Audio postcard: Ghanaian farmers capitalized on ICT to connect with markets

A radio producer from Obuoba FM interviews the chairperson of a farmer organization in Ghana’s Ashanti Region.

Hello my name is Nathaniel Ofori, the information and communication technology (ICT) officer at Farm Radio International in Ghana.

My contribution and involvement in the process of ICT implementation and monitoring of FRI projects has given me a deeper understanding of how to train and interact with broadcasters and farmers. At Farm Radio International, we work with many partners to deliver effective programs to serve smallholder farmers through radio.

One of our recently completed projects was Purchase for Progress, also known as the P4P project. The objective of the P4P project for Farm Radio International was to use radio and ICT to improve the knowledge and skills of members of select farmer organizations (FOs) in the sustainable production and post-harvest handling of high-quality staple foods — particularly maize (corn) and cowpea — for both home consumption and for sale to P4P markets.

In this photograph, Henkel, a radio producer from FRI broadcasting partner Obuoba FM, is doing an interview with the chair of one of the 16 P4P FO communities in the Ashanti Region in southern Ghana. This interview happened right after we provided training and mobile phones to the FOs to enable them to access and use our interactive voice response (IVR) system. IVR is a technology that allows farmers to use their phones to access information like market prices, weather information and agricultural tips, receive SMS updates and even record and share messages with radio stations.

Integrating radio with new media technologies helps ensure that knowledge is shared with small-scale farmers and rural communities.

Farm Radio International worked closely with farmers to meet the quality standards and quantity levels required for the World Food Programme’s P4P program. This program helped farmers to access new markets for their crops while providing valuable food reserves for distribution in times of need.

Nathaniel Ofori
About the author
Nathaniel Ofori is Chief ICT Officer for Farm Radio International in Ghana. With a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the Accra Institute of Technology, he is passionate about using his skills and knowledge to help communities bring about social change and improved quality of life.

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