Mathewos Feleke of Wolaitta Sodo Fana FM in Ethiopia is a man of many talents. A former high school teacher, school supervisor, and farmer, Mr. Feleke now serves the farming community in Wolaitta Zone as a radio broadcaster. He is fluent in English and many languages spoken in southwestern Ethiopia, making him a reliable communicator with farmers across the region.
Mathewos has worked with Farm Radio International on a variety of projects over the past four years. One notable project deals with conservation agriculture—a farming approach that uses minimal soil disturbance, crop rotation, and permanent soil cover to improve soil health and increase production. Due to the success of this program, the project has been expanded to reach 3,800 farmers in the Wolaitta Zone.
Mathewos has also participated in a Farm Radio project on pulses, which are the dried seeds of legumes like peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Pulses are highly nutritious, do not require much water, and are climate-smart crops. In his program, Mathewos educates farmers on the health benefits of pulses for pregnant women and children and encourages farmers to grow pulses widely.
Over the last four years, farmers across the region have benefited from Mathewos’s radio programming and have interacted with him through phone calls and text messages. He continues to be a valued Farm Radio broadcasting partner.
Mathewos was one of the five broadcasters nominated for the George Atkins Communications Award this year.
Farm Radio International presents the annual George Atkins Communications Awards to radio broadcasters who excel in providing programs to help small-scale farmers feed their families and increase their incomes. The award is named after the late Dr. George Atkins, founder of Farm Radio International.