Channels and Methods of Communicating Agricultural Innovations to rice farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana
Rice Farmers in Ghana have benefited from technology dissemination programmes of high-yielding crop varieties to enhance their productivity and increase their incomes. The interventions in the rice sector of Ghana have led to a reduction in poverty, and reduced rice importation into the country. Despite the expected gains from the numerous interventions, there are low levels of adoption of improved rice varieties among many farmers in Ghana, partly due to ineffectiveness of the technology dissemination methods. This study examines rice farmers’ perception of the agricultural innovation communication channels and methods used to promote improved rice varieties in northern Ghana. Primary data was randomly collected (through survey, focus group discussions and key informant interviews) from 404 rice farmers and analyzed by percentages, means, standard deviations and explanations. The farmers perceived the innovation communication channels and methods that mostly helped them to adopt improved rice varieties as the effective ones. The empirical results show that fellow farmers, researchers and extension agents, and radio were perceived to be the most effective channels of innovation communication among the rice farmers. Farm and home visits, and demonstration farms, and radio broadcasts were also considered to be the most effective innovation dissemination methods used to promote improved rice varieties in the region. It is therefore necessary that young farmers are targeted through a combination of individual, group and mass media methods, for enhancing innovation dissemination and uptake. We recommend that the Government of Ghana allocates adequate resources to make agricultural extension delivery more effective and reliable.
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