Online course will train African broadcasters to design effective programs for farmers

Jefferson Massah calls himself part of the Farm Radio International Family. As a rural radio journalist in Liberia, he uses skills that he learned from Farm Radio International training on a regular basis.

In fact, Jefferson recently wrote to tell us that he was named Development Journalist of the Year by the Press Union of Liberia. He won this award for a story about women in agricultural development in Liberia. As he explains:

I employed all the skills acquired from Farm Radio to produce a very good report from a rice processing center managed by group of rural women in central Liberia.

“I am very pleased to imprint my contribution to the ‘achievement column’ of Farm Radio International as one who has immensely benefited [from] its training program”,  he adds.

Jefferson participated in two Farm Radio International script-writing courses, in 2009 and 2010. And he is about to embark on our latest web-based course. While previous online courses have helped broadcasters obtain basic research and story-telling skills, the Farmer Program eCourse will serve a broader purpose. It will provide participating African broadcasters with the tools to design a more effective and engaging regular farming program.

This course is designed for broadcasters who want to start a regular, weekly or daily farmer program, or for those who want to hone their skills to improve their station’s regular farmer program.

We know that African broadcasters are dedicated to serving their listening audiences (mostly small-scale farmers) but many have never had the opportunity to learn the basics of researching the needs of their audience or structuring a program.

The upcoming Farmer Program eCourse will help African radio broadcasters do just that.

Key Topics for the Farmer’s eCourse include:

• Identifying your audience and addressing the needs of small-scale farmers (both men and women) in your area.

• Telling stories and structuring your program to present different kinds of information and use multiple formats.

• Identifying and finding the resources needed to sustain your regular farmer program.

• Gathering audience feedback.

To graduate from the training course, participants will be expected to submit a complete design for a regular radio program for farmers. The best designs will be eligible for one-time seed funding to help them produce the program designed during the eCourse.

The Farmer Program eCourse is being run with the financial and technical support of the Commonwealth of Learning. If you’d like to read more about the eCourse, or view some of the training modules that broadcasters will learn from, please visit:

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