Kwamee Kwame has worked with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana for 29 years, so he understands that small-scale farmers across the country have important questions about recognizing disease in their crops, ensuring soil fertility and generally improving their harvest.
A few years ago, he decided he could best meet these information needs in a new role: as a radio broadcaster.
Kwamee began as a guest on radio shows for Garden City Radio and Kapital Radio; later he took responsibility for program production, broadcasting current issues and keeping an eye out for sponsors. Now he hosts his own show, Farmers’ Voice, a platform for farmers to tell stories.
“My many years of travelling and interacting directly with farming families from all over Ghana made me aware of the untapped potential of our hard-working farmers. The farmers have answers too; and they have very good answers. This is the time for us to listen to their stories and we must learn to listen as well,” he said.
Kwamee was one of the 65 people that completed our Farmer program e-course, which ran September – December 2014. He was one of the winners, submitting an excellent program design and sample episode that built on the lessons learned throughout the 11 modules.
The e-course covered important tips for broadcasters, such as storytelling, how to identify the information needs of the audience, and how to design an entertaining and engaging farmer program. Kwamee describes the e-course as the training he has been waiting for his whole life.
Kwamee works at Garden City Radio, which is based in Kumasi and broadcasts to 26 districts in Ashanti and beyond. It is owned by the state broadcaster, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. When Kwamee’s regional director heard of his success in the e-course, Kwamee was promoted to managing all media communications with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture for the Ashanti Region — a new post created to match his skills and training.
Kwamee is now at work identifying agricultural extension agents who can be trained as broadcasters as well.
“My greatest fear is that if we as agric broadcasters do not use the microphone to deliver information to the farmers, we have let them down. It is up to us to bring agricultural issues to the forefront of society,” said Kwamee.
The Farmer program e-course was made possible with funding from the Commonwealth of Learning and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Learn more about the impact of the Farmer program e-course.