Guest post: The enduring images of Farm Radio’s learning tour to Tanzania

The more I think (and talk!) about the tour, the greater my appreciation of the interesting itinerary, and the way the various site visits tied together, linking radio, agricultural research and farmers’ experiences.

An enduring image in my mind is that of the field visit near the village of Ihombwe, where the farmers were so keen to voice their concerns about marketing their produce, with Mohammed Issa, the reporter from Radio Abood, standing amongst them, turning his phone from one farmer to another to record their comments (while Farm Radio’s Joachim Japhet translated for us).

The visit to the World Vegetable Centre a week earlier had prepared us for just this picture — and for what followed the field visit. When the farmer we were visiting in Ihombwe learned that we didn’t have time to walk to his soybean field he raced off at top speed to get some to show us. When he returned I noticed that the beans the brought had been properly cleaned and stored in an airtight container — something I may not have noticed without the earlier visit to the World Vegetable Center, where we learned how important good storage practices are.

The commitment of the people we met, together with the intelligent, economical use of radio technology, meant that I came home feeling more positive about the world. Thank you.

Teresa O’Donovan has been a monthly donor since 2016. She joined our second learning tour to Tanzania in February 2018 and our third one to Ghana in February of 2019.

In 2018, nine Farm Radio supporters joined executive director Kevin Perkins to visit FRI’s Tanzania office and The Hangar, our Radio & ICT Innovation Lab. They also visited the World Vegetable Centre, villages in Arusha Region and Morogoro Region, and the Canadian High Commission in Dar es Salaam. You can’t go to Tanzania without going on safari, so the group enjoyed a two-day safari in northern Tanzania as well as a visit to Mikumi National Park. They also enjoyed a few days in the sun and sand of Zanzibar.

Our next learning tour will take place in June and July 2020, but this time we will be packing our bags for Malawi. Together we’ll traverse the Majete Wildlife Reserve, part of the Great African Rift Valley; visit nearby farming communities and a Farm Radio project in Mangochi; explore the Zomba Plateau and Lilongwe; go wildlife spotting on safaris; and experience Lake Malawi — the crown jewel of this country.

Our trip will also stop in at local farming communities, where you will see our work, and the work of our partners in Malawi, Farm Radio Trust, in action. You will visit farmers in their villages so you can hear what they learned from the radio programs.

To learn more about the trip and to reserve your spot, please contact Jeff Larocque at or phone 1-888-773-7717 x3659.

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