MPACT OF MOBILE PHONE ON AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION AMONG OTUKPO FARMERS. A STUDY OF AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION DISSEMINATION AMONG FARMERS IN OTUKPO TOWN, OTUKPO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BENUE STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Communication which is so much a part of us, sees to be everywhere at the same time, it is central to all human interactions. It is the most basic and one of the earliest activities of human beings. Communication as an integral part of our existence for there to be any meaningful development, there has to be communication between initiator of the developments process and the target audience of these development project. All development depends on knowledge and this knowledge is a function of the amount and quality of facts at ones disposal. The farmers needs information on possibilities that exist for improving on their lot and how to effect the necessary changes. They also need specific information on how to do things that will result in an improvement of their farming yield.

Agreeing on the role of communication, Ebo (1999:24) observes that communication in development can teach new skills act as multiplier of resources, raise levels of aspiration as incentive 12

for action, raise level of people, help to find new norms and harmony in periods of transaction change the structure in a society by knowledge to the mares, create sense of nationality and led to increased political participation, promote people need in satisfying developments projects and making economic, social and political development a self perpetual process.

Due to this important role of communication, mobile phone have been given a prominent role in communicating development messages to the people. In a similar view Abiri (2011:1) says that today’s world seems to be dominated by improved technology has made much impact in communication, mass communication in particular. Improved technology has greatly increase the efficiency of communication to the extent that the process can send and receive messages around the world and into space with maximum speed and efficiency.

The point of the matter here however is on the telecommunication industry. Technological revolution has impacted so much on telecommunication sectors to the extent that it becomes of the fastest growing industries in the world. Efficient 13

telecommunication services play vital role in modern societies of money developed and developing nations. In Nigeria, the first national development plan (1963 – 1968) identified the need for rapid development of telecommunication sector.

Commenting on telecommunication Ndula (2002:5) asserted that today the growth of telecommunication has been accompanied with significant advances in technology research. One of the latest in modern telecommunication, central to information technology is the mobile phones. Today the much anticipated system of mobile communication recently introduced in Nigeria has brought about a total revolution in the history of telecommunication development in Nigeria.

The importance of mobile phones among farmers cannot be overemphasized as it makes it very easy for farmers to interact with ease and immediacy. Farmers operators use mobile phones to make speedily appointments, quite clarification and instant reply of the messages. 14

Mobile phones have gone through a long process of evolution and all through about six decades of continuous evolution, the mobile phone has retained its relevance to the life of the modern man. At every stage in his growth curve, it has undergone metamorphosis, adding features and functionalities that make it even more indispensable. It started as an extension of the landline, a bridge between the home and office landlines. It found relevance in the need of the modern professional to remain in communication in and out of home or office, at lay in the car, at lauch and anywhere else. The mobile phone has since moved up from this sophistic role to become more actually involved in the way modern business are educated. Apart from, being a tool for mobile voice communication, mobile phones today are a hybrid of personal computers and a communication device. They come with screens, miniky boards storage for personal information such as contacts, email, documents, the ability to play video files, games and a communications capacity. With these features and functionality. Come a wide range of other uses, a mobile phone can put into a business or work environment apart from the 15

traditional voice communication. Now mobile phone makes it possible for a busy executive to work from any part of the world. He can access the treats critical emails sent to him regardless of how far way from the office her or she works. All he needs to do is to access the internet via his or her mobile phone.

What promises to be a killer application in mobile services in a short while is mobile television. This service will enable mobile phone subscribers watch television programmes on the mobile phones. Imagine driving on your car to your office and watching amplitude modulation express on Nigeria television authority on your mobile phone or wanting at the airport for a flight and catching up with your favourite comedy series on a local television station. Imagine sharing your television experience with your friends and family and receiving advertising targeted to your needs. These are all possibilities that mobile television offered.

It was in this regard that Comer and Howthon (400:11) says communication is essentially a social affairs man has evolved a lost of different systems of communication which render his social life 16

possible and not in the sense of living a packs for hunting or making war, but in a sense unknown to animals.

1.1 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS

  1. Farmers in Otukpo finds it difficult to get adequate agric information from extension workers.
  2. Most of the Otukpo farmers do not make frequent use of their mobile phone due to power failure in Otukpo.

iii. Farmers in Otukpo do not know the alternative source of power for changing their mobile phone in order to get adequate agricultural information.

1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

i To find information on alternative ways of getting agric information outside the extension workers

ii To identify major solution to the problems facing farmers in Otukpo in getting agric information easy. 17

iii To find information on the alternative sources of power for charging their phones in order to get adequate agricultural information.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

  1. What alternative source do farmers in Otukpo use to get agricultural information aside extension workers?
  2. What kind of problem do farmers in Otukpo encounter using mobile phone?

iii. What alternative source of power do Otukpo farmers use to charge the mobile phone?

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The significance of this study are as follows:

  1. The study will provide information on the alternative source of information for Otukpo farmers, out side agric extension workers.
  2. The study will provide information on solutions to problems of GSM phones used by Otukpo farmers

iii. The study will also provide information on alternative source of charging their mobile phone.

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0: Farmers in Otukpo do not use alternative medium to get agric information

H1: Farmers in Otukpo use alternative medium to get agric information

H0: Farmers in Otukpo do not encounter problems using mobile phones to get agricultural information

H2: Farmers in Otukpo encounter problems using mobile phones to get agricultural information

H0: Power failure does not affect farmers in Otukpo in getting agric information with their mobile phone

H3: Power failure affect farmers in Otukpo in getting agric information with their mobile phone 19

1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS

CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION OF TERMS:

Mobile phone: Mobile phones are electronic devices used to make mobile telephone calls across a wide geographical areas.

Impact: This refers to the powerful effect that something has on somebody or something.

Farmers: A farmer is a person who own or manage a farm.

Agriculture: This refers to the science or practice of farming.

Information: This refers to facts or details about somebody or something.

Communication: These is the method of sending information, especially telephone, radio and computer.

G.S.M: Means global system for mobile 20

OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS:

Mobile phone: This are phones carried about and are use to send and get information from one person to another by Otukpo farmers from January – August 2012

Impact: This is the power of mobile phone on agric information used by Otukpo farmers from January – August 2012

Farmers: Otukpo people who have farm or manage a farm with the use of mobile phone to get agric information. from January – August 2012

Agriculture: Planting of croups and rearing of animals in Otukpo community from January – August 2012

Information: Sending of idea, feelings, messages, culture from one place to another or from one person to another among Otukpo farmers from January – August 2012

Communication: This is the process of sending messages, idea and feelings from one person to another by use of mobile phone by Otukpo farmers from January – August 2012. 21

1.7 ASSUMPTIONS

The following assumptions were made:

  1. That an average farmer in Otukpo uses mobile phone.
  2. That farmers in Otukpo receive and make call twice or more in a day.

iii. That most of the farmers in Otukpo own mobile phone.

  1. That farmers in Otukpo believes in information from mobile phone.
  2. That farmers in Otukpo makes use of information from mobile phone.

1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is limited to the impact of mobile phone on agricultural information among Otukpo farmers, from January – August 2012.

These study would have extended to all the farmers in Benue State but due to time factor and financial problems, the researcher is compelled to limit its focus on only Otukpo farmers, of Otukpo town in Otukpo local government area of Benue State.

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