Global Journal of Social Sciences Studies

Volume 4, Number 1 (2018) pp 1-12 doi 10.20448/807.4.1.1.12 | Research Articles

 

Language, Communication, Poverty Eradication and the Fadama Projects in Nigeria

Godwin C. S. Iwuchukwu 1Patrick U. Ineji 2 Emmanuel Inyang 2 
1 Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
2 Department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria

ABSTRACT

Language as a prime instrument of communication has remained the oldest among both traditional and new media. Iwuchukwu (2006) has raised some salient issues relating to the strategic role of language, especially the indigenous language towards poverty alleviation in Nigeria and ultimately achieving the first Millennium Development Goal; Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger by 2015. FADAMA is a major World Bank assisted project in Nigeria aimed at reducing rural poverty, increasing food security and contributing significantly to the achievement of a key Millennium Development Goal (MDG) objective. This paper focuses on the FADAMA project in Nigeria, (covering 1, 2, and 3), examining the role of indigenous languages and communication in its execution. It will further highlight the positive and negative effects of the deployment and non-deployment of appropriate languages and communication tools in the implementation of the project as well as its overall performance. Our methodology will include the analysis of FADAMA field reports 1, 2, and 3; oral interviews with a sizeable number of the vulnerable group that constitutes the target population from at least one (1) state in each of the six geopolitical zones that make up Nigeria. Our claim is that effective and appropriate harnessing of indigenous language and communication will significantly contribute to the overall success of the FADAMA project in Nigeria.

Keywords: Language, Communication, Poverty, Eradication, FADAMA

DOI: 10.20448/807.4.1.1.12

Citation Godwin C. S. Iwuchukwu; Patrick U. Ineji; Emmanuel Inyang (2018). Language, Communication, Poverty Eradication and the Fadama Projects in Nigeria. Global Journal of Social Sciences Studies, 4(1): 1-12.

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Funding : This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

History : Received: 10 February 2017 Revised: 27 December 2017/ Accepted: 4 January 2018/ Published: 10 January 2018

Publisher: Online Science Publishing

1. INTRODUCTION

In Nigeria, the term FADAMA is an Hausa name for irrigable land usually low lying plains under laid by shallow aquifers found along major river systems. In addition to providing a source of water for livestock during dry season, FADAMA also support large and diverse residence and transient wildlife including herbivores, carnivores and migratory birds. The enormous potential of this land is partially   underdeveloped. The FADAMA, a world bank assisted project aims at sustainably increasing the income of FADAMA users. it also aims at enhancing the productivity and wellbeing of Nigerian  farmers while reducing poverty and increasing food security.
The FADAMA 1 which was only experimented in five (5) states and Fadama II which involves twelve (12) states projects successfully refined approaches for improved utilization of these lands and implemented an innovative Local Development Plan (LDP) . The Fadama III aims at increasing the incomes of Fadama land and water resources users on a sustainable manner. By increasing their incomes, the project will help reduce rural poverty, increase food security and contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal (MDG). The paper examines the interplay of language, and communication in the achievement of the poverty alleviation (eradication) driven Fadama project in Nigeria.

Several works have been done on the Fadama project in Nigeria. They include Ango et al. (2012) who examined the socio-economic impact of Fadama development programme on the participating farmers of the two zones of Kebbi State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority. The work shows that the majority of the participating farmers were males and were within the age range of 20-50 years with farm sizes of 2 -3 hectares. It also showed that most of the participating farmers were involved in the planning and execution of the programme and only registered farmers of Fadama Users Association were found to benefit from the provision of the agricultural inputs of the Fadama development programme.

However, they restricted their work to the socio-economic impacts without looking at the linguistic and communication which this paper focuses on.

1.1. Statement of the Problem

The strategic role of language as a quintessence of man and medium, of communication cannot be ignored or overemphasized.

According to Essien (2010)“Language is both a cultural index and the expression of that index. When you learn a language, you are entering the cultural domain and terrain of the native speakers of that language, you get to understand the belief system, the taboos, the totems, the values, the ethos, the fears and hopes, the foods and the traditions, the clothes, the ceremonies, the names and the naming system and whatever identifies the people by ways of their mental and creative outputs, religions, literature and the arts in general, economic well-being, education etc.” Waisboard (2001) links up Development communication to the application of communication strategies and principles in the developing world. Nigeria being one of the developing world (nations), and anchoring on both postulations on language and communication, some pertinent questions arise. These include,

  1. What language is used in the Fadama project in Nigeria?
  2. Is the language used very appropriate especially for sensitization and mobilization of the target population, particularly the vulnerable group?
  3. If the language is not very appropriate, is there a more appropriate strategy that could more effectively mobilize and sensitize the targeted group?
  4. What communication strategy is adopted in the Fadama project in Nigeria?
  5. Which media are employed in the communication and how effective?
  6. If the media are not effective, what other media could be employed for more effective goal realization.

The problem of this research basically therefore, is to profer answers or solution to these questions.

1.2. Rationale /Significance for the Study

The rationale for the study is to demonstrate the fundamental role of language in any poverty alleviation or eradication initiative like Fadama. Furthermore, it highlights the imperative of commendation in achieving the Fadama project in Nigeria as well as the most appropriate media for use. It tends to proffer solutions that may make for the optimum realization of the Fadama project in Nigeria and by extension help in alleviating poverty.

1.3. Scope of the Study

The study covers all aspects of the Fadama project in Nigeria, i.e. Fadama III which is on-going because of the complexity and size of Nigeria, it is not possible to obtain Fadama reports from all the 36 states in Nigeria and Abuja the Federal capital territory. We however, restricted ourselves to the six geo-political zones in Nigeria and picking reports from each state of the zone. We also interacted with some officers of the Fadama state project offices. Our focus is on the language(s) used in the projects facilitation in the various zones/states as well as the communication strategy and media. Our evaluation of the success of the Fadama is narrowed to these areas rather than the technical, political or other considerations.

2.THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The National FADAMA Development Project in Nigeria can best be communicated through diffusion of innovation. Literally, diffusion of innovation is the spreading of new ideas and methods of doing things (innovations) to a large audience with the aim of eliciting a desired (positive) change. It entails making an innovation clear, popular and acceptable to a particular group of people, such that, they willingly accept this new idea or way of doing things and practice it without compulsion.

Diffusion of innovations theory as propounded by Rogers in 1962 posits that when new innovations are introduced, they pass through a series of strategies before being widely adopted. First, most people become aware of them, often through information from the mass media. Second, the innovations will be adopted by a very small group of people often referred to as innovators or early adopters. Third, opinion leaders find the innovation useful and encourage their friends or followers and finally, after most people have adopted the innovation, a group of late adopters often make the change. Rogers found that this process applied to most American agricultural innovations.

Baran and Davis (2010) view diffusion of innovations as a source-dominated theory that sees the communication process from the point of an elite who has decided to diffuse specific information or an innovation. In diffusion of innovations, the mass media merely act as catalysts, while change agents and early adopters assist through opinion leaders to draw attention to the innovations.

In the National Fadama Development Project in Nigeria, change agents in this case government officials coordinating the project lead the diffusion efforts; they go into FADAMA communities and directly influence the elite (early adopters), traditional rulers and hierarchies (opinion leaders) in the communities. The project coordinators sometimes use the mass media to sensitize people on the FADAMA project.

2.1. Language as Development Tool in the FADAMA Project

Bodomo (1999); Essien (2003) and Iwuchukwu (2005) have all lamented the neglect of indigenous languages in the search for development in Africa. According to Bodomo, in their search for solutions to the development problems of Africa, students of Africa have often ignored linguistics and other socio-cultural resources. He identified two basic reasons for this: he narrow interpretation of the concept of development only in terms of economic indicators (GDP, GNP) and other economic notions such as income per capita as determinants of societal well-being and the general misunderstanding of the role language plays in the society. He maintained that only a comprehensive interpretation of development as the sustainable socio-cultural, economic and technological transformation of a society, will appreciate the relevance of language in the development process. In agreeing with Bodom, Essien (2003) states that “development programmes would be seriously flawed as has been the case in Nigeria and the new nations of black Africa, if language were not considered a major component of such programmes”. However, development paradigms outside Africa did not ignore language. Iwuchukwu (2005) tend to sum up this position by maintaining that Africa’s underdevelopment is significantly linked up with her neglect and non-development of her linguistic resources. A continent that seeks and hopes to develop using alien languages. The case cited by Bodomo of some students of Agriculture extension services in Ghana who on graduation and posting to the rural areas, got shocked and could not deliver because their training excluded language. Agriculture extension students being trained to work among predominantly illiterate farmers in rural areas ought to have been equipped with adequate language and linguistic knowledge to enable them succeed.

The FADAMA is a development oriented project in Nigeria meant to alleviate poverty, reduce hunger and increase the income of the rural and vulnerable people etc. These target group are predominantly illiterates, it is proper therefore that appropriate language and communication media be used to mobilize them for active participation, capacity building and information dissemination. Our concentration is that FADAMA handlers in Nigeria who ignore appropriate language and communication media choice will tend to record a less significant impact than otherwise.

2.2. Communication and Development: The FADAMA Imperative

2.2.1. The Concept of Communication

Communication is a very broad concept and varies depending on the theoretical frames of reference employed and the intention of the source (the intention of the communication encounter in the entire process). From a very broad perspective, communication can be understood as the sharing of experience which implies that all living organisms share experiences but what is unique and distinct about human communication is the superior ability to create and use symbols. Human communication can therefore be defined as the process of creating a meaning between two or more people. Human communication is concerned with efforts to make significations or meaning and symbols are used to express ideas and feelings. A symbol can be defined as representing something used for or regarded as representing something else (Tubb and Moss, 1991).

A symbol may be understood to mean any human behaviour, either verbal or non-verbal to which meaning may be attached, Ineji (2003). In their book “The Functions of Human Communication: A Theoretical Approach cited by Watson and Hill (1997) examined 126 definitions of communication and noted the differences but agreed on the common denomination that communication is a process. They however, concluded with their own definition that Communication is the production of symbolic contents by an individual, according to a code with anticipated consumption by other(s) according to the same code.

One crucial attribute of communication is that it elicits a response which implies that communication is an intentional behaviour. When a source encodes a message which is sent through a channel to a receiver, he expects to get a specific response(s).

Jurgen Ruesch shares a similar view that communication is “all those processes by which people influence one another (in values, communication and culture). Watson and Hill (1997) summed up the totality of communication functions based on many and varied listings made by communication analysts into eight functions which are central to the understanding of communication: instrumental (to achieved of obtain something; control (to get someone to behave in a particular way); information (to find out or explain something); expression (to express one’s feelings or put oneself  over in a particular way); alleviation of anxiety (to sort out a problem ease a worry about something); stimulation (response to something of interest), and role related (because the situation requires it).

This paper holds the view that communication is deliberate and purposeful and specifically directed at the target audience to elicit specific response with the intention to achieve pre-determined goals by the source or communication.

2.2.2. The Concept of Development

The concept “development” lacks precise definition and remains nebulous and contentions without unanimity of agreement in both theoretical perspective and application. This controversy derives directly from the development views nurtured and propagated by scholars based on difference frames of reference which constitute the fulcrum of human behaviours. This presupposes that scholars from the polar worlds- the Western world typified by Western Europe and North America (developed Nations) and the third world nations are diametrically opposed to each other in their  understanding of the concept of the development. While the West, the modernist  nation tenaciously hold that the third world nations must purge themselves of traditionalism to pare way for meaningfully development, scholars of third world orientation are adverse to this view but hold that meaningful and sustainable development must take into consideration, the peculiar conditions and circumstances which retard their development before any progress can be recorded.

Citing Rodney (1973) in his book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Opubor (1985) says:

Development in human society is a many sided process at the individual level, it implies increased skill and capacity greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and maternal well being. The achievement of any of the aspects of personal development is very much tied in with the state of society as a whole.

Dudley Sears, the British economist is also reported by Opubor (1985) as saying that development involves the creation of opportunities for the realization of human potentials. This implies that development plan should include efforts geared toward the reduction of poverty, unemployment and inequality. An understanding of development in the light of these three indices- reduction of poverty, unemployment and inequality are at the front burner of the FADAMA project in Nigeria. As a developing country, Nigeria  is still engulfed with abject poverty, increasing and unabated outrage of unemployment and high level of inequality where the society elites have cornered the greater part of the nation’s resources for personal gain while the greater majority of the population wallow in abject poverty in the midst of plenty an inexplicable  paradox which remains unraveled.

2.2.3. The Interface Between Communication and Development

Communication is development imperative. There can be no development without a conscious efforts on the part of development agents (change agents) to harness the necessary communication tools to mobilize the target communities to prepare them both mentally (psychologically) and physically for the desired development. Once the state of mind is ready, development can occur with little or no hindrance or encumbrances. The corollary is that a fusion of communication and development is imperative for development goals to be attained. Thus, development communication or communication for development becomes an essential requirement for participatory meaningful, and result oriented development goals. Development communication also known as development support communication (DSC) in concerned with communicating the development message and can be understood as the use of all forms of communication in the promotion of development at all levels of a society.

Okunna (2002) says, Development communication can also be defined as the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass of the people.

Communication is therefore exposed to confront the numerous problems staring the African continent and the mass of the people.

Communication is therefore expected to confront the numerous problems staring the African continent and Nigeria in particular namely; problems of poverty, illiteracy, disease, corruption, ethnicity, religious crises, and or work in partnership with development (social change) agents to arrest further decay in the system.

Development is synonymous with participatory communication which involves activities or a process of dialogue and interaction in which communities and other stakeholders increase their understanding of each other’s knowledge and priorities and work to identify mutually acceptable approaches and solutions to identified problems which is predicated on the creation of a conducive atmosphere for development to take place (Ineji, 2012).

A proper understanding of development should discard the notion of proponent’s of modernization theory which holds that the goal of development communication interventions should aim to imbue the people with modern values and information, through the transfer of media technology and the adoption of innovation and culture that originated in the Western World. The truth is that a proper understanding and appreciation of the people’s circumstances is necessary and creates appropriate atmosphere for development efforts to be accomplished with minimum encumbrances.

The essence of communication in development is to engender community participating by generating an acceptable condition and enthusiasm to embrace the envisaged change among the target population. Lending credence to this view Ndolo (2011) explained that development communication:

Entailed a process by which an idea is transferred from a source to a receiver with the intent to change behavior. Usually the source wants to alter the receiver’s knowledge of some idea, create a change attitude towards the idea, or persuade him to adopt the idea as part of his regular behavior.

It has become glaring that the application of the modernization theory to development initiatives particularly as it concern’s project identification and execution in the FADAMA Project in Nigeria is inappropriate and incongruous and calls for the application of the traditional model by intervention (change) agents where the anticipated change is perceived as a process where participants create and share information with one another in order to reach a mutual understanding and successful execution of projects.

If the FADAMA Project is rightly understood as a project that is dear to the lives and survival of the community in question, it would engender in members, pride of ownership, commitment and enthusiasm to execute the project to a logical conclusion. In this respect, the collaboration between the intervention (development agents) and the benefiting community would be enhanced. Perhaps, not taking this into consideration accounts for failure of several development interventions. The key issue which should not be undermined in development initiative is participation of the community, hence, the importance of interpersonal channels of communication in decision making process at the community level is very crucial in the FADAMA Project initiative.

2.3. Eradication of Extreme Poverty and Hunger

In May 2000, the United Nations met and initiated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all the member states of the UN and other international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. Top on the list (Goal 1) is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The goals are basically to encourage development by improving social and economic conditions in the world’s poorest countries.

Nigeria’s National FADAMA Development Project was initially designed to promote simple and low cost irrigation technology. The widespread adoption of this innovation allowed farmers to increase production. An evaluation of the first phase of the FADAMA project revealed that the full realization of the project benefits was hampered by some specific shortcomings in design and implementation, including lack of involvement of project client in project planning, the project was limited to crop production ignoring downstream value addition activities of marketing and processing, and ignoring of other FADAMA resource users. The Federal Government of Nigeria impressed by the achievements of the initial phase of the project approached the African Development Bank and the International Development Association of the World Bank for support in expanding the achievements of the project in size and scope. To achieve this, the second phase was designed with a focus on community-driven development with maximum participation of stakeholders at every stage of the project cycle. This phase emphasized poverty reduction, private sector leadership and client participation. The FADAMA development project currently incorporates a shift in development strategy from public sector domination to a community-driven development approach.

The FADAMA project has been stretched to cover irrigation, infrastructure, crops and livestock, forestry and fisheries and interventions of major donors. Its major objective is to reduce poverty by improving the living conditions of the rural poor and to contribute to food security and increased access to rural infrastructure. It is meant to enhance agricultural production, productivity and value addition to enhance agricultural production, productivity and value addition for small holders and rural entrepreneurs in the Fadama areas on a sustainable basis. The implementation of the Fadama project so far has significantly improved the wellbeing of participating FADAMA resource users, and farmers have to an extent realized increased incomes as a result of producing crops both during the rainy and dry season in the Fadama, thereby reducing hunger and poverty.

3.ANALYSIS OF FADAM A 3 REPORTS

3.1 Reports (Data) From FADAMA Zones In Nigeria

Nigeria is divided into six geo-political zones. These include North East, North West, North Central, South South, South East and South West. Because of the complexity and diversity of Nigeria, and the constraint of time, we could not get data from the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory. We rather chose one state from each of the zones. Two states representing two zones are presented in each Table as shown below;

Table-1.  FADAMA III Feild Report For North-West And South-South, Nigeria
  North West
Kebbi State
South South
Cross River State
  FADAMA III FADAMA III
1. Language used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building Eng Eng
2. Is the language used in 1 above most appropriate especially for the vulnerable group? No No
3. If the language in 1 above is not most appropriate, which language will be most appropriate? MT/Eng
Arabic/ English
Eng/NP
MT
4. What communication strategy is adopted in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building? Diffusion of innovation strategy Trado-Modern Communication (TMC)
5. Which media are used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building? Mass Media
Traditional Media
Traditional Media
Mass Media
6. What are the most appropriate media for sensitization, mobilization and capacity building especially for the vulnerable group? A combination of Traditional Media, Mass Media and New Media. Traditional media
Mass Media
New Media
Source: Field Work, March, 2013.

Table-2. FADAMA III Feild Report For South-East And North-East, Nigeria
  South East
Ebonyi State
North East
Taraba State
  FADAMA III FADAMA III
1. Language used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building Eng Eng
2. Is the language used in 1 above most appropriate especially for the vulnerable group? No No
3. If the language in 1 above is not most appropriate, which language will be most appropriate? MT/Eng MT/Eng
4. What communication strategy is adopted in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building? Diffusion of innovation model Diffusion of innovation model
5. Which media are used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building? Mass Media
Traditional Communication (TC)
Mass Media
Traditional Communication (TC)
6. What are the most appropriate media for sensitization, mobilization and capacity building especially for the vulnerable group? Traditional Media (TM) Mass Media (MM)
New Media.
Traditional Media (TM) Mass Media (MM)
New Media.
Source: Field Work, March, 2013.

Table-3. FADAMA III Feild Report For South-West And North-Centraal, Nigeria
  South West
Ogun State
North Central
Niger State
  FADAMA III FADAMA III
1. Language used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building Eng Eng
2. Is the language used in 1 above most appropriate especially for the vulnerable group? No No
3. If the language in 1 above is not most appropriate, which language will be most appropriate? Eng/MT MT/Eng
4. What communication strategy is adopted in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building? Diffusion of innovation Diffusion of innovation
5. Which media are used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building? Mass Media (MM)
Traditional Communication (TC)
Traditional Communication (TC)
Mass Media (MM)
6. What are the most appropriate media for sensitization, mobilization and capacity building especially for the vulnerable group? Traditional Media (TM) Mass Media (MM)
New Media (NM)
Traditional Media (TM) Mass Media (MM)
New Media (NM)
Source: Field Work, March, 2013.

4. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS

From the data presented above, we discover that in the FADAMA III programme, the government facilitators of the programme tend to adopt English Language as the official language for the mobilization, sensitization and capacity building workshops for the Fadama Community Association (FCA) and the Fadama Users Groups (FUGs). This tends to derive from the fact that English is both the second and official language in Nigeria used both in administration and for pedagogical instructions.

They also no doubt draw from and make skeletal or complimentary use of the indigenous languages as well as Nigerian languages, but not in official capacity. We further discover, that this is not most appropriate because in some of the states as Niger, Taraba, Kebbi and Ebonyi States representing the North Central, North East, North West and South East zones of Nigeria, a significant percentage of the Fadama participants do not have formal education. i.e are illiterates. For example, according to Ango et al. (2012) many findings of research conducted revealed that the majority of the people of Northern region of Nigeria normally enrol in quoranic schools before enrolling into Western education. This makes majority of them having quoranic education even in the absence of Western education.

Specifically, the Fadama iii field report from Kebbi State indicate that 64% of the Fadama participating farmers attended quoranic schools and 35.8% only had formal education. In such circumstances, the adoption of English as the official language with complementary role for the mother tongue is glaringly inappropriate. For example, in the case of Kebbi State, it is most appropriate for the mother tongue-Hausa as well as Arabic to be adopted as the official language for the programme while English becomes the complementary language. This tends to be the case in Niger State. The mother tongue such as Igbo, Yoruba should be adopted as the official language for the Fadama (III) in Taraba, Ebonyi, and Ogun States while English is the complementary language.

For the case of Cross River, the Nigerian pidgin is added to the mother tongue because of the linguistic complexity in the area. Though the Fadama (III) is recording some measure of success, the point is that there will tend to be more significant success recorded when the mother tongue is incorporated as the official Fadama language. For the farmers to imbibe and acquire the technology taught and provided by the Fadama facilitators, it must be in the language they are more proficient in. Our suggestion tends to suggest the jettisoning of the present scenario where adhoc interpreters and translators in the mother tongue are recruited for a few hours and discharged.

In terms of communication, it is observed that the states represented are using both the diffusion of innovation strategy and the trado-modern strategy. They are also using both the mass media and the traditional media for mobilization, sensitization and capacity building programmes. This has been effective. Communication media used in sensitization, mobilization and capacity building is appropriate and this include production and distribution of information bulletins, production of FADAMA jingles and airing them in both English and local languages on both television and radio. Also used are documentaries on FADAMA activities on both television and radio. To achieve this purpose, 30 minutes FADAMA half hour, FADAMA is specially allotted.

Also, special talks on project implementation procedure have been employed by project coordinators. Other strategies include Agric show and exhibition to show case FADAMA products among others.From the foregoing, it can be safely said that effective communication strategy has been employed in the FADAMA (III) project in Ebonyi State of South East, Nigeria and farmers are adequately sensitized and involved fully in all ramifications of the FADAMA project. However, we observed that there has been no incorporation of the new media such as the mobile phones, internet, social networks etc. This is why the media they are using tend not to be the most appropriate. While there are states with significant percentage of Fadama farmers being illiterate, there are also states such as Ogun with some significant percentage of literate Fadama farmers.

Furthermore, because the growing unemployment in Nigeria, graduates of universities and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria are enrolling into the Fadama programme. Such literate segment of the Fadama farmers could be reached, mobilized, and sensitized with the use of the new media. SMS texts could be used to pass-on information. They could access the internet and browse through sites as well as upload or download information from the site. Power-point presentation of workshops, seminars, proposals etc could be more interesting, enticing and persuasive to this group. The Fadama facilitators should also embrace and incorporate the new media as one of the mediums for mobilization, sensitization and capacity building. The social networks could facilitate obtaining information and feedback from the participating literate farmers over given issues in a record time and at a cheap cost.

5.CONCLUSION

The Fadama project in Nigeria is a collaborative effort by both the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank to increase the income of the rural farmers, reduce poverty and thereby attain the Millennium Development Goal (1); Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. The Fadama project took off in Nigeria on experimental basis with five states in the first part and twelve states in the second part. The success recorded led to the current FADAMA III being implemented in all the 36 states of Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Assessing the implementation of the project in six selected states representing the zones in Nigeria reveal that appropriate language has not been adopted. In the case of language used for mobilization, sensitization and capacity building, it can be said to be a case of first being last and last being first. The appropriate language policy in the country where English displaces the indigenous languages has impacted on the implementation of the project to such an extent that English language which should be complementary, is the major tool which the mother tongues which should be the major tool, is scarcely used, even in states where 64% of the participating farmers have no formal education. The mother tongue being the best medium of education and or skills acquisition as approved by UNESCO; scarce or adhoc or non-use of their mother tongue for mobilization, sensitization and capacity building, obviously puts them at a disadvantage while there is a commendable use of the diffusion of model strategy as well as the merger of the modern and traditional forms of media, we observe however, that the new media has not been effectively utilized, especially in view of some emerging segments of the Fadama farmers. We believe that the incorporation of the new media with the media already being used will make for a most appropriate media for the facilitators and greater success for the Fadama project. Our claim is that effective and appropriate harnessing of indigenous languages and communication media will significantly contribute to the success of the Fadama project in Nigeria.

5.1. Recommendation

Since Fadama is a World Bank assisted project, there must be some conditions prescribed by them to be met by the participating countries/groups. Both the World Bank and UNESCO are all affiliates of the United Nations Organization. UNESCO had recognized the use of mother tongue and the right of the citizens to be educated, mobilized and sensitized in the language they are more proficient in. Such conditions should be attached to the implementation of the Fadama especially as it pertains to the illiterates and vulnerable groups.

Right from the conception to the execution, there is need to make provision officially for indigenous language translators as well as language and communication experts who will be involved in the sensitization, mobilization and capacity building for the Fadama associations and groups.

Government facilitators of Fadama programmes in Nigeria must be made to include language and communication experts who will incorporate the most appropriate language to be used in any given sensitization or capacity building workshop and make use of the new media, especially to the literate segment of the Fadama groups or farmers.

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About the Authors

Godwin C. S. Iwuchukwu
Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Patrick U. Ineji
Department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria
Emmanuel Inyang
Department of Mass Communication, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria

Corresponding Authors

Godwin C. S. Iwuchukwu

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