Participation in Local Radio Agricultural Broadcasts and Message Adoption Among Rural Farmers in Northern Ghana

Authored by: Adam Tanko Zakariah

The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815375364
eBook ISBN: 9781351239943
Adobe ISBN:


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This study assessed farmers’ level of participation and adoption of local radio agricultural messages in northern Ghana. A combination of semi-structured questionnaires and in-depth qualitative interviews was used to gather data from respondents. Multi-stage sampling was used to select 260 rural farmers from ten communities in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions for the quantitative data. Twenty extension agents (EA) and radio presenters (RP) from the three regions were also identified using the snowball technique and interviewed for the qualitative data. The results of the study indicated that an overwhelming majority (95 per cent) of the rural famers owned radio sets, and all of them listened to radio at least once a week. Most of the respondents (85 per cent) listened to agricultural programmes. However, their level of participation in agricultural radio programmes was very low (23.1 per cent). In terms of the message adoption, only 32.3 per cent of the farmers said they always applied the innovations they received from radio, and 51.9 per cent said they applied them sometimes. Farmers who reported that they were unable to apply the messages comprised 15.8 per cent. They cited financial constraints and lack of tools and equipment as major constraints to adoption. To improve agricultural radio programming, respondents suggested a repeat broadcast (39.6 per cent) and provision of adequate details by experts on agricultural programmes (24.2 per cent). Other suggestions included involving community opinion leaders, and using the dialect of the rural farmer in broadcasts (25.4 per cent).

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