Broadcaster Mariam Maruzuku in the studio at Abood FM, in Morogoro.
It is a long drive from Morogoro to Lungo village, first over a tarmac road, then through a market town, and finally to the village centre. The trip takes at least two hours. And from there, it’s a long walk through muddy puddles and even a stream to reach the farms of Elikuna Emanuel Kuamjama and Hidya Muhidini Kipil, who grow rice, soybeans, sunflowers, and maize in Tanzania’s Morogoro Region.
Broadcasters Mohamed Issa and Mariam Maruzuku regularly make treks like this—wading through water and mud—to visit farmers in their fields.
Mohamed says they go to the field to capture the reality of what farmers are experiencing—in their own words. He says, “When we go to the village and want details from the farmers, I like how they explain what they do. We see practically how they are doing.”
The broadcasters schedule a whole day to visit farmers—generally Saturdays—in preparation for their weekly farmer program, Kilimo Bora (Improved farming), which airs Friday evenings on Abood FM. The show is also re-broadcast on Sunday evenings.
Mohamed explains, “[The visits are] important because every week we have a program. We need to know the situation [on the farms.]”
Before they go to the field, they prepare questions for the farmers, based on the topic for the upcoming episode. But, if they hear about another more pressing challenge from farmers, they switch the topic of the program.
Recently, Kilimo Bora was airing a Radio Marketplace, a program designed to provide farmers with the information they need when they are marketing their product. June was harvest time for soybeans, and so market information is valuable at this time.
In general, Kilimo Bora follows the same structure every week. The hosts start by introducing and explaining the topic, and then air farmers’ voices collected from the field. Then they broadcast an interview with an expert, followed by questions from listeners that have been pre-recorded through Uliza. Uliza is a web-based application for gathering and analyzing feedback and questions from audience members via mobile phones. Learn more about Uliza in this video.
By including listeners’ voices throughout the process of developing the program, the broadcasters ensure that their program is relevant to listeners. They know just what farmers are doing that week, and what challenges they are facing. And they endeavour to address farmers’ concerns on air, airing the farmers’ own words.
Abood FM is one of our broadcasting partners in the Soy ni Pesa project, funded with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, www.international.gc.ca