More than ever, farmers, and female farmers in particular, need access to agricultural information to help them meet their nutrition and food security needs. Farmers also need a stronger voice in directing agricultural research and policies so that they are demand-driven.
Female farmers in rural areas increasingly have access to mobile phones and radio, but they still face challenges in accessing and using relevant research, knowledge and opportunities in order to adapt and stay a step ahead in the quest for nutrition and food security for their families and communities. These challenges may be as simple as being denied access to the household radio by males who carry them into the fields, or being less able to read and understand extension information. Radio provides a space where men and women can interact, discuss and address these challenges together.
This project aimed to address these complex issues through an integrated, effective approach that respects small-scale farmers as good decision-makers and effective agents of change – by using participatory radio campaigns (PRCs). Through interactive PRCs, both male and female farmers were able to access information over the radio, evaluate it, pose questions to broadcasters and extension officers, and listen to other farmers’ experiences. They were encouraged to make an informed decision to try the new technique—and they were supported in its implementation. Though not exclusively directed at women, this project actively engaged women farmers, asked them to express their specific information needs regarding nutrition and climate smart agriculture, and linked them with the relevant research, results, inputs, services and markets.
Based on past experience and research results, we can project that the four PRCs in four countries provided 250,000 farmers with deeper knowledge of one farmer-selected innovation, which as many as 100,000 introduced on their farms.
This project was made possible through funding from Irish Aid.