban farmers ability to respond to such agricultural information carried on the television for their own good. It could be said that Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) is a mass medium used to transmit development communication to rural areas in Enugu state. As a result of this feat, it would be generally influenced by its effectiveness to influence the rural and in urban dwellers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMS
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is a medium owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This broadcast station churn out programmes in block and across the weeks and days respectively. But has little of their time allocated to agricultural programmes for the interest of the farming population. Also the Nigeria small scale farmers urgently needs to improve then output and input of agricultural products for overall benefits of the society and also to meet up with the demands of the contemporary society, unfortunately this is a dream yet to be realized. Records of Anambra State Agricultural Development project (ASADEP) profile (1997: 36) shows that agricultural development in most developing countries like Nigeria depicts a slow pace of progress. Many factors are still constraining the achievement of mechanized farming. Other factors militate against effective commercialization and overall development of agriculture in Nigeria but lack of information and awareness on modern technics and innovation by the farmer is a major, if not the most important problem of the agriculture in our society.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria today, not many rural household have television to view or watch different programme aired on television which are meant to promote agricultural development in such rural areas. Also incessant power failure and high cost of buying maintenance of a television set maybe a problem of using television for different purposes by rural areas. Also poor funding of development project and porgrammes by the government, information through the media and centralization of the media are among the problems that necessitate this type of study. Infact, Television by their qualitative characteristics introduces fundamental changes to the society and make possible the increase involvement and participation of people across the boundaries of class, age group and nation. Therefore the pre-models basic role of television which is to inform, educate and entertain can be applied to the field of agricultural development and promotion to put on course for development.