Food security demands that citizens participate actively in food production. How to persuade people to participate in food production programmes is the task for agricultural messages. The “Imo Food Basket Programme” in Nigeria was used to determine why messages were ineffective in persuading long-lasting participation in food production. A sample of 325 was drawn purposively from the population of the five zonal farm clusters in the state. The triangulation method used both observation and survey to obtain data, while the Likert scale and simple percentage were used to analyze them. It was found that a message which does not satisfy its audience expectation cannot persuade intended action. It was also found that the agricultural message set the food production agenda but was ineffective in determining how recipients responded to it. Finally, it was observed that some other motives stimulated participation in food production, other-than the presented message. It becomes advisable that agricultural messages must specify accruable benefits in food production participation if it expects to achieve the desired objective. Interest can only be substantiated where disposition controls action.