This research work is aimed at analyzing the impact of village square meeting on
agricultural development in Gakem, Bekwarra Local Government Area of Cross
River State. The research method used was survey, and questionnaire the instrument.
The researcher adopted the systematic random sampling technique to select a sample
size of 200 which was used in the study. The findings gotten from the questionnaire
shows that the people of Gakem, Bekwarra Local Government are exposed to
agricultural messages passed through the village square meeting and that it was as a
result of adherence to such messages that they advanced in agricultural practice. It is
therefore recommended that the village square medium should advance in the
dissemination of agricultural messages in Gakem.
1.1 Background of the Study
The village square meeting is one o f the mediums of traditional media of
communication in the rural communities. It channels a lot of information on day to
day activities which takes place in the rural communities. Village square meeting
takes place in the village square, where a lot of issues that affects the community are
being discussed. Such information includes; Agricultural innovation programmes,
burial ceremony or burial arrangement, coronation, naming ceremony, market days
and product available for sales, visit of a prominent member of the community such
as; a member representing the community in the state and Federal housing, local
government chairman, party aspirant and party manifestos to mention a few. For the
purpose of this study, Agricultural innovation or development programmes as
affected by the village square meeting as a medium of traditional media will be the
The village square meeting is one of the mediums of traditional
communication that helps to service the society or the rural communities through
proper information that help the community in their daily interactions.
Ever before the emergence of modern mass media, viz, print and broadcast
and their introduction to Africa, people in African societies or communities did not
live in isolation from one another, there exist many other mediums and channels viz
the family, market place, town crier, visits, religious association, gun shot, bush
burning, dance display etc. which makes it easier for people to interact and exchange
opinions, ideas thoughts and feelings in their local communities. Acknowledging this
facts, Ebeze (2002), write that “before the introduction of modern mass media in
Africa, there exist other channels of communication that enable people in ancient
African communities to interact and maintain a stable system of living. These
channels as mentioned earlier has helped in shaping African communities, the
channels are used as a medium for inculcating the norms and values of the
community social mobilization, political mobilization, economic mobilization,
cultural mobilization, and the transfer of cultural heritage from generation to
generation or from old members of the community to new comers. All these
information carried by the mediums which the village square is one, has helped in
rapid development of rural communities in Africa.
The village square meeting for instance brings people from different kindred,
clans, sub-communities, families and dynasty together in the village square to discuss
Meeting days are communicated to the members of the communities through
various medium such as the town crier, gunshot, family, dance, bush burning, market
place, visits, religious association and youth association.
According to Eluwa (2010) “The village square is a special square, set aside
for communal meetings and activities”. People converge here to discuss topical
issues and events that affect their lives. Here important messages are passed to the
members of the community.
Messages being passed in the village square include; agricultural innovation
messages, which will be critically looked into in this study to be able to ascertain how
effective is the village square meeting in disseminating agricultural development
programmers in the rural communities.
Agriculture is said to be the art and science of crop and animal production.
Development to an economist is all about economic change that realistically enhances
people’s earnings in addition to raising their living standards via large scale of
production of goods and services.
In the perspective of the philosopher’s development is conceptualized as the
attainment of a meaningful degree of mental alertness and the sophistication of
human faculties to the level the individual can not only reason well but also, adopt a
logical approach to issues arising from human society.
Agricultural development is therefore, all about agricultural change that
realistically enhances the ruralites earnings in addition to raising their living standard
via large scale production of crops and animals. It is also the attainment of
meaningful degree of mental alertness, and the sophistication of human faculties to
the level that the individual in the society or rural community cannot only reason well
but adopt a logical approach to agricultural problems or issues arising in the rural
Agricultural development as been affected positively by the village square
meeting will be properly looked into in this study.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Agriculture has from time immemorial remained the major sources of income
and revenue generation in the rural area. The production of crops such as yam,
cassava, beans, rice vegetable, tree crops like cocoa, banana, plantain palm produce,
rubber etc. and animal such as; cattle’s, goats domestic fowls, Snails, fish, Agric
fowls, duck, turkey, guinea fowl, pigs to mention a few, has remain the base for
economic advancement in the rural communities in Nigeria. In spits the enormous
contributions of various media both traditional (old media) and the mass media (new
media) of communication, viz the village square as a medium of traditional media,
some rural communities are still lagging behind in agricultural advancement.
Though, a lot of agricultural innovation programmes have been initiated by the
federal, state, and local government, poor planting methods, poor method of pesticide,
herbicide application etc. have been constraint to agricultural development in the rural
This research work strives to investigates if the village square meeting as a
medium of traditional communication has really contributed in mobilization and
sensitization of the ruralites on agricultural innovations, if not, it will be of important
to suggest a vibrant medium that will be more effective for agricultural development
in the rural area since it is statistically proven that about 75% of Nigerians reside in
the rural area and often rely on agricultural productivity to be able to contribute to
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are;
(1) To determine the role of village square meetings in promoting effective
agricultural development in the rural area.
(2) To find out how people react to agricultural messages received in the
village square meetings.
(3) To determine the influence of agricultural messages passed in the village
square meetings on the attitude of farmers in Gakem, Bekwarra L.G.A.
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions are as follows:
(1) To what extent has village square meeting helped in enhancing agricultural
development in Gakem?
(2) How has the people of Gakem reacted to agricultural development messages
passed to them through village square meeting?
(3) How has the agricultural development messages disseminated in the village
square influenced your farming attitude?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses include;
H1: Village square meeting has helped in enhancing agricultural development in
H2: Agricultural messages passed in the village square meeting influenced the
attitude of the farmers in Gakem?
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is based on effective use of village square meeting for agricultural
development in rural area. The method and techniques of disseminating information
in the rural area using the village square meeting, remains the base of this study.
The study covers Gakem community of Bekwarra North L. G.A in Cross
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study will be relevant to national and rural agricultural development
agencies such as the National Agricultural Development Agencies (NADA) at the
national level, and State Agricultural Development Agencies (SADA) at the state
level. The study will also help environmental activist, bankers, educators, economist,
politicians, teachers, media practitioners etc. to be able to ascertain and evaluate the
strength and weakness of the traditional media and to device the best means or
channels of disseminating information in the rural area, since findings from these
study will reveal new trends on the impact of village square meeting in the rural area.
The study will also contribute immensely to all academic fields whose
activities are affiliated with the rural communities. The study will help government,
NGOs and other bodies who are interested in agricultural development in the rural
area to identify the village square meeting as an important medium of packaging
agricultural development programmes, that will lead to high agricultural productivity
and rural development.
The study will to a very large extent be of benefit to future researchers who
wish to carryout study in this area, since this study when completed is subject to
replication as criteria in research.
Findings from this study will also help the Government (Federal state and
local government) to device a means of enhancing agricultural innovation
programmes through the village square meeting and other viable mediums of
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms in this study where operationally defined
(2) Village square meeting
(3) Agricultural Development
(4) Rural Development.
Impact: Impact in this study has to do with how village square meeting
has contributed to agricultural development.
Village Square Meeting: Village square meeting in this study is a gathering
of the rural dwellers which gives them the opportunity to discuss issues
Agricultural Development: It is an improvement in the method or style of
agricultural practice to enhance high productivity.
Rural Development: This has to do with the positive transformation that
enhances the living standard of the ruralites.
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