Farmers’ Perceptions Regarding Electronic Media Contribution (Knowledge, Attitude and Skill) in the Sphere of Agriculture  


*Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Sher Muhammad, Khalid Mahmood Chaudhary
Institute of Agri. Extension and Rural Development, Univ. of Agri., Faisalabad
Abstract
This research paper focuses on the farmers’ perceptionsregarding electronic media contribution with the perspective of knowledge, attitude and skill in the sphere of agriculture.The study was conducted in Faisalabad district of the Punjab, Pakistan. The information was probed out with the help of interview schedule from randomly selected 330 respondents. From the research findings, it appears that TV was in leading position followed by mobile and radio in improvement of knowledge, attitude and skill. Moreover, the knowledge domain is relatively conspicuous as compared to attitude and skill.
Key words: knowledge, attitude, skill, electronic media, agriculture      
INTRODUCTION
In agriculture sector, knowledge sharing has become easier among various stakeholders like researchers, exporters, extension services, traders and farmers on account of the use of Information Communication Technologies (Anselmeet al. 2012).
Revolutionary transitions in various spheres of life in terms of information technologies have overhauled the situation from traditional paradigm of knowledge, attitude and skill sharing towards the modern and sophisticated one. In agricultural sector the use of electronic media seems inevitable to give a boost to the farmers’ knowledge/skills regarding the latest agri. technologies. The timely and quick information access smoothen the way towards better production and proper marketing.The unprecedented revolutionary evolutions in the use of electronic media like TV ,mobile phone, internet etc.  have opened new avenues for infotainment. There is a dire need to address the issues related to use of electronic media among the famers to keep them abreast of the latest agri. technologies.
The role of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are essential for the spreading of information pertinent to agricultural production. Thus, time factor is very much crucial for the dissemination of latest agri. technologies. Electronic and print media are the channel which can be utilized for such purpose (Ezeh ,2013)
Agriculture extension has the capacity to transfer the new ideas, assisting farmers and analyzing farmers’ dilemmas.  However, agricultural extension is facing to achieve the desired objectives of delivering the latest information to the farming community. The prominent factors behind are the educational level of farming community and limited resource in the favor of change agents (FAO, 2001). However, better education among farmers and improving skills and technologies among change agents cause transformation the behavior of farmers from traditional to modern agriculture (Inayat, 2008)

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The study was conducted in district Faisalabad of the Punjab Pakistan. In the study district (Faisalabad), multistage random sampling technique was used. A pretested and validated interview schedule was used as data collection instrument. The data were collected using Likert scale (1=very low, 2=low, 3=medium, 4=high, 5=very high) for assessing the farmers’ perception regarding electronic media in the context of knowledge, attitude and skill.The data were collected from 330 randomly selected respondents (farmers). The collected data were analyzed through Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

For getting the better comprehension about the real benefits (in terms of knowledge, attitude and skill) acquired through electronic media by the respondents, they were asked. The data were collected using Likert scale (1=very low, 2=low, 3=medium, 4=high, 5=very high) and from the data gathered the scores were determined which are depicted in Table1, Table2 and Table3.


Concerning the increase in agri. knowledge through electronic media data presented in Table 1 depict that TV was in leading position with score=248 and mobile phone acquired the 2nd position with score=170. Radio got the 3rd position with score=94 followed by telephone score=66. Agri. helpline got the least position.
Regarding improvement in attitude towards farming through electronic media data presented in Table 2 depict that TV was at the top with score=73 and mobile phone acquired the 2nd position with score=50. Radio got the 3rd position with score=46 followed by telephone score=16.
Regarding improvement in farming skills through electronic media data presented in Table 3 depict that TV was at the upper position with score=89 and mobile phone acquired the 2nd cadre with score=62. Radio got the 3rd position with score=50 followed by telephone score=23.
 From Table 1, 2 and 3, it is clear that in the context of knowledge, attitude and skill a similar pattern was observed in each case. Getting the whole scenario regarding electronic media the most prominent contribution was in the context of knowledge total score=604 followed by skill total score=224 and attitude total score=185
The results are in consonance to those of Muhammad et al., (2008) who found that the most conspicuous beneficial aspect perceived by the respondents was “increase in agri.. knowledge”. Moreover, Oyegbami and Fabusoro (2003) highlighted that media (radio and TV) facilitated in improving knowledge and skills regarding inputs.

CONCLUSION
TV followed by mobile phone appeared more prominent in the context of knowledge, attitude and skill. Moreover, the knowledge domain is relatively noticeable as compared to attitude and skill.
REFERENCES
Anselme B., Adegbidi, MensahR. And Vidogbena F. 2012. Determinants of ICT use by rice farmers in Benin: from the perception of ICT characteristics to the adoption of the technology and Desire Agossou. J. Res. Int. Bus. Manag. 2(11):273-284
Ezeh A. N. 2013. Access and application of information and communication technology (ICT) among farming households of south east Nigeria. Agric. Biol. J. N. Am.,4(6): 605-616
FAO. 2001.  Agricultural and rural extension worldwide: options for institutional reforms in the developing countries.  FAO, Rome.
Inayat, J. 2008. Analysis of agricultural extension system: a discrepancy between providers and recipients of the extension services Empirical evidence from north-west Pakistan. Sarhad J. Agric. 24(2): 350-354
Muhammad, S., T.E. Lodhi, and G.A. Khan, 2008. An in-depth analysis of the electronic media for the development of a strategy to enhance their role in agricultural technology transfer in the Punjab, Pakistan. Final Report of Research Project submitted to Higher Education Commission, Islamabad.
Oyegbami, A. and E. Fabusoro, 2003.The use of radio and television as sources of agricultural information among poultry farmers in Egbeda local government area of Oyo State, Nigeria [abstr.].Moor J. Agri. Res., 4(1):164-169. [Online] http://ajol.info/index.php /mjar/article/view/31771

*The research paper is a part of corresponding author’s PhD thesis work.

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