A Communication Analysis of Climate Change Knowledge Gaps Between Uplands and Lowlands Farmers in Nueva Ecija, Philippines: A Validation of the Knowledge Gap Theory

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Irabagon, Maria Loida D.
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This study primarily aims to determine the knowledge level of 120 upland rice farmers and lowland rice farmers in Nueva Ecija, Philippines on climate change, with the hope of validating the Knowledge Gap Theory by Tichenor, Donohue, and Olien. In validating the said theory, the study looked into the relationship of the respondents' socio-economic status with their knowledge level on climate change as hypothesized in the theory. It also aims to recommend policies on disseminating climate change knowledge and information particularly at the local level. The study used the snowball sampling technique and the data were gathered using quantitative and qualitative methods. The T-test analysis and Pearson Correlation Analysis was used to determine the knowledge level of the respondents and to test the relationship of the variables. The results show that the respondents from the upland and the lowland were knowledgeable about climate change, its causes, effects, and impacts as well as to the climate change programs of the government. The respondents, however, were Only slightly knowledgeable on the technical aspects of climate change. Most of them were also not familiar with some of the recommended adaptation technologies as those technologies were not introduced to them. Additionally, the results of the key informant interviews revealed that the local government unit of Carranglan„ Palayan City, and San Isidro, Nueva Ecija were active in disseminating climate change knowledge and information and adaptation technologies. They did this through the conduct of different activities such as seminars, Farmers Field School, and Lakbay-Aral. Of the four local government units (LGUs), Guimba had the least number of activities on agricultural extension concerning climate change adaptation. The communication activities of various research and development and academic institutions such as the Araullo University, Central Luzon State University, and Central Luzon Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development Consortium also helped in educating the respondents on climate change. Drawing on from the results of this study, it is recommended that researchers should explore the effect of other factors—particularly the social and communication factors—in studying the knowledge gaps among groups of interest especially if the form of knowledge that will be tested is global in nature and one that includes technological interventions. It is also recommended among LGUs to strengthen their extension services on climate change. The study also recommends, in particular, the continuous implementation of the Farmers Field School and partnerships with.
Research Subject Categories::NATURAL SCIENCES::Earth sciences::Atmosphere and hydrosphere sciences::Climatology, Research Subject Categories::FORESTRY, AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES and LANDSCAPE PLANNING::Landscape planning::Nature conservation and landscape management, Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Human communication