Impact of Radio Farm Forum Program On Agricultural Development Among Rural Farming Communities in Zambia: a Case Study of Petauke District
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The Ministry of Agriculture and Comparatives (MACO) has put a lot of effort in running Radio Farm Forum(RFF) program as a means and way to develop the Agricultural sector through information dissemination.In order to make the government responsive to the demands of rural agricultural development, the Republic of Zambia embarked on an economic development program to fill in the gap of illiteracy and introduced functional literacy.The RFF was born out of the educational planning and integrated development of human resource in Zambia at independence. The approach is purely based on economic criteria for asserting the role of informal schooling as a source of skills geared towards the manpower required for economic growth of rural agricultural. However, the question remains: has this radio program been effective in making the rural community a participative society and has it assisted to entrench the tenants of economic development?This case study of Petauke district is an investigation into the impact of RFF program on agricultural development among rural farming communities in Zambia,Petauke district was purposefully selected because it has a high number of active radio listening groups to this radio program that is aired by Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation but produced by National Agricultural Information Service in seven local languages.The study used triangulation method for data collection; qualitative and quantitative surveys were used to arrive at the findings. The results of the research revealed that although radio farm listening groups exist as participative mechanism, there is increased individual listenership and its collective participation with the rural community is relatively low.The study recommends that in-depth studies should be performed to determine whether program objectives and approaches should be modified or extended in any way and develop publicity plans that will engage the rural communities in order for the radio program to become a better communication tool.