Agricultural Information Sources in Yemen [Archives:1998/50/Business & Economy]

December 14 1998

By: Wadie Al-Mikhlafi 
Agricultural Research & 
Extension Authority (AREA), Dhamar 
Concentrated research and extension efforts have made it possible to come out with a large number of innovations and improved agricultural packages to be communicated to family communities for field work. Therefore, at present, Yemeni farmers are adopting many modern agricultural technologies they did not use before. 
Joint work between Yemen’s two research organizations resulted in improving the farmer’s knowledge through generating and disseminating relavant information. This has not resulted in a change of the overall work environment. In other words, information flow has been through persons, agencies and/or materials officially or non-officially designated and described as information channel as well as donors. These are known as information sources by which agricultural messages are being delivered. The farmers, herders and other users of the information now know where to look. 
Empirically, many of the agricultural information sources were identified by many locally conducted filed studies, particularly during 1988/98. in their study, Taha et al (1988), indicated that the majority of farmers (24.5%) received more information from their neighbors and relatives. About 23.2% of farmers received information from other farmers. Only 10.1% of farmers depend on T.V as a source of information. 
In his M.Sc thesis of 1990, Al-Sharjabi reported that “other farmers” served as a source of information for the biggest group of farmers by 42.7%. Furthermore, his study revealed that farmers know about new agricultural technologies through extension workers, radio and television, respectively by 35.5%, 23.2% and 20.7%. 
The Second Potato Production Center (SPPC), according to Sallam Arasi, 1996, was found to be the most important source of information. Al-Jereidi’s study in 1997 revealed that extension agents constituted a principal source of information by 64.58% of farmers in Wadi Hadhramaut. 
In this connection, I ranked the information, in my M.Sc. thesis, 1998, as follows: 
By evidence, the notes above cited, clearly identify the different sources of agricultural information by which it was communicated. Moreover, this identification in total shows that two major categories of information sources could be noticed; namely, governmental (official) sources and non-governmental sources. The first category includes persons and agencies that are officially designated to be information sources such as: Extension workers, printed media, mass media programs, rural development agents, .. ect. 
While, the other category – related to persons/organizations such as input dealers, cooperative and agricultural associations, specialized and private companies,..etc – are non-officially designated to be information sources. 
This latter category, as the research findings confirmed, was the most commonly utilized by Yemeni farmers for gaining more information to benefit their activities and operations. 
Thus, the main point in this regard, normally, is searching for an answer for such phenomena.