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Farm Radio International’s Doug Ward celebrated for his work transforming radio for public good in Canada and Africa

Doug Ward, chair of Ottawa-based Farm Radio International was recently appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his groundbreaking work transforming Canadian public radio and his ongoing contributions to global food security.

Ottawa, Canada, January 8, 2016 — Radio pioneer Doug Ward was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada last week. Having revolutionized Canadian public radio, Ward has not slowed down since retiring from the CBC 20 years ago. At 77, he still works tirelessly to ensure that radio puts the needs and voices of listeners first — now with his sights set firmly on Africa.
Ward’s 30 years at the CBC were in service to the public. In 1970, he co-authored a report that helped make CBC Radio what it is today. The English Radio Report ushered in major changes such as separate networks for information and performance, greater emphasis on Canadian stories, more support for local programs and the elimination of commercials. He was on the team that created the popular and enduring program As It Happens. As Director of the CBC Northern Service, he promoted the hiring and training of native northerners to create radio programs that reflected their cultures, voices, and concerns.
Ward brought this vision for audience-centred radio to Farm Radio International (FRI) shortly after his retirement from the CBC, when former colleague and FRI-founder George Atkins recruited him to its board of directors. He joined the board in 2000 and soon became its chair, a position he continues to hold today.
Under Ward’s leadership, FRI focused its work on sub-Saharan Africa and began placing more emphasis on creating radio that not only provides key information but also reflects farmers’ voices. Ward created a weekly electronic news service for broadcasters and a set of standards for farmer programs. He has trained broadcasters in the field and developed online training courses to reach more broadcasters, more cost-effectively. With FRI Executive Director Kevin Perkins, Ward has helped FRI grow into an organization with multiple African field offices, and a
reputation for delivering impressive, measurable, and lasting development outcomes by innovatively using new technologies to enhance the power of radio.
Ward says that the common theme to his work in Canada and Africa is the importance of featuring the voices of ordinary citizens. “Radio can help people name their concerns and aspirations, and then speak together and speak to power to influence change. This is particularly true now in Africa with the ubiquity of cell phones.”
When asked how he felt about receiving one of the country’s highest honours, Ward emphasized that he wants to share it “with all of the creative people in the CBC and in African radio stations dedicated to stretching and experimenting with radio to make it a stronger tool for positive social communication.”

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● Doug Ward, Chair of the Board of Directors, Farm Radio International
*Available for comment until the end of business on Wednesday, January 13, 2016
● Kevin Perkins, Executive Director, Farm Radio International
About Farm Radio International
Farm Radio International is a Canadian charity that works with more than 600 radio partners across 39 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity. It helps African broadcasters meet the needs of small-scale farmers and their families in rural communities by providing program research and content and broadcasting training to help develop a higher standard of farm radio services. It also works with African radio stations on impact projects that address specific development challenges. FRI has received numerous awards recognizing its innovative use of radio with other information and communication technologies. For more information please visit
About the Order of Canada
Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian honours system, recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation in all sectors of Canadian society. Since its creation, more than 6,000 people have been appointed to the Order, with 69 new appointees announced by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, on December 30, 2015.

In the midst of drought and famine in eastern Africa some hopeful news. A three-year study by Farm Radio International demonstrates conclusively that when properly used, radio is an effective way to give large numbers of African farm families knowledge needed to improve their food security, nutrition and livelihoods; knowledge that is vital in preventing famine in times of drought.

OTTAWA, 10 August 2011:

More than one in five of all African farm families living within the broadcast range of a carefully executed farm radio program series will adopt the new farming practices they heard about on the radio. That is the key finding of a newly released study by Canadian non-governmental organization, Farm Radio International.

For decades agricultural researchers have struggled to find ways to improve crop production and food security for small-scale farmers, especially those in Africa where drought and famine blight the already difficult lives of millions. Unfortunately, despite many promising findings, few farm families in Africa have taken advantage of any of the improvements. Food insecurity and malnutrition, especially among rural children and their mothers, is still a desperately serious problem. When drought is coupled with political instability a bad situation only gets worse.

Radio broadcasts designed to convince farmers in Africa to adopt these better technologies seem to have had little impact—until now. Farm Radio International, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, created a new kind of farm radio program model and tested it for three years. It was a carefully designed experiment run in five African countries in partnership with 25 radio stations.

The program model is called a Participatory Radio Campaign (PRC) and differs in several key respects from traditional farm radio in Africa. The PRC gives farmers (men and women) voice in the programs. Their stories of trial, difficulty, innovation, struggle and success form the core of the broadcasts. Over the course of a 13 week broadcast season these farmers become the opinion leaders, not just for their own communities but for all the communities in the listening area. The shows are lively, entertaining and value farmers. The result has been large audiences and significant adoption of new practices in all regions where the Participatory Radio Campaign methodology was tested.

The way this program was done in terms of presentation and our voices being heard on air have made it to be a favourite program for most people,  said Rhoda Chatama, a farmer in Malawi.

In fact in villages where the only extraordinary intervention was information from the radio campaign about two thirds of the population said they listened to the broadcasts regularly and half could correctly answer a set of questions about what they had learned. Most significant of all, at least a fifth decided to try the improved practice.

Farm Radio International demonstrated its capacity to lead a multi-country research for development project and achieve extraordinary results, says Mercy Karanja, the Senior Program Officer for Agricultural Development with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.

The Foundation recently awarded Farm Radio International further funding to implement the methodology with partners all across Africa.


For a one-page brief on the Participatory Radio Campaigns, click here.

Ottawa, Ontario March 1, 2011 – Grace Amito was bitter when her manager at Uganda’s radio station Mega FM assigned her to the farm broadcast. “He told me all the other programs had been taken up by my fellow presenters since I was away.”

That was in 2002, when Grace says she didn’t have “a single clue on farming.” Today she says her farm listeners are now part of her family and her life.

They trust me so much. I cannot hesitate to receive them in my house whenever they travel to town and fail to find their way back to their villages. Others want me to be their surety whenever they seek loans from commercial banks.

Grace is host of “The Farmers and the Animal World,” a daily program for Ugandan farmers, who like millions of others in Africa often have no other source of farm extension information except radio.

From March 1-12, she will be in Canada to speak and to formally receive the George Atkins Communication Award, named after the famous CBC farm broadcaster who founded Farm Radio International, an Ottawa-based NGO that provides radio scripts and training to more than 360 partner radio stations in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Grace is a skilled, courageous, and creative broadcaster, highly committed to helping small-scale farmers in northern Uganda rebuild after years of civil conflict. We are proud that she is a partner in the Farm Radio International community,” says FRI’s executive director Kevin Perkins.

Mega FM used radio broadcasts through 2004 to 2006 to facilitate peace talks that helped end the war in northern Uganda. A program called “Dwog Cen Paco” (come back home) targeted Lord’s Resistance Army fighters and encouraged them to lay down their arms.

Over time, they listened to the messages channeled through the program and they started coming out of the bush and were granted amnesty, says Grace.

Since 2008, Grace has been working closely with Farm Radio International to produce a hugely popular radio program on beekeeping and honey production. To show their gratitude for her programs, farmers stop by to leave gifts of pails of honey in the Mega FM lobby.

Grace Amito will visit Canada from March 1-12 and will be giving talks in Ottawa, Guelph, Toronto and Montreal.


Contact: Brenda Jackson

Farm Radio International


About Farm Radio International:

Founded in 1979, Farm Radio International is a Canadian charity with the mission of supporting broadcasters to strengthen small-scale farming and rural communities in Africa. Farm Radio International researches and produces radio scripts on rural development issues and distributes them to over 360 radio broadcasters who interpret and use the scripts to provide their listeners with practical information about farming, land management, health and other issues. Farm Radio International also develops training opportunities; researches farm radio strategies and facilitates networking among and between broadcasters.

Ottawa, Canada, Jan 31, 2011 – Congratulations to Alice Bafiala Mutombo, an independent radio journalist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who won first prize in an Africa-wide scriptwriting competition on healthy communities. Nine other broadcasters and producers also won prizes for their entries.

In July 2010, radio professionals from across sub-Saharan Africa were invited to submit a radio script about a healthy community initiative. To help participants develop their scripts, they were encouraged to participate in a 10-week online training course on scriptwriting. One hundred and twenty-eight entries were received from 23 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The first-prize winner impressed an international panel of judges with her script about how community members mobilized to improve hygiene by purifying drinking water, encouraging hand-washing and building latrines. She also receives the Marie Coulibaly Award for the top entry by a woman. The Marie Coulibaly Award is named in honour of a Farm Radio International staff member in Mali who tragically died in 2009.

All 10 winners will receive high quality digital audio recorders. Winners will also work with Farm Radio International’s managing editor, using feedback received from contest judges, to improve and finalize their scripts. The winning scripts will then be published in French and English and distributed by Farm Radio International to several hundred radio organizations across sub-Saharan Africa. They will then be transformed into a wide variety of programs and shared with a rural audience of millions of farmers.

The winners and script titles in alphabetical order by country are:

Kpénahi Traoré, Burkina Faso – Composting human waste is a healthy way to reduce disease and feed the soil

Alice Bafiala Mutombo, Democratic Republic of the Congo – A clean village for a healthy life

Gabriel Adukpo, Ghana – A family fights malnutrition with local leafy vegetables

Simon Mukali, Kenya – Talking to teens about unsafe sex

Charles Kemboi, Kenya – Empowerment saves youth from drug abuse

Lawrence Wakdet, Nigeria – Occupational and nutritional therapy for people living with HIV and AIDS

Oluwakemi Aduroja, Nigeria – Empowering communities with participatory community enumeration

Ugonma Cokey, Nigeria – Florence saves girls from human trafficking

Bonaventure N’Coué Mawuvi, Togo – Collecting plastic waste: Cleaning the city and generating income

Filius Chalo Jere, Zambia – AIDS support program gives positive people a new lease on life

Farm Radio International carried out the scriptwriting competition in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). We would also like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their support: the Donner Canadian Foundation, the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Anne Burnett, The Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA).


For more information about the competition and winners, contact:

Blythe McKay, Program and Partnerships Manager, Farm Radio International or 613-761-3652

Ottawa, Canada, le 31 janvier 2011 – Félicitations à Alice Bafiala Mutombo, journaliste radiophonique indépendante de la République démocratique du Congo, qui a gagné le premier prix d’un concours panafricain de rédaction de textes radiophoniques portant sur des communautés saines. Neuf autres radiodiffuseurs et réalisateurs ont aussi gagné des prix pour leurs textes.

En juillet 2010, des professionnels de la radio à travers l’Afrique sub-saharienne ont été invités à soumettre un texte radiophonique sur une initiative contribuant à une communauté saine. Pour aider les participants à développer leur texte radiophonique, ils ont été encouragés à participer à un cours de formation en ligne de 10 semaines sur la rédaction de textes radiophoniques. Nous avons reçu 128 textes radiophoniques en provenance de 23 pays de l’Afrique sub-saharienne.

La grande lauréate a impressionné le panel international de juges avec son texte montrant comment les membres d’une collectivité se sont mobilisés pour améliorer l’hygiène en purifiant l’eau potable, en encourageant le lavage des mains et en construisant des latrines. Elle reçoit également le Prix Marie Coulibaly pour le meilleur texte rédigé par une femme. Le Prix Marie Coulibaly est nommé en l’honneur d’une employée de Radios Rurales Internationales au Mali qui est décédée tragiquement en 2009.

Les 10 lauréat(e)s recevront des enregistreuses numériques de grande qualité. Les gagnant(e)s travailleront aussi avec le rédacteur de Radios Rurales Internationales afin d’améliorer et de finaliser leur texte en s’appuyant sur les rétroactions des juges du concours. Les textes primés seront par la suite publiés en français et en anglais et distribués par Radios Rurales Internationales à plusieurs centaines d’organismes radiophoniques à travers l’Afrique sub-saharienne. Ils seront ensuite transformés en un large éventail d’émissions de radio et partagés avec un auditoire de millions d’agriculteurs en milieu rural.

Les lauréat(e)s et les titres de leurs textes radiophoniques, par ordre alphabétique et par pays, sont :

Kpénahi Traore, Burkina Faso – Composter les déchets humains est une façon saine de réduire les maladies et de nourrir le sol Alice Bafiala Mutombo, République Démocratique du Congo – Un village propre pour une vie saine Gabriel Adukpo, Ghana – Une famille combat la malnutrition avec des légumes-feuilles locaux Simon Mukali, Kenya – Parler aux jeunes des pratiques sexuelles à risque Charles Kemboi, Kenya – L’autonomisation empêche les jeunes de consommer des drogues Lawrence Wakdet, Nigeria – L’ergothérapie et le traitement nutritionnel pour les personnes vivant avec le VIH et le sida

Oluwakemi Aduroja, Nigeria – Autonomiser les communautés grâce à un recensement communautaire participatif Ugonma Cokey, Nigeria – Florence sauve des jeunes filles de la traite des personnes Bonaventure N’Coué Mawuvi, Togo – La collecte des déchets en plastique : nettoyer la ville et générer un revenu Filius Chalo Jere, Zambie – Un programme d’appui pour la lutte contre le sida donne aux gens positifs un nouveau souffle de vie

Radios Rurales Internationales a organisé le concours de rédaction de textes radiophoniques en collaboration avec le Commonwealth of Learning (COL). Nous tenons également à remercier les organismes et les particuliers suivants pour leur appui : la Fondation canadienne Donner, la Fondation McCain, le Gouvernement du Canada – par le biais de l’Agence canadienne de développement international (ACDI), Anne Burnett, l’Association canadienne de santé publique (ACSP), l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’alimentation et l’agriculture (FAO), ainsi que le Centre technique pour la coopération agricole et rurale (CTA).


Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements à propos du concours et des lauréat(e)s, veuillez communiquer avec Blythe McKay, gestionnaire des programmes et des partenariats, Radios Rurales Internationales, ou 613-761-3652.

Farm Radio International, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and other partners, is launching a radio scriptwriting competition on healthy communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The competition is open to organizations and individuals that work with radio in Africa, including radio stations, broadcasters, production organizations, NGOs with a radio project, farmers’ associations with a radio program, health NGOs interested in collaborating with a local radio station, and others.

Competitors are invited to submit a radio script that tells the true story of a local initiative that is contributing to a healthy community. To assist participants with writing the radio scripts, a free, 10-week on-line scriptwriting training course will be offered. Click here to read full press release.

Ottawa, Canada, March 23, 2010 – Farm Radio International is a recipient of the ALINe 2010 Farmer Voice Awards announced on March 11.  Organizations from twenty countries submitted nominations for the awards which are given to projects that promote the voice of farmers.

ALINe works with a wide range of agricultural organizations, providing technical assistance, conducting research and promoting innovations. It promotes people-centred performance in agricultural development.

Dorice Kaunda (Tanzanian Broadcast Corporation) captures an interview with a Maasai woman in Mairowa village near Arusha, using her Sansa MP3 recorder. The AFRRI team of broadcasters was preparing a program on tick borne diseases as a part of their six day training for the participatory radio campaign. Photo credit: Susuma Susuma

Farm Radio International received the Award for its Participatory Radio Campaign (PRC)—a holistic model developed through broadcasters, farming communities, aid agencies and agricultural experts. Farmers’ input and feedback are the essence of all the radio campaigns.

The PRC is a strategy developed under the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI) launched by Farm Radio International in 2007 in various countries of the sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to develop and document best practices for using radio-based communications with farming communities. AFRRI is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Radio stations from Tanzania, Uganda, Mali, Ghana and Malawi took part in the research initiative that involved the production of several radio campaigns to improve farming. The campaigns have already shown promising results. For example, a campaign on improved composting methods in Mali resulted in a fourfold increase in percentage of farmers adopting this practice.  In a follow-up study, farmers, broadcasters and officials attributed the success of the composting program to the radio campaign.

“We’re honoured and pleased to have received the ALINe award.  It affirms the importance of using innovative, participative approaches to sharing information with farming communities in Africa. These approaches help small and marginalized farmers achieve increased food production and better agricultural practices, while strengthening their voices within their countries” 

Kevin Perkins, Executive Director of Farm Radio International

Perkins also thinks that the PRC model developed by Farm Radio International can be successfully applied to health, natural resource management and even human rights issues and projects.   “Several agricultural organizations and other NGOs along with radio broadcasters are showing a keen interest in adopting the PRC model to deliver their programs,” said Perkins.

The radio campaigns were developed between 2007 and 2008 and implemented in 2009.  Farmers, broadcasters and agricultural experts were involved in an exercise to identify key improvements in agricultural practices that would become the focus of the PRCs. 

 “The PRC model isn’t a typical top-down campaign in which outsiders market a new behaviour to passive subjects”, says Perkins.  “ Rather, the PRC helps farmers make informed decisions about whether and how to change their farming practices.  Deep respect for farmers is the starting point.”

Farmers had a say in when the program would be broadcast, who the host would be, and how they would participate in each week’s episode. Local musical groups sang the program’s signature tune.  During the PRC, farmers could debate the issues, learn from each other, challenge the experts, and gain technical support as they adopted new practices.

PRC methodology was applied to twenty-five different campaigns involving one-hundred farming communities and twenty-five broadcasters from five different countries. The programs were broadcast at least once a week in the local languages at a convenient time for the farmers to listen.

The production, participation, delivery and effectiveness of the radio programs were carefully evaluated to develop a radio campaign model that could be replicated for effective radio-based communications with farmers.

The campaigns were based on the elements of adult learning and the theory of participatory communications for development.  The best PRCs were anchored by a farmer’s story and gave priority to the local farmers’ voice. The campaign programs’ tone and language is regional and colloquial—suitable for everyone in the community. 


For more information contact:
Kevin Perkins, Executive Director
Tel: 888-773-7717
About Farm Radio International
Founded in 1979, Farm Radio International is a Canadian charity with the mission of supporting broadcasters to strengthen small?scale farming and rural communities in Africa. Farm Radio International researches and produces radio scripts on rural development issues and distributes them to over 320 radio broadcasters who interpret and use the scripts to provide their listeners with practical information about farming, land management, health and other issues. Farm Radio International also develops training opportunities; researches farm radio strategies and facilitates networking among and between broadcasters.

Ottawa, Canada, le 23 mars 2010 – Radios Rurales Internationales figure parmi les récipiendaires des prix Farmer Voice 2010 d’ALINe annoncés le 11 mars dernier. Des organismes de 20 pays ont soumis des candidatures pour ces prix qui sont remis à des projets faisant la promotion de la voix des agriculteurs.

ALINe collabore avec un large éventail d’organismes agricoles, en fournissant une aide technique, en effectuant des recherches et en promouvant les innovations. Elle favorise le rendement axé sur les gens dans le développement agricole.

Dorice Kaunda (Tanzanian Broadcast Corporation) enregistre une entrevue avec une femme maasai dans le village de Mairowa près d’Arusha, en utilisant son enregistreuse Sansa MP3. L’équipe de radiodiffuseurs de l’IRRRA préparait une émission portant sur les maladies transmises par les tiques dans le cadre de leur formation de six jours pour la campagne radiophonique participative.

Radios Rurales Internationales a reçu le prix pour sa campagne radiophonique participative (CRP)—modèle holistique élaboré par le biais de radiodiffuseurs, de collectivités agricoles, d’organismes d’aide et d’experts agricoles. Les idées et les rétroactions des agriculteurs sont l’essence même de toutes les campagnes radiophoniques.

La CRP est une stratégie élaborée dans le cadre de l’Initiative de recherche sur les radios rurales en Afrique (IRRRA) lancée par Radios Rurales Internationales en 2007 dans divers pays de l’Afrique subsaharienne. Son objectif vise à élaborer et à documenter des pratiques exemplaires pour se servir des communications utilisant la radio avec les collectivités agricoles. L’IRRRA est financée par la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates.

Des stations de radio de la Tanzanie, de l’Ouganda, du Mali, du Ghana et du Malawi ont participé à l’initiative de recherche qui impliquait la production de plusieurs campagnes radiophoniques en vue d’améliorer l’agriculture. Les campagnes ont déjà donné des résultats prometteurs. Par exemple, une campagne portant sur l’amélioration des méthodes de compostage au Mali a permis de quadrupler le pourcentage d’agriculteurs adoptant cette pratique. Lors d’une étude de suivi, des agriculteurs, des radiodiffuseurs et des fonctionnaires ont attribué le succès du programme de compostage à la campagne radiophonique.

« Nous sommes honorés et heureux d’avoir reçu le prix d’ALINe. Il confirme l’importance d’utiliser des approches novatrices et participatives pour partager des informations avec les collectivités agricoles en Afrique. Ces approches aident les petits exploitants agricoles et les agriculteurs marginalisés à obtenir une meilleure production alimentaire et à appliquer de meilleures pratiques agricoles, tout en renforçant leurs voix au sein de leurs pays » a déclaré Kevin Perkins, directeur général de Radios Rurales Internationales.

Kevin Perkins pense également que le modèle de CRP élaboré par Radios Rurales Internationales peut être appliqué avec succès à la santé, à la gestion des ressources naturelles et même aux enjeux et aux projets concernant les droits humains. « Plusieurs organismes agricoles et autres ONG ainsi que des radiodiffuseurs se montrent très intéressés à adopter le modèle de CRP pour exécuter leurs programmes », de poursuivre Kevin Perkins.

Les campagnes radiophoniques ont été élaborées entre 2007 et 2008 et mises en œuvre en 2009. Des agriculteurs, des radiodiffuseurs et des experts agricoles ont été impliqués dans un exercice visant à identifier des améliorations clés dans les pratiques agricoles qui allaient devenir le point de mire des CRP.

« Le modèle des CRP n’est pas une campagne descendante typique dans laquelle des tiers vendent un nouveau comportement à des sujets passifs », affirme Kevin Perkins. « La CRP aide plutôt les agriculteurs à prendre des décisions éclairées sur la pertinence et la façon de modifier leurs pratiques agricoles. Le point de départ est un respect profond pour les agriculteurs. »

Les agriculteurs avaient leur mot à dire concernant la date de diffusion de l’émission, le choix de l’animateur et leur participation à l’épisode de chaque semaine. Des groupes musicaux locaux chantaient l’indicatif de l’émission. Pendant la CRP, les agriculteurs pouvaient discuter des enjeux, apprendre les uns des autres, questionner les experts et obtenir un soutien technique à mesure qu’ils adoptaient de nouvelles pratiques.

La méthodologie des CRP a été appliquée à 25 campagnes différentes impliquant 100 collectivités agricoles et 25 radiodiffuseurs de cinq pays différents. Les émissions ont été radiodiffusées au moins une fois par semaine dans les langues locales à une heure d’écoute commode pour les agriculteurs.

La production, la participation, l’exécution et l’efficacité des émissions radiophoniques ont été soigneusement évaluées pour élaborer un modèle de campagne radiophonique qui pourrait être répété pour des communications efficaces utilisant la radio avec les agriculteurs.

Les campagnes ont reposé sur des éléments de l’apprentissage des adultes et de la théorie des communications participatives pour le développement. Le point d’ancrage des meilleures CRP a été l’histoire d’un agriculteur et la priorité a été accordée à la voix des agriculteurs locaux. Le ton et le langage des émissions des campagnes sont régionaux et conversationnels—ce qui convenait à tout un chacun dans la collectivité.


Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec :

Kevin Perkins, directeur général

Tél. : 888-773-7717


À propos de Radios Rurales Internationales

Fondé en 1979, Radios Rurales Internationales est un organisme de bienfaisance canadien ayant pour mission d’appuyer les radiodiffuseurs pour renforcer l’agriculture à petite échelle et les collectivités rurales en Afrique. Radios Rurales Internationales fait des recherches et produit des textes radiophoniques sur les enjeux du développement rural et les distribue à plus de 320 radiodiffuseurs qui les interprètent et les utilisent pour fournir à leur auditoire des renseignements pratiques sur l’agriculture, la gestion des terres, la santé et d’autres enjeux. Radios Rurales Internationales élabore également des possibilités de formation, effectue des recherches sur les stratégies radiophoniques agricoles et facilite le réseautage parmi et entre les radiodiffuseurs.


Farm Radio International, in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)  and other partners, is coordinating a scriptwriting competition on smallholder farmer innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Open to organizations and individuals that work with radio in Africa, this competition also offers a free, two-month on-line scriptwriting training course to assist participants with writing the radio scripts. To read the press release, click here. For more information, visit the website here.scriptcompfre

Radios Rurales Internationales, en collaboration avec le Commonwealth of Learning (COL), l’Association mondiale des radiodiffuseurs communautaires (AMARC), l’Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa, le Centre technique de coopération agricole et rurale (CTA) et d’autres partenaires, lance un concours de rédaction de textes sur les innovations des petits exploitants agricoles en Afrique sub-saharienne.

Le concours est ouvert aux organismes et aux particuliers qui travaillent avec la radio en Afrique, notamment les stations de radio, les radiodiffuseurs, les organismes de production, les ONG dotées d’un projet radiophonique, les associations d’agriculteurs ayant une émission de radio, etc. Pour aider les participants à rédiger les textes radiophoniques, un cours gratuit en ligne de formation à la rédaction de textes, d’une durée de deux mois, sera offert. Les textes doivent nous parvenir au plus tard le 1er novembre 2009, et les personnes lauréates seront annoncées en janvier 2010.
Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez visiter le site Web du concours :

Communiqués de presse:

Helping millions of African farmers over the airwaves

Ottawa, Ontario, May 1, 2009 — Cayenne pepper to discourage elephants from grazing on farm fields. Placing a lit candle in a container of grain before sealing it to deprive pests of oxygen. Organizing a community to clean up its water supply.

When Canadian journalist George Atkins first visited Africa in the 1970s, he found that Africa’s farmers weren’t short of good ideas appropriate to their circumstances, but distance, language and limited literacy often prevented them from sharing them these ideas with each other.

mali-radioInstead, the ideas being shared were those from the developed economies — the result of farm extension efforts aimed at Africa which tended to focus on using inappropriate or unaffordable machinery, chemicals or fertilizer.

Atkins, a farm broadcaster at CBC Toronto, had been part of the success in delivering practical extension information to farmers in post-war Canada. When he returned from his visit to Africa, he resolved to launch a second career doing the same for farmers in Africa in a way that would solve the idea-sharing problem. The Developing Countries Farm Radio Network was born in a small office in Toronto.

On May 1, 1979 the first script package was sent. Today, 884 radio scripts later, and with the new name of Farm Radio International, Atkins’ brainchild celebrates its 30th anniversary of successfully reaching farmers through what remains the cheapest and most reliable medium in the developing world — radio.

Now based in Ottawa with a staff of 10, Farm Radio produces scripts about farming and rural development for more than 300 stations in Africa.

One partner, Umar Baba Kumo of Gombe Media Corporation in Nigeria, says he broadcasts FRI script content to about a million listeners.

“The scripts are relevant, simple and easy to adapt to local languages and settings. Text messages from listeners indicate overwhelming support. A script on food/grains storage using pepper instead of chemical pesticides was particularly helpful.”

Thanks to continuing support from Canadian donors, Farm Radio has been able to expand its programs through a weekly e-newsletter, and it is now conducting a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded African Farm Radio Research Initiative in five countries to discover the best ways to use radio to support smallholder farmers.

Atkins, now 91, who stepped down from the Farm Radio board only two years ago, says “at this time, millions of the poorest of the poor farmers of the world are hearing this information to help them increase their food supplies and have better nutrition and health. If that isn’t what’s helping people in developing countries, I don’t know what is. I have to pinch myself when I think of the people who are helped by this service that is available to them by just turning on their radio.”

Atkins said he hopes Canadians will continue their generous donations to support the low-cost but effective approach he started 30 years ago, noting that the world food shortages of the past year have reinforced the importance of supporting smallholder farmers around the world.Au secours de millions d’agriculteurs africains par la voix des ondes

Ottawa (Ontario), le 1er mai 2009 — Utiliser du poivre de Cayenne pour décourager les éléphants de brouter sur les terres agricoles. Placer une bougie allumée dans un contenant de céréales avant de le fermer pour priver les parasites d’oxygène. Mobiliser une collectivité pour nettoyer sa source d’eau.

Lorsque le journaliste canadien George Atkins s’est rendu pour la première fois en Afrique dans les années 1970, il a constaté que les agriculteurs africains n’étaient pas à court de bonnes idées adaptées à leurs circonstances, mais que la distance, la langue et l’alphabétisation limitée les empêchaient souvent de partager ces idées entre eux.

mali-radioAu lieu de cela, les idées propagées étaient celles des pays développées — le fruit des efforts de vulgarisation agricole destinés à l’Afrique qui avaient tendance à se concentrer sur l’utilisation de machines, de produits chimiques ou d’engrais inadéquats ou inabordables.

George Atkins, chroniqueur agricole à CBC Toronto, avait contribué au succès de la diffusion de renseignements pratiques vulgarisés aux agriculteurs dans le Canada de l’après-guerre. À son retour d’Afrique, il décida d’amorcer une deuxième carrière en faisant la même chose pour les agriculteurs en Afrique, de manière à résoudre le problème de partage des idées. Le Réseau de radios rurales des pays en développement est né dans un petit bureau à Toronto.

Le 1er mai 1979 a marqué l’envoi de la première série de textes. Aujourd’hui, après 884 textes radiophoniques et sous le nouveau nom de Radios Rurales Internationales, le « bébé » de George Atkins célèbre 30 ans de succès en vue de rejoindre les agriculteurs par le biais du média qui demeure le moins coûteux et le plus fiable dans le monde en développement — la radio.

Avec 10 employés à son siège social à Ottawa, Radios Rurales Internationales produit des textes sur l’agriculture et le développement rural pour plus de 300 stations de radio en Afrique.

L’un de nos partenaires, Umar Baba Kumo de Gombe Media Corporation au Nigeria, affirme qu’il diffuse le contenu des textes de RRI à environ un million d’auditeurs.

« Les textes sont pertinents, simples et faciles à adapter aux langues et aux environnements locaux. Les messages textes des auditeurs confirment leur appui massif. Un texte sur l’entreposage des aliments/céréales en utilisant du poivre au lieu de pesticides chimiques a été particulièrement utile. »

Grâce à l’appui soutenu de donateurs canadiens, Radios Rurales Internationales a pu élargir ses programmes par le biais d’un cyber-bulletin hebdomadaire et elle dirige actuellement une Initiative de recherche sur les radios rurales en Afrique financée par la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates dans cinq pays, en vue de découvrir les meilleures façons d’utiliser la radio pour appuyer les petits exploitants agricoles.

George Atkins, qui est aujourd’hui âgé de 91 ans et a quitté il y a deux ans seulement le conseil d’administration de Radios Rurales Internationales, a déclaré : « À notre époque, des millions d’agriculteurs pauvres parmi les plus pauvres au monde entendent cette information qui les aide à accroître leurs ressources vivrières et à améliorer leur nutrition et leur santé. Si cela ne vient pas en aide aux habitants des pays en développement, alors je me demande bien ce que c’est. Je dois me pincer lorsque je pense aux gens qui bénéficient de ce service mis à leur disposition en allumant simplement leur poste de radio. »

George Atkins a dit espérer que les Canadiens continueront à donner généreusement pour appuyer l’approche peu coûteuse mais efficace qu’il a lancée il y a 30 ans, en faisant remarquer que les pénuries alimentaires mondiales de la dernière année ont renforcé l’importance d’appuyer les petits exploitants agricoles à l’échelle planétaire.