FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, Canada — April 21, 2015 — Farm Radio International is proud to announce its “Radio to improve production and marketing for farmers in need” project has been nominated for an award from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
The project, undertaken with the generous support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), seeks to improve small-scale farmers’ participation in key agricultural value chains, providing increased food security and income.
“This project is a leading example of how innovative radio strategies make agricultural development efforts more relevant and accessible to small-scale farmers, more engaging and effective, at larger scale and lower cost. Participatory and interactive elements link small-scale farmers with appropriate information and content, experts and each other,” said Blythe McKay, director of broadcaster resources.
The “Radio to improve production and marketing for farmers in need” project has been nominated in category 16: Media (C9) of the WSIS Project Prizes. This prize recognizes projects that put the potential of information and technology at the service of development and international goals. The WSIS conference takes place from May 25-29. Members of any organization may join WSIS and vote before May 1. Learn more about the award and voting process here.
About the “Radio to improve production and marketing for farmers in need” project
The “Radio to improve production and marketing for farmers in need” project uses participatory radio campaigns (PRCs) to talk about key value chains in Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana and Mali. The purpose of a PRC is to help farmers make an informed decision about a new practice. The PRC unfolds in four stages: introducing an innovation, discussing the information, asking listeners to make a decision to implement the innovation, and then providing information to support implementation.
The “Radio to improve production and marketing for farmers in need” project saw radio broadcasters trained to design their own PRC on a key post-harvest issue related to an important value chain in their community. Broadcasters consulted their farming audience to select the value chain and the post-harvest issue. In Malawi, farmers were concerned about drying groundnuts to prevent aflatoxin, a by-product of a mould that is known to contribute to cancer. Aflatoxin keeps many groundnut farmers from getting a good price for their crop.
Broadcaster Sheila Chimphamba, with Zodiak Broadcasting Station in Malawi, sees and hears the difference her PRC is making each time she visits the field. The information shared on the radio is so valued, it is shared village to village and Sheila faces questions from farmers even when she travels beyond the reach of the radio station’s transmission. “You see this program has reached people who are not in our [broadcasting] area — people who are not even targeted,” she said.
This project has already had an incredible impact, reaching 2.5 million farmers via six radio stations in its first two years. The project began in Malawi and Tanzania in 2012, addressing the cassava and groundnut value chains, and is expanding to Ghana and Mali in 2015 where it will target cowpea and local poultry value chains.
For more information, contact
Director of Broadcaster Resources
About Farm Radio International
Farm Radio International is a Canadian charity that harnesses the power of radio to meet the needs of small-scale farmers. We work with 600 radio partners in 38 African countries to fight poverty and food insecurity. FRI resources and training help African broadcasters produce and deliver practical, relevant and timely information to tens of millions of farmers. We also work with a range of partners to implement radio projects that respond to community needs.