How radio is seeding change for small-scale farmers
Radio can share vital information on agricultural techniques, nutrition, health care, local politics, weather and more. Radio also provides valuable entertainment to its listeners, with music, radio dramas and debates. Here are a few ways we are using radio to seed change for the millions of farmers and rural communities who tune in to the programs put on air by our partner broadcasters.
Sharing farmers’ voices
Participatory programs allow farmers to raise questions, comment, share and discuss with their peers. Whether discussing a new farming technique or sharing nutritional information, allowing listeners to contribute to the discussion ensures they make an informed decision about whether or not to act on the information they hear. Want to know more about our participatory programs?
Strengthening the voices of local radio broadcasters
Broadcasters provide their listeners with valuable information. We provide broadcasters with in-station and online training, custom-made resources packages and a weekly news service so that they can have the information, skills and confidence to produce quality farmer programs. Don’t believe us? Let Rashid Muzungyo and Martin Mangusho tell you.
Airing cooking shows
Cooking shows are lots of fun, as listeners love to hear about new recipes and delicious dishes. Cooking shows can also introduce listeners to a new vegetable — and show them just how delicious (and nutritious) it can be! For example, orange-fleshed sweet potato is a great source of vitamin A, but the orange colour can deter some picky eaters. But once families start eating the delicious potato — trust us, they love it. Learn more about how we are promoting orange-flesh sweet potato (OFSP) with cooking shows.
Supporting farmers’ adaptation to climate change
Small-scale farmers are on the frontline of climate change, feeling its impact acutely. Regular weather updates can help farmers better anticipate the rainy season or when to harvest — especially in Africa where changing weather patterns, as well as deforestation and desertification, are continuously affecting harvests. Click hereto learn more about Farm Radio International’s beep4weather service and how it’s supporting farmers’ adaptation to climate change.
Providing farmers with a voice in marketing
Small-scale farmers tend to lack the means to negotiate prices with buyers. Our Radio Marketplace program teaches farmers some strategies for negotiating good prices. If that didn’t interest you, maybe the fact that Farm Radio International won the prestigious 2015 WSIS Project Prize for this initiative will. Learn more about Radio Marketplace and our value chain project.
Engaging women in the discussion
Women play an important role in farming. We have made both the effort and commitment to providing women with a platform to voice their concerns. And this is empowering them in their communities and in the marketplace. Learn more about our Her Voice on Air project.
Breaking down the stigma around mental illness
Mental health is an overlooked health concern in many developing countries, where HIV/AIDS, malaria or other diseases are the major concern. Local radio shows discussing mental health, especially among youth, have helped to start an important conversation around mental illness — using hip hop, drama and celebrity interviews. Listen here to see just how radio is helping to de-stigmatize the issues surrounding mental illness.
Bringing farmers’ voices to policy-makers
Our beep2vote system allows listeners to participate in polls using their cell phone. They can vote on policies or share information with NGOs about their daily lives and farming practices. Learn more about this system and how we used it conduct the first opinion poll of farmers in Tanzania.