Video by Anaïs Voski
Across Africa, small-scale farmers produce as much as 80 percent of their countries’ food supplies, but they are often the most vulnerable to hunger.
This is the case in Ghana, where farmers are the first link in the agricultural value chain but are often underpaid or taken advantage of when they sell their produce. Agriculture is the largest employer and sector of the Ghanaian economy, accounting for about one-third of the country’s GDP. Therefore the issue is an important one — and one that demands immediate attention.
In response, we created the “Radio for farmer value chain development” project, with support from Global Affairs Canada, to combat the lack of access to information and knowledge for rural African farmers. The project helps small-scale farmers in Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, and Malawi access life-changing information and opportunities to have a stronger voice in their own development.
In Ghana, Farm Radio International partnered with four northern radio stations for the project (Might FM, Radio Upper West, Radio Progress, URA Radio) and has reached more than a million farmers since March 2015.
The four radio stations are teaching farmers the best ways to add value to their cowpea and guinea fowl produce, through Participatory Radio Campaigns and an information service called Radio Marketplace. The weekly broadcasts share information on production, post-harvest practices, and market services. This helps farmers obtain the best price for their produce.
As seen through the half dozen interviews with farmers included in this short documentary, all of them from Ghana’s Northern and Upper East regions with cowpea and guinea fowl farmers, the ongoing project has already been a success and has already helped farmers improve their productivity and achieve better food security in Ghana.
By focusing on cowpea and guinea fowl, two nutritious products, the project has helped and is helping combat issues such as low yields, high mortality rates in guinea fowl, crops destroyed by rain and disease, pesticides, and access to markets.