Hortense Lamboni, winner of the 2023 George Atkins Communication Award

Hortense Lamboni’s passion for radio goes back to her childhood. At a young age, she loved listening to the radio and watching TV and imitating the broadcasters she admired. Hortense took up public speaking in high school and started giving speeches on gender issues. She says that communicating has always been her passion.

Hortense has been a journalist and presenter for three years and broadcasts programs on youth, gender and agriculture. She says broadcasting is both her dream and her passion and that she serves farmers each day with pleasure, joy and love. She counts this passion as her greatest strength and dedicates herself to satisfying her listeners with rigour and seriousness.

Hortense says that her listeners face a serious lack of information, especially on organic production and composting. Instead, listeners default to chemical fertilizers, which are increasingly expensive or unavailable in Togo. Seeing this, Hortense made it her mission to help listeners learn about—and accept—organic practices.

She started broadcasting a program called Kpal n’yaal oukoa (That the farmers may flourish) in the languages most used by farmers. The program features exchanges between farmers and extension agents in order to help both men and women farmers improve their production. The focus is on soybean and groundnuts, key value chains in the region, and the role of women in agriculture. This program was a part of FRI’s RECOVER project and used Uliza polls to boost interactivity.

“This prize is a timely reward for my efforts in conducting the Kpal n’yaal oukoa programs, programs that have changed the production and lives of farmers in Togo.”

Hortense Lamboni, winner, 2023 George Atkins Communication Award

She also produces a program called L’heure d’entrepreneuriat agricole (Agricultural entrepreneur hour). This program features businesses and entrepreneurs sharing their experiences in agriculture, including women’s agricultural coops. The program is often broadcast live on-site.

Hortense receives plenty of feedback on her program, and much of it indicates that, thanks to her, listeners are improving their farming practices. During the RECOVER project, she used the Uliza poll to gather real-time feedback from listeners and bring their voices on air. She also offers two call-in lines for listeners.

To keep listeners’ interest and attention, Hortense’s program focuses on a variety of topics and features many different resource people. She also runs radio games and awards prizes for participation.

Hortense says that FRI supported her work through the RECOVER project both financially and technically, including in-station training. She thanks FRI for teaching her to host agricultural programs, conduct interviews, do research on the internet, and use FRI radio resources as part of her programming.

This story was originally published in Barza Wire, Farm Radio International’s newswire for African farm broadcasters. The George Atkins Communication Award recognizes a radio broadcaster who serves their rural audience and is a committed partner of Farm Radio International.

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