Through the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) we learned how participatory radio strategies can contribute to considerable changes in farmers’ knowledge and practices and within the communities that they are part of. We learned that radio, when done according to certain standards and making use of ICTs, can have a big impact as an communication and extension tool, often at a much lower cost than ‘conventional’ extension services.
Our Impact Programming strategy is taking these findings forward. We are working with key research and development partners, enabling them to effectively use radio in their knowledge-sharing efforts – and thus contribute to improved livelihoods on a large scale. Examples of current partnerships and projects can be seen here.
Now that we have evidence of the effectiveness of farm radio, and have learned how to do it well, we intend to increase the use of radio in Africa as an extension tool. Extension services are poorly funded, much-neglected, yet much-needed. Radio overcomes many barriers and is found in the most remote of regions. It presents a variety of efficient and effective opportunities for organizations to reach farmers with information about, for example: latest research results; affordable, effective and sustainable methods of combating key weeds, pests and diseases (such as striga or banana bacterial wilt); climate change adaptation; new crop varieties. Just as important, radio can be used to amplify farmers voices, providing them with an effective way to have their needs, experiences, and perspectives heard by policy makers and program planners.
We welcome the opportunity to work with organizations on tailoring participatory radio to their, and the farmers’, needs. If you would like to discuss how radio could be used as a communication tool by your organization, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org