The Use and Potential of Local Radio for Agricultural Extension in the West of Ireland

Monica Gorman, Owen Keogh, Pat Clarke

Abstract


This article reviews and evaluates the use of agricultural radio programming in the west of Ireland and assesses the potential for expanded use of radio and podcasts by the public agricultural extension service.  The article used a variety of methodologies including data from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, farmer surveys, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews. The findings unveiled a high level of listenership to farming programmes on Irish local radio especially among older farmers and that the impact of these programmes is mainly in creating awareness or reminding farmers about issues, deadlines or events.  The study suggests that the impact of farm radio can be maximised when it is integrated into wider agricultural extension programmes and is locally relevant. The research further augments that podcasts are a useful medium for knowledge transfer especially for younger audiences because of their flexibility.  Farmers preference for listening over reading advisory messages is clear. Radio and podcasts offer practical and cost-effective opportunities to enhance the effective delivery of agricultural extension advice and information. Diversified knowledge sources are critical to support active information seeking by farmers and, by re-establishing a focus on radio and podcasts, there is scope for agricultural extension services to widen their reach and impact.

  


Keywords


Farm radio, local radio, podcasts, agricultural extension, farmer decision making.

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International Journal of Agricultural Extension

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