ROLE OF VERNACULAR RADIO IN ENHANCING SMALL SCALE DAIRY FARMING AND MARKETING IN KENYA IN GITHUNGURI SUB-COUNTY

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ABSTRACT
Over the years, several channels have been used to disseminate information on dairy farming. They include extension officers, pamphlets, field days, newspapers, television, radio and many more (van den Ban and Hawkins, 1992; Olowu and Oyedokun, 2000). Radio as a channel has been successfully used to disseminate agricultural information especially to rural populations. Many experts identify radio as the primary medium of communication that is effective in reaching rural communities. This may be attributed to the various advantages it bears including; its portability, relative affordability, coverage of wide geographical areas, language of broadcast (Kuponiyi, 2000). The dairy industry is a major employer in the world and it is growing further as the demand for milk is increasing with the growth in population to over the 7 billion mark. The global milk production increased by 32 percent. On the contrary, the global per capita registered a 9 percent decline. Consequently, the global milk production has not experienced the same growth as the global population. Countries whose milk production has grown are cited to be well equipped with information from the electronic media (Van den Ban, 1992). The overall objective of this study was to assess the role of vernacular radio on enhancing small scale dairy Farming and marketing in Githunguri sub-county, Kenya. This research study used mixed methods with two data collection methods used. These were unstructured questionnaires and interviews. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data. The study concludes that most of the people in Githunguri sub-county owned radio and that the topics that are presented in dairy farmer‟s vernacular radios address their needs on small scale dairy farming. The study also concludes that vernacular commercial radio stations being driven by profits, cannot afford to air their own sponsored agricultural programs at prime time, which is taken up by paid sponsors who broadcast sponsored programs beneficial to them. In addition, the study concludes that information from the vernacular radio programs with regards to dairy farming practices has really helped dairy farmers in boosting their farming skills and has seen the fruits of implementing what they learn.

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