oa Global Media Journal - African Edition - Investigating the use of the media in disseminating information on climate change in north central Nigeria
Information dissemination through the use of media technology is important to understanding the threat, impact and adaptation options that climate change poses regarding the livelihood of farmers in Nigeria specifically and the entire world generally. This study investigates the use of media in disseminating information on climate change and the constraints limiting climate change adaptation in north central Nigeria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain data from 411 farmers in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents, and the data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools. The mean age of the farmers was 52 years. The mean years of farming experience was 33 years. 51.3% of the farmers were females. Their literacy level was low (30.6% had secondary education). The most common household appliances among the respondents were radio sets (77.6%), motor cycles (55%) and mobile telephones (30.6%). 59.4% received information from extension agents between 2008 and 2011; only about half of them received information (temperature and rainfall) on climate change from this source. Extension agents and battery-operated radios were ranked as the leading sources of information on climate change. Inadequate information due to inadequate media coverage of climate change in Nigeria in particular and the low literacy level were the principal constraints on climate change adaptation. It was recommended that the literacy level of the respondents be improved through the establishment of adult education or literacy classes in the study area so that they can benefit from print media. It was further recommended that timely and adequate information to rural farmers on climate change should be given via media technologies available to them (such as battery powered radios and mobile phones among others) and that extension agents should be properly equipped to give information on climate change to the farmers.
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