From 2007-2010 Farm Radio International, with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ran one of the most in-depth action research projects in the history of radio in Africa. The project, called the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI), aimed to more fully understand the effectiveness of farm radio in meeting the food security objectives of rural farming households in Africa. When the project ended, we had the results… We now know that participatory radio can have a major transformative effect on the way farmers form their opinions, gather knowledge and make choices about what to grow on their farms. Most importantly, we learned that radio (when done according to certain standards) has a huge role to play in African agriculture.
Read more about the results of our groundbreaking research here.
Through AFRRI, we learned what works and what doesn’t, and we learned how to engage with broadcasters and train them to better serve their farming communities. How do you follow-up a large research project like this? It was time to use these learnings to deliver results for farmers by working with other agriculture partners to scale-up appropriate sustainable agricultural innovations.
That’s what we’re doing now, thanks to a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, awarded in September 2010, for the African Farm Radio ResultsInitiative (AFRRI-2). We are forming partnerships with organizations like the International Centre for Research in the Semi-arid Tropics, and working with select African radio stations to design and run participatory radio programs that have measurable results for millions of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. The grant is also expanding our broadcaster training program, allowing us to develop a roster of highly skilled African radio trainers that can deliver in-station training services to radio partners. Many of the projects we have been able to undertake since 2010 have been made possible by the continuing support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation