Harmonized standards for growing and processing cassava and potatoes

Harmonized standards for growing and processing cassava and potatoes

Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi have introduced harmonized standards for growing, harvesting, drying, sorting, bagging and processing cassava and potatoes. The benefits of adhering to these standards are significant; farmers and processors receive a higher price and gain access to more markets — including those across borders. Yet farmers first need to understand what the standards are and how to meet them.

The radio is a perfect medium to share with farmers information on these new standards, the effort it takes to meet them and the benefits that are possible as result. Radio also allows farmers to share their own opinions on the topic.

In partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, four radio dramas are being produced to show farmers how to adapt their  harvesting and processing practices to meet these standards. Transcripts will be shared with radio stations throughout the five project countries to spark change and discussion across East Africa.

Agriculture is key to Ghana’s economy, contributing to about two thirds of the country’s GDP. Yet it’s still common to see small-scale farmers losing out due to poor quality of produce and a lack of negotiating power at markets. With high-quality information, delivered on time and through an accessible medium, farmers can improve their harvests and learn how to get the best price at the market, resulting in improved food security and poverty reduction.

In partnership with Concern Universal, Ghana, and four radio stations, this project aims to provide maize farmers in the Brong-Ahafo Region with the harvesting, post-harvest processing and market information necessary to make their farming businesses more profitable. This information compliments government investment in maize farmers and maize markets.

Voice of women farmers
This project is part of the Her Farm Radio initiative
While all FRI projects are designed to be accessible and relevant to both men and women, Her Farm Radio projects place particular focus on the voice and knowledge needs of women farmers across Africa. Learn more.

Small-scale African farmers are among the most vulnerable to hunger, despite the fact they typically produce 70% or more of their countries’ food supplies. Many factors contribute to this problem, but an important part of the solution is to share knowledge of how to derive more benefits from the agricultural “value chain” that small-scale farmers are connected to. By choosing the right planting materials, harvesting at the right time, processing and storing produce carefully, and negotiating with different buyers, small-scale farmers can cultivate more food for their families and generate more income from the produce they sell.

Farm Radio International is helping farmers obtain more value for the efforts at every stage of the value chain with a new five-year initiative called Radio for Farmer Value Chain Development.  This project will help small-scale farmers realize improved food security and income by using participatory radio strategies for enhancing their participation in select value chains such as groundnuts, poultry, and cassava. This is a multi-country project in Mali, Tanzania, Ghana and Malawi.

Canada FlagThis project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.

Barza – the online community for African radio broadcasters

Since the 1970s, when Farm Radio International was known as the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, we have championed the need for bringing radio broadcasters together.  Providing an active network to share resources, learn from each other and simply be part of a radio movement has been an important part of our business for over 30 years.

Our traditional work for decades was providing printed script materials to broadcasters across the world.  We still do this but our role has evolved.  The network has grown, technology has changed and the time was ripe to offer a new way for broadcasters to connect with each other and share resources:  enter Barza, the online community for African radio broadcasters. Barza is a French Congolese word with Kiswahili roots which means, “The place where people in a village meet under a tree to talk and sort out questions concerning the community.”  We wanted to create a space for broadcasters, who all share similar experiences even though they can be thousands of kilometres apart, to interact and share resources with their peers.

Thanks to amazing support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) we have made Barza a reality.  It is a place where broadcasters can access our library of scripts, Farm Radio Weekly, and on-line training modules.  It also offers a way for broadcasters to share scripts and programs that they have created.  And it is a place where broadcasters can discuss issues, chat, and follow each other.  We are constantly gathering feedback from African broadcasters on how to make the site most useful in their everyday workflow.