PERCEIVED PREFERENCE OF RADIO AS AGRICULTURAL INFORMATION SOURCE AMONG SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN UGANDA
In the scarcity of agricultural extension agents providing service to farmers, radio comes handy due to its wide geographical coverage. However, not all radio stations are preferred by farmers and hence identifying the right station should be a prerequisite prior engaging them. The objective of this study was to determine radio station preference, choices of broadcasting languages, favourite radio shows, radio listening behaviour including time and place of listenership by smallholder farmers of eastern Uganda. The study involved 210 respondents from seven districts. Data collected include; household characteristics, preferred radio stations, broadcasting language, radio listenership, favourite radio shows. The data were analyzed using STATA (version 13). Results unveiled that a total of 19 radio stations were identified to be favourite across seven districts with no single preferred radio station that serves all the districts. With regard to broadcasting language preferences, selections varied depending on the predominant language spoken in a district. However, Luganda seems to be among the choices of the respondents in several districts. Respondents tune into the radio from 3 – 6 hours daily with no significant difference among male and female listeners. Although respondents tune into the radio throughout the day, best preferred time was in the evening. Radio shows such as educational programs related to health and agriculture, News and, entertainment featured among the favourite programs. For agricultural programs to be more attractive there is a need to improve, formats, program content that involves farmers throughout.
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