Talking about nutrition and agriculture with radio broadcasters on Barza Discussions

Whether we realize it or not, good nutrition plays a vital role in our everyday lives.

Eating nutritious food not only keeps disease at bay, but also helps to promote active and productive lifestyles. However, high levels of malnutrition and hunger still exist in many parts of the world today.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that, globally, 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger and 161 million children under the age of five are stunted.

Seeing the importance of this topic, our online community, Barza, has put nutrition at the centre of their second Barza Discussion.

This three-week moderated online discussion is helping broadcasters explore the topic of nutrition — learning and asking questions of each other and two nutrition experts. Commenting and answering questions during the discussion is Joyce Kinabo, a professor of Human Nutrition at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania, and Boitshepo Giyose, a senior nutrition officer with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The goal of this discussion is to provide farm radio broadcasters with the information they need to incorporate nutrition into their farm radio shows, helping listeners to better understand nutrition and the important role it plays in health.

Farmers play a key role in agricultural production and many small-scale farmers eat what they produce. This makes nutrition a natural topic to discuss on a farm radio show. Nutrition is important to keeping small-scale farmers and their families strong and healthy — so they have the energy to manage their farming businesses.

One participant well-summarized the importance of sharing information on nutrition with small-scale farmers:
“Indeed there are many out there who are not able to access right foods because of poverty. But if we can know what we require in our bodies, then every homestead will try its best to utilize the little spaces (compounds) to grow foods that are nutritional to the body. The African thinking is hinged on quantity and not quality. This is what we need to change,” wrote radio broadcaster George Mwamodo from Kenya.

Barza is our social community for broadcasters, bring radio broadcasters together for meaningful dialogue on specific topics. Barza promotes collaboration between broadcasters to help small-scale farmers improve their food security, farming practices and livelihoods.

The e-discussion on nutrition takes place from March 9–31, 2015 on the Barza Discussions website in both English and French. African radio broadcasters are invited to sign up and join in the conversation!

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