Effectiveness of video as a tool in disseminating agricultural knowledge to farmers: A case study of rice farmers in Kamwenge and Lira Districts, Uganda.
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Using video as a tool for disseminating agricultural information is just one among the many initiatives aimed at enhancing farmers’ access to and utilization of agricultural information. It is seen as a powerful means of catalyzing effective knowledge transfer to societies in rural areas of the developing world. However, video is not commonly used in agricultural knowledge dissemination. It is used more in entertainment than education. This study therefore ventured into establishing the effect of video on the enhancement of farmers’ knowledge on harvesting and post harvest handling processes in Lira and Kamwenge districts. In this regard, the suitability of the video, the degree to which video enhances retention and utilization of the messages as well as the limitations and opportunities of using video as a knowledge dissemination tool were determined. A total of 120 rice farmers that had watched the video were purposively selected from the two study areas. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. Data obtained was coded and entered into SPSS 17. The findings revealed that over 90% of the farmers that watched the video shared the information that was communicated by the video mainly through demonstrations. The sharing of the messages was irrespective of whether the person watched or did not watch the video, implying that video created dialogue among both rice farmers and non rice farmers. In terms of retention, on approximately 50% of the rice farmers could recall all the harvesting and post harvesting technologies that were demonstrated by the video. However, utilization of the messages was low probably because farmers were still experimenting. Finally the study revealed that video use is not popular due to poor infrastructure and the expensive nature of the video playing equipment. Over all, video elicited more recall of the messages that were demonstrated by the video and harvesting was most recalled. It also created dialogue among viewers and enhanced spread of messages to even those who did not watch the video. Video reached masses of farmers thus a very effective tool in agricultural knowledge dissemination. It should therefore be integrated in the common channels of agricultural knowledge dissemination to complement farmer to farmer method which is the most common but not effective. Effectiveness of video can be realized if pictures are very clear and content packaged in the local languages of the people that are meant to watch.