The primary objective of this study is to examine how radio plays a role in rural and agricultural development 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 300 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 radio facilitates and enhanced agricultural development in Nigeria. That radio air 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. The above definition was according to Linden (1989: 36) “Communication in assistance for Third World communities”.
The role of media in all aspect of development in any given society cannot be over emphasized. Radio is the instruments of mass education. They combine their audio-visual impact to maintain an edge over other forms of mass media. Radio can be used in a number of ways to educate, inform, entertain, sensitize as well as generally socialize in the development of agricultural in rural Areas. As a result of these factors stated above, one can say that for effective agricultural and rural development, the role of Radio in achieving them cannot be over stressed.
However, this research work is indeed to examine the role which Radio play in the agricultural and rural development.
Agricultural is the central occupation for majority of the people in Nigeria.
The prime target of this study is as a result of the information and communication on gap that exist in the country between the farmers who ought to benefit from the improved farming method. Conversely, political programme for the states and local governments business promotion or commercially sponsored programmes that can touch the lives of people or farmers that are living in the rural communities. It abundant political and economic orientated programmes are playing their expected roles for the target audience, then sufficient and adequate agricultural programmes will no doubt play their expected roles for the farmers.
However, in the aspect of rural development, the need for Radio in particular and other forms of mass media in general in ensuring rural development is as vital as and other role played by the media in the development and advancement of a nation. Because Radio 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 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 development related matters they will find it difficult to adopt the necessary development programme prospects and ideas which will encourage them to develop. Through appropriate use of Radio to transfer message need of this rural Areas, it becomes very imperative desired goals and objectives of dealing so effective use Radio of will definitely guarantee effective means of paying attention to the development needs of those residing in the rural areas.
Gerbner (180) cited in Griffin (1991: 301) asserts that that Radio power comes from symbolic content of the real life drama show hour after hour, week after week. At its root, Radio is “story” and a society’s stories give corent stories picture of what exist, what is important, what is related to what and what is right. Also to battress 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 Radio in the development of agricultural in the rural areas broadcasting and its content in rural development will increase the chances of the rural dwellers ability to respond to such development information carried on the Radio for their own good. It could be said that the Federal Radio corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) 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 dwellers or otherwise.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEMS
The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) otherwise known as Radio Nigeria Enugu is a station owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This broadcast station turn out programmes in block and band (Frequency modulated (FM) and Short waves band) 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 holder farmer urgently needs to improve his output and input of agricultural products for overall benefits of the society and also to meet up with the demands of the contemporary society but this is still dream to be realized. Records of Anambra State Agricultural Development project (ASADEP) profile (1997: 36) shows that agricultural development in most developing countries like Nigeria and Enugu in particular 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 techniques 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 Radio to listen to different types of programme aired on radio which are meant to promote development in such rural areas. Also incessant power failure and high cost of buying and maintenance of a radio set maybe a problem of using radio for different purposes by rural areas. Also poor funding of development project and programmes by the government, information through the media and centralization of the media are among the problems that necessitate this type of study. Infact, Radio 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 radio which is to inform, educate and entertain can be applied to the field of agricultural and rural development to put on course for development.THE ROLE OF RADIO IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN THE RURAL AREA