INFLUENCE OF OPINION LEADERS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ARABLE FARMING (A STUDY OF ODEKPE IN OGBARU L.G.A., ANAMBRA STATE) (MASS COMMUNICATION PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
1.1 Background of the study
In the post-second World War years, development co-operation was based on transfer of technologies to developing countries. According to the model of social labour division in western cultures, technical knowledge transferred by extension services and utilized by farms (Roth, 2001). The introduction of western technology to non-western farmers was intended to increase production capacity and improve the market position of agriculture.
According to Israel and Wilson (2006), developing an understanding of extension sources and channels used by clients to obtain information is a prerequisite for efficient educational programming because messages that go unheard or unseen cannot lead to change.
Though early extension effort based on direct communication with clients, changes in society and technology have resulted in programmes using diverse array of communication channels to reach clients, both directly and through surrogates.
Many clients, especially other people continue to rely on more traditional channels for agricultural information while using newer technologies as a complement (Howell and Hebron, 2004, Vergot et al, 2005, Boz and Ozca, 2010).
In a very concise way, development communication is application of the process. In other words, development communication is the use of the principle and practice to exchange ideas in order to fulfill development objectives. It calls for a point where we should stop thinking for the people in a patron –client form but should start thinking with them to meet with their needs and wants to succeed (Nwosu, 1990). Development communication as a concept dates to the 1950s.
However, the attempt did not stop there; several research efforts have been put in place in order to authenticate the application of the concept of development communication.
It is, therefore, considered a wise option in the pursuit of national development, as against the centralized media system where only the interests of the urban minority are taken care of (Okenwa, 1997).