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close this book Agricultural extension
close this folder Farmer training
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View the document Cross - cultural communication
View the document Farm visits and troubleshooting
View the document On - farm demonstrations
View the document Field days
View the document Mass media

Mass media

OVERVIEW

Vehicles of information normally classed under the heading of "mass media" - television, radio, newspapers, magazines, newsletters -- can be used by extension agents. Usually, Peace Corps extensionists involved in mass communication efforts adapt other training methods to a larger audience size. Role plays and dramas are shifted from verandahs and village clearings to stages where a hundred or more people can view them simultaneously. Poster designs originally intended only for local use can prove successful enough at calling attention to some new aspect of agriculture to warrant mass production and distribution through Ministry channels over a much wider area.

Media within the realm of possibility for extension work can use include periodicals, ag fairs and radio. Periodicals can be used as discussion starters in farmer meetings where at least a portion of those present are literate. Agricultural fairs are conducted in many developing countries to encourage agricultural development. Volunteers can make use of these fairs by encouraging some of the farmers in certain areas to compete for prizes in farm produce competitions. Such prizes can be a valuable form of reward and recognition for a farmer's achievements. Radio provides the most exciting opportunity of any of the standard mass communication devices. This medium can be put to use as a simple information vehicle - to relay announcements of upcoming farmer meetings in an area, for example, or it can be employed in more creative ways. Extensionists with experience in radio broadcasting and production may be able to work within Ministry channels to produce simple and yet highly effective advertisments on the radio for new techniques. Serialized skits, songs and humorous stories are very popular in countries where national radio stations receive widespread attention.

ILLUSTRATION

A serialized radio dialogue promoting new agricultural practices:

(Suggestions: Keep the format of the dialogue simple, and do not alter it until the advertisment has caught on. Use the same actors' voices throughout the serial. Use the same piece of music throughout the serial as a theme song.)

Tape 1 (January 15 - February 15) Popular song is heard, ten seconds. Music fades.

"Juan, aren't you going to the fields today to clear a new patch of ground for planting this year?

"No, Felipe. I won't need to clear away brush this year. Since I started applying cow dung and grain husks to my garden, I haven't had to move to a new location every time the rains come.'

"You mean cow dung and grain husks can help your garden?"

"Yes, you mix it in the soil as you plant and the ground yields better harvests."

"Digs mio, Juan! I don't know where you get these ideasl"

Music comes up as radio announcer intones: "Contact your Ministry of Agriculture extension agent today."

Music up full.

(60 sec.)

Tape 2 (February 15 - March 15) Popular song is heard, ten seconds. Music fades.

"Juan, aren't you going to the fields today to set traps for the rodents eating our garden?"

"No, Felipe. Last year I built a fence around my garden and it is keeping the animals away very effectively."

"You mean the fence you built is strong enough to keep all the rodents away?"

"Yes, I used wire to build the fence and rodents cannot grew through it?"

"Digs Mio Juan! I don't know where you get these ideas!"

Music comes up as radio announcer intones: "Contact your Ministry of Agriculture extension agent today.

Music up full.

(60 sec.)

Tape 5 (May 1 - May 30)

"Juan, aren't you going to the market today to sell your vegetables?"

"No, Felipe. I dried many of my vegetables this year in the sun and am keeping them for my own use rather than selling them."

"You mean drying vegetables in the sun can keep them from spoiling quickly?"

"Yes, by cutting them thin and drying them on racks I can keep them for up to three months."

"Dios Mio, Juan! I don't know where you get these ideas!".

Music comes up as radio announcer intones: "Contact your Ministry of Agriculture extension agent today."

Music up full.

(60 sec.)

List of mass communication techniques suited to the extension agent's role in working with small farmers.

• Role plays and skits for large audiences.

• Posters for widespread distribution

• Culturally appropriate signs in a few strategic locations.

• Use of periodicals in discussion groups.

• Agricultural fairs.

• Radio serials.

• Newsletters.

P-8 Audio-visual Communications Teaching Aids, P.C. ICE.