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Mass Media has a Significant Role in Agriculture




  • Tahira Abbas, Dr. M. A. Pervez, Dr. R. M. Balal, M. A. Shahid, Asif Bajwa

    Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Punjab) Pakistan
    University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha,
    Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Punjab) Pakistan

     

    Pakistan is an agricultural country.  Agriculture contributes 22% to GDP and employs 44.8% of the work force. Most importantly, 69.5% of country’s population is living in rural areas and is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for its livelihood.  Agriculture also supplies raw material to Pakistan’s industry, notably textile, sugar and ghee. Given its importance to national economy, the Government attaches high priority to raising agricultural productivity with a view to promoting faster agricultural growth and hence raising farmer income. Agricultural extension is essentially a message delivery system organized to convey the latest findings of agricultural; research to formers. Effective communication is therefore, the prime requirement in extension work. Three classes of extension methods, namely individual contact, group contact and mass contact, accomplish the task of extension communication. There are various Mass contact method are used to promote advanced agricultural informations and techniques to the farmers, such as, agri. news letters, grey literature, hand bills and walls newspaper, posters, radio programs, television programmers. Mass media are used for mass contact for impersonal transmission of messages to large audiences. Since communication is everybody’s business, specialists from various discilples, linguists, philosophers, social scientists, political scientists, historians, and even engineers have written much on the theory of communication. There notions of communication have varied according to their disciples orientation. thus different specialists have classifies mass media differently. Mass media is classified as big media and small media. By big media means more complex and costly devices of instructions such as educational television, film and computer assisted instruction and by small media means less costly, less complex once like readio, tape recorders, film slides, transparencis and visuals. The most generalized and widely accepted classification of mass media which is used in actual practice is print media and electronic media. Print media comprised of those forms of printed material which are distributed on a mass scale. Theses include newspapers,   newsletters, books, grey literature (brochures, bulletins, pamphlets, leaflets, hand bills and posters.). Electronic media include radio and television, which have transformed World into a ‘global village’. The electronic gadgetry of information technology like transistors, video tape recorders, mobile cinema vans and other audiovisual equipment like sound slide system, slides and film strips and also included electronic media. Not with standing the constraints on media producers the mass media do offer great opportunities in transfer of technology which is the prime function of agricultural extensions. According to studies conducted by varies agencies, 66 % farmers of Pakistan meet their information needs through mass media. a survey report of agri research council revealed that radio alone catered to the information’s needs of farmers three times as much as extension worker as indicated

     

    Sources of farmer’s knowledge in Pakistan

    medium

    Percentage

    Radio

    63%

    Newspapers

    1%

    TV

    1%

    Pamphlets

    1%

    Extension workers

    21%

    Fellow farmers

    11%

    Input supplies

    1%

    Others

    1%

     

    Each of media has its own merits. Each offers certain types of opportunities but at same time has certain limitations. Extension work was institutionalized in this country in second decade of 20thcentury and was called district agricultural advisory work. In the beginning agricultural advisory work awash quit simple. It was accomplished mainly through individual contact, and the activity was limited to conveying information on good farming practices by word of mouth from one farmer to another.Agricultural workers passed on this information through very simple methods of individual and group contact. A few leaflets published by various research sections of Punjab agricultural college and printed seasonal notice were distributed among interested farmers. Electronic media were introduced in agri extension for the first time in 1955, when gift of 38 cinema vans was received from USAID by the department of agriculture. These cinema vans were deployed in all important districts of Pakistan for extension work. The cinema vans did not make much impact on farming community, however because only foreign films were shown in them. there was no arrange meant for local production of films on technical subjects as the request infrastructure was not existent never the less, it generated interest in the use of electronic media in ext activities. In 1961.Agri information service was created as a separate cell for media production within the directorate of Agriculture. In 1962 this was reorganized and on reorganization its status was raised to beareu of agri. information, extending scope of activities to the entire agricultural sector including animal husbandry forests and fisheries. With the introduction of new short durational varieties of wheat rice maize cropping intensity increased and new crop rotations were introduced. The traditional method of dissemination of information’s fails to cope with these challenges of rapid expansion in information and its transfer. Mass media supports to agri extension, was the most pressing need of the the day.

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