n South African Journal of Agricultural Extension - Factors contributing to the accessibility of opinion leaders in Lesotho

Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0301-603X
  • E-ISSN: 2413-3221


Against the background of the importance of fellow farmers as the most frequent source of information, opinion leaders deserve special attention. This study is focused on accessibility, which, together with competence, is probably one of the most important dimensions of opinion leadership.. The study was conducted in a typical rural district where 200 maize farmers were randomly selected and their opinion leaders identified by means of sociometric methods with the number of nominations as the major indicator of degree of influence or strength of opinion leadership. The findings reveal that socio-psychological accessibility is not a serious constraint in the diffusion of innovations through opinion leaders, because the large majority (more than 80 percent) have an assessed accessibility of high or very high. More critical is the physical accessibility since 80 to 86 percent of the opinion leaders consulted were within a radius of 2 km. Factors affecting the accessibility are gender and friendship, while variables like education and status had no influence, which, in a way, represents further evidence that accessibility is not a constraint as far as opinion leadership is concerned.

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