Vianney Watsongo Katsuva—winner of the George Atkins Communications Award for 2021
For Vianney Watsongo Katsuva, being a broadcaster means being a voice for others. Growing up in a rural community, he was always drawn to agriculture and the environment. Now, as a broadcaster and experimental farmer, Vianney is becoming the rural leader he always hoped he would be.
Vianney has more than 13 years of experience as a journalist. As the current editor-in-chief at Radio Télévision Évangélique et de Développement Hermon in Rutshuru, DRC, he makes agriculture a priority by giving farmers a platform to tell their stories and learn from experts.
Vianney’s program is called Mkulima Amkeni (“Wake Up Dear Farmers”) and discusses subjects such as value chains, finding profitable markets for local crops, and the benefits of eating local and organic. The program features a variety of formats, including vox pops to share farmers’ voices and debates, and round-table discussions to answer farmers’ questions. It often features experts and representatives from farmer groups who discuss important local issues.
Featuring experts on the program gives farmers a chance to address common challenges such as pests and plant diseases. For example, a series of interviews with experts helped the community address an infestation of armyworms, ultimately saving their crops.
Listeners say that the program has contributed to real change in Rutshuru. As a result of Vianney’s program, buyers of agricultural products now use scales instead of non-standard basins to set prices for crops, and the community has created its own crop depots. Vianney believes that all voices count, and he uses listener feedback to inform and improve each episode.
Mr. Katsuva uses Farm Radio resources to improve his production quality and looks forward to further opportunities for collaboration.
Vianney Watsongo Katsuva was one of three winners of the George Atkins Communications Award for 2021. The George Atkins Communications Award recognizes radio broadcasters for their excellence in serving their rural audience and commitment to Farm Radio International. This story was originally published on Barza Wire, Farm Radio International’s news wire for African farm broadcasters.