Farmers’ and Researchers’ Perceptions on Mediated Communication of Agricultural Research Results by Rwanda Agriculture Board
This paper explores how mediated communication is perceived by farmers and agricultural researchers and extensionists in Rwanda, taking Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) as a Case Study. Literature revealed that studies on agricultural communication to farmers have focused on the role of mass media and new technologies in farmers’ access to agricultural information. There have not been enough opportunities for farmers to voice how they think agricultural research information can best be communicated to them. In line with interpretive paradigm, qualitative approach, narrative strategy of inquiry and purposive sampling, 50 farmers and 20 RAB staff (researchers and extensionists) participated in the study. While researchers and extensionists at RAB said that they need to increase the use of mass communication media as well as the new technologies in order to effectively communicate to farmers, farmers expressed more reliance on interpersonal, face-to-face exchanges. Farmers said that they need people they can talk to face to face; people who can listen to their questions and grievances and provide adequate answers. They said that very few of them can read and write and have little or no access to technological devices recommended by RAB staff due to their living conditions.