Edgar Naganag, Manuel Bilagot, Jovita Saguibo
Edited by Marciano Paroy Jr.
The first thing to be done was to identify the areas where the research be conducted. After the areas and the respondents are finally identified, the enumerators, researchers and the respondents met in an initial meeting to set the objectives of the study. However, the session was facilitated by the researchers to delimit the scope and sites of the research in order that it synchronized with the research budget and the time frame for the research to be terminated or completed.
Only the farmers who are planting rice in their agricultural are considered in this research as respondents because it is the intention of this study to make an assessment of the impact of the prevailing media tool in the diffusion of innovations among the farmers. It is not measuring the impact but it intends to know the degree of adoption by the farmers of the innovations and identify the factors that may have hampered or promoted the adoption of shall farming innovations diffused to them through the identified media.
The team also enlisted the help of the Department of Agriculture, Kalinga for the existing data on the rice producing farmers and the areas. Some data were also taken from the Department of Agricultural Services for comparison and analysis.
Development communication brings about a planned growth intended to promote human development, reducing if not eradicating poverty. It is engaged not only in mere reporting of facts or opinions but also in teaching the people and leading them to action. It imparts and shares ideas to nurture and cultivate the proper attitudes, skills and values that are needed to hasten development.
The rural areas, uncertain of the effectiveness of the technologies and practices being communicated need more intense involvement of the development communications who can reach out and fill the gap between them and the much needed information useful for development.. Development of the rural people is a process wherein the first step is to make them aware of their present condition , and then they must be willing to take every step to remedy such condition. More efficient practices can start this path toward development, as agriculture is seen as the very catalyst for growth. In order to achieve development through agriculture, according to James, communications should not be viewed alone as a self-actualizing factor, but as part of the larger system composed of multiple interacting factors in development. He also noted that communication has four roles to play in agricultural development: extension information, active energizing, psychological mood setting, and education.
Among the roles it is extension information and education, which have the greatest prospects in hastening agricultural development in rural areas. It is given that most of our folks have not received much formal schooling; therefore the best technique by which we can make them adapt effective farming practices is extension.
The municipality of Tabuk, Kalinga as the capital of the province, the business hub and the producer of the largest quality of rice in the province with all its productive desires is the best area where a great deal of diffusing information for farmers must be done to develop more their productive capability to be better partners of the government in national development. It is high time for the rice producers of the province to intensify the use of farming innovations to increase production without so much destruction to the environment. It is still the responsibility of every individual to save and protect the environment and preserve its wealth for adaptation of farming innovations that could spur production and address the needs of the fast growing international communities. It is then the responsibility of each rice-producing farmer to balance production and environment. Increasing production should not mean sacrificing the future of the generations yet to come.
Development at this level must be geared towards the idea of sustainable development wherein the wealth of the earth must not be abused but instead preserved for the next generations. Development was never meant top is a wanton destruction of the natural wealth and resources of the earth but there maximization to meet the needs of the growing demands of the global communities. Further, the utilization of farming innovations does not mean the total neglect of the time-tested practices in farming, which are effective but environmental, friendly but the interfacing of the practices and the innovations to be productive and yet preserve the environment.
II. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Several studies conducted on the sources of information by farmers showed that it is through personal knowledge or through neigh-farmer information that they gain knowledge of important information regarding farming innovations. One study reveals that the personal sources were important for gaining first knowledge of awareness about farming innovation information (Pablico, 1968). Another study supports the contention that Filipino farmers attend mostly to personal sources. The neighbor-farmer is the important source of information to farmers. One interesting finding is the fact that fifty (50) out of sixty-two (62) correspondents claimed they used the information heard over the radio (Gagui, 1973).
The prosperity of farmers to seek personal sources of information, as shown by the studies, can be attributed to the fact that the Philippines are still an oral society. People communicate primarily through word of mouth and media are regarded more as sources of entertainment rather than information. Farmers claim that they choose the extension workers because he is always available for consultation and educated along that particular discipline.
There are also many studies done pointing the importance of personal sources of farmer’s information. Personal sources do not necessarily mean, however, that they are extension workers. They may be neighbors, fellow farmers. Relatives and all whom are conveyors of information about a variety of topics, not only on farming but also on the latest political and social happenings. When it come to farming information, the more frequent thru contact farmers have with extension agents, the more likely the farmers would implement or adopt the innovation being taught (Wickmham 1970, Nayga 1973, Contado, 1969).
An important finding which is worth mentioning here reveals that other extension methods of introducing farming innovations are still perceived an effective. Ranked according to their order of importance, these include the lecture method, demonstration method, and informal or formal classes. A combination of all three, face-to-face contact with the farmers, farmer visit to experiment stations and the use of leaflets, radio, TV, and reading materials (Nayga, 1973)
It is then important for the extension worker to be very vigilant in recognizing the weaknesses of the farmers in order that help can be available at the earliest possible time.
The pouring out of information to the farmers is not convinced unless they see personally the results. Hence, in the giving of information some important aspects must be thoroughly considered for better result. Some times the hostility of the people may affect the acceptability of the innovation Paroy, 2002. their lack of interest to respond to the information may also affect the acceptability of the information (Kayat, 200).
These son impending problems that must have to be critically analyzed to make the flow of information unhampered. The essence of the drive for farming innovations will not be realized unless greater efforts are poured to massive education campaign.
The study aims to achieve the following aims:
1. Assess the effectiveness of the prevailing methods/techniques used in giving information on farming innovations;
2. Evaluate the level of adoption of the innovations among farmers; and
3. Identify the factors that promote or hamper the adoption of the farming innovations.
The researchers enlisted the services of three trained enumerators to go personally to the farmer-respondents to interview in order to get their responses. After the interview, the researchers personally met the farmer-respondents in a core group meeting to elicit more information and to have a first hand knowledge on the real situation of the farm and the farmers. This is also important for it served as an enlightening session for questions, which may have been so difficult to answer or may have been ambiguous in the perception of the farmer-respondents.
The farmer-respondents came from the barangays of Agbannawag, San Julian, Appas, Bulanao, Calanan, New Tanglag and Amlao. These barangays were chosen because of there geographic location in the municipality.
V. DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
Effectiveness of the Techniques Presently Used
In barangays Agbannawag, Appas, and Bulanao, ninety percent of the respondents came to know farming innovations through billboards especially those that where posted along the roadsides. The posted billboards stay longer for public view in thoroughfares in the whole municipality hence it has a lasting effect on the minds of the farmers for they see those billboards everyday as they go to their farms.
This constant reminder would tickle their minds to know more of the innovations. Eighty-five percent know of the innovations through leaflets which are occasionally distributed by advertisers as they come to the place. The draw back of leaflets is the time that it will consume in reading the same. As farmers have minimal for rest, reading is not so much welcome to them.
The radio stations also play a strong part in the diffusion of innovations among the farmers. The constant plugging of advertisements over the radio would make the farmers aware of the new trends in farming. This is what eighty-two percent know of the farmers in the barangays mentioned above came to know of farming innovations for rice production. Eighty percent of the farmers gained knowledge of the innovations from seminars conducted by the Department of Agriculture and other private companies.
In the barangays of Amlao, Calanan, New Tanglag and San Julian, ninety percent of the farmers interviewed came to know of the farming innovations in rice production through the radio, eighty seven percent through billboards, eighty-three by means of leaflets and seventy percent by way of seminars. The reason for such a result was the fact that such barangays lay in the outskirts of the municipality. Respondents from Amlao, New Tanglag and San Julian posted that the prime reasons a limited knowledge of the new innovations is the fact that farmers are so much interested in using the new innovations due to limited knowledge about and the fear that it would cause harm to their farm than an accelerated production.
The fear will hamper them to explore and experiment and as a result they settle to what they had been using traditionally. Further, seminar got the lowest percentage because of the following reasons: Firstly, the distance of the barangay to the seminar site; secondly, no money to be used for fare and other activities that they may incur expenses; thirdly, the invitation is not on-time and few people are invited by either the barangay captain or any liaison who may bring the invitation; and, fourth, there is indeed lack of information dissemination among barrio folks on the introduction of farming innovations, hence the farmers are hesitant.
Adoption Level of Innovations
Mechanized farming – the use of hand tractors and rice-threshers-is common to all the barangays. Ninety-eight percent of the rice farmers used this farming implements except for very few in Barangays Amlao and New Tanglag. Such number is negligible as compared to the users of the innovations. Ninety-eight percent make use of commercial fertilizers, and chicken manure.
The reason why many use commercial fertilizers is its convenience and availability in the locality. Compost fertilizers will take much time to prepare and laborious to manufacture and chicken manure is not much available in the area.
Ninety-eight percent use pesticides in rice production . What ever be the price they are still willing to sacrifice for it is seen for them as indispensable in the survival of the plant. Ninety percent say that herbicide can be dispensed with as long as the water supply is sufficient. According to the respondents interviewed, by maintaining a particular level of water in the rice farm, weeds will not thrive or germinate.
The farmers are not so much inclined to use the straight planting method as ninety-one say that it is expensive and few rice planters are versed in doing it. Eighty-one percent also shun direct seedling especially during summer time. The reason is that the water supply may be cut making direct seeding dangerous.
One reason that came out in the course of the focus meeting was the direct seeding take much time especially the technique introduced by the Department of Agriculture wherein if possible only forty kilos of rice-seeds should be used in a hectare rice farm. The farmers especially in the upper areas of the municipality do not subscribe much to this area. Another reason is the menace brought about by the presence and rapid multiplication in population of the golden kuhol, known in the area as “Taiwan”.
Factors affecting the use of the Innovations
Rice-farmers meager income top the list among the factors affecting the use of any farm innovation as a staggering ninety-eight percent of the respondents would say. Farmers interviewed opined that a serious and religious move for rice-price stabilization is a very welcome program that concern the government agencies should create and implement for the protection of rice producing farmers in the locality. This move can be supported by a particular resolution of the municipal government to avert and arrest any formation of rice cartel in the municipality and even the province.
The farmers are financially adept to bring their rice harvest to the National Food Authority of Tabuk because of its location. It would again entail additional cost to the ailing farmers should they bring their product to the NFA. Further, farmers would wait for some days before they would finally get their money for the product the sold to the office.
It is followed by limited technical know-how with ninety-five percent and third is limited government support or subsidy to needy farmers with ninety-one percent. Most farmers interviewed were either elementary graduates of high school level only. It was suggested by these respondents that an actual demonstration such as field demonstrations is more affected as a medium than the usual conference or seminar type that is frequently used. It was also a common observation by farmers that the agricultural services offered by the government were highly politicized.
The farm inputs were given to the barangay captain rather that to the farmers’ organization or to the people. The result was that the barangay captain treats it as his personal property. The intended beneficiaries are left out as on-lookers without any right to ask for its use.
The price of rice is not stable especially in the municipality as claimed by the farmers. During rainy days the price rose up and suddenly goes down during sunny days. The lack of storage areas and mechanized dryer add more to the worries of the farmers. It is coupled with the lack of regulation in the control of rice-price in the area.
The government agency concern in the acceleration of rice production lack the personnel especially farm technicians to transfer the technology and the absence of government subsidy double the problem adding more worries to the already worried rice producers.
The rice farmers in the barangays of Agbannawag, Appas and Bulanao gain knowledge of farm innovations through billboards, leaflets and the radio stations. In the barangays of Amlao, Calanan and San Julian, innovations are known by means of the radio stations, leaflets and seminars conducted by the government or private companies advertising their respective farmer inputs.
Mechanized farming especially the use of hand-tractors and rice threshers is common in the areas identified as site of the project. Commercial fertilizers dominate the inorganic fertilizers while pesticide is indispensable as compared to the use of herbicides, which can be remedied by maintaining a certain water level in the rice farm.
The low price of rice in the locality affected so much the farmers aggravated by the lack of government technical support and financial subsidy. The unregulated rice-price adds more problems to the saddled farmers.
- Massive campaign for adoption of rice farm innovations must be done by concern government agencies.
- The municipal government of Tabuk in coordination with the Department Of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry should form a Rice-Price Control and Monitoring Committee and come up with meaningful policies or ordinances on rice price control.
- There should be a constant monitoring group form from NGOs, Pos, LGU and other government agencies for rice production and its sale.
The Provincial Agricultural Office of the Province of Kalinga and the Municipal Government Agricultural Office of Tabuk should continue and strengthen their radio programs on agricultural promotion and enhancement.