Interactive Radio for Ecologically Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Building resilient livelihoods through ecologically sustainable agriculture practices in central and northern Tanzania

Interactive Radio for Ecologically Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Building resilient livelihoods through ecologically sustainable agriculture practices in central and northern Tanzania

The context

Rich in fertile land, water resources, agricultural entrepreneurs and access to international markets through its major sea ports, Tanzania’s agricultural sector has great potential. It provides 26.9 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs 80 percent of the country’s labour force. With the population projected to rise from 59 million in 2020 to 137 million by 2050, and with the impact of climate change on food supply, there is a need to adopt techniques and approaches to increase the efficiency and sustainability of food production in Tanzania. Sustainable agriculture practices can contribute to food security and  the environment by maintaining soil quality, reducing soil degradation and erosion, saving water, and increasing biodiversity. At the same time, as urban populations grow, the continued use of unsustainable practices can threaten environmental sustainability, leading to poor health outcomes for humans, animals and plants. Appropriate, accessible and effective responses are necessary to support farmers and increase their yields in an ecologically sustainable manner. 

Our approach

In order to address key barriers facing smallholder farmers including a lack of information around sustainable agricultural practices, as well as a weak public extension system in Tanzania, this project harnesses the power of radio, integrated with mobile phone platforms, to encourage farmers to try ecologically sustainable farming practices. In addition to using Farm Radio's evidence-based participatory interactive radio approach, tailor-made broadcaster training, and community listening groups, this project will also co-create content for a print magazine (Mkulimambunifu) that focuses on ecological farming. The magazine, which is distributed monthly to farmer groups in Tanzania and Kenya, is the only magazine in Swahili for ecological farming in East Africa. 

Farm Radio is working with five existing radio stations to research, design, produce and evaluate two series each of 16 weeks every year for three years, which follows the seasonal calendar of the northern and central regions in Tanzania. We will also curate and share a collection of training resources and radio scripts for our broadcasting partners on crops including cabbage, beans, millet, potatoes, sorghum and more. 

Results so far



Radio stations


People reached


Community listening groups

The project is in the second year of implementation, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that at least 2 million women, men and youth across the country are provided with ecological sustainable agriculture practices information. This will enable them to learn and adopt sustainable farming practices that will help them ensure food security and climate change resilience.

In the first year and a half, Farm Radio's five partner stations (Radio Sauti Ya Injili, Radio Habari Njema, Standard FM, Mwangaza FM and Utume FM) have broadcast radio programs on numerous topics related to ecologically sustainable agriculture practices. 

Highlights from the implementation so far are as follows:

  • An estimated 2,603,697 listeners in the project-targeted areas reached through the 5 radio stations.
  • A total of 154 weeks of radio episodes produced and aired.
  • Digital innovation services (Uliza Poll, SMS) deployed to enhance interactivity on air and weekly poll questions introduced for each radio episode. A total of 200 interactions per week is planned for every radio station.
  • A total of 33,811 (26,446 men and 7365 women) interacted with Uliza, our interactive services, during this period.
  • A total of 85,537 SMS have been sent out so far to listeners to remind them to tune in to radio programs every week.
  • A total of 80 Community Listening Groups participated in the radio programming activities.

Additionally, Farm Radio's radio network team has produced, distributed a variety of resources for partners and has coached stations on how to effectively use them. A package of existing radio resources on topics relevant to the project have been shared with the radio stations and through WhatsApp discussions. The stories are available in English, French, and Swahili. Some highlights include:

Tanzania: Intercropping boosts farmer incomes (which garnered a total of 276 page views as of January 31, 2022).
Tanzania: Sunflower farmers increase yields by keeping bees (which garnered a total of 65 page views as of January 31, 2022).

Biovision logo

This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Biovision Foundation.



  • BioVision Trust - Tanzania
  • BioVision Trust - Kenya
  • Department of Extension, Ministry of Agriculture, Tanzania
  • Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute
  • Echo East Africa

Project snapshot

  • Duration: 3 years 2020-2023
  • Budget: $607K CAD
  • Radio stations: 5
  • Languages: Kiswahili

“I suggest we continue to give information to those who are involved in food activities, even to the whole community, so that we get healthy food to the entire society in Tanzania.”

Farmer, Tanzania

Gender equality

In Tanzania, women sometimes have limited access to capital, land and also extension and advisory services. This project uses our ‘Her Voice on Air’ approach to support radio stations in addressing the information needs of women, sharing women’s perspectives and experiences in radio programs, and fostering a sense of empowerment among the women involved.
This project also promotes gender equality and responsiveness by:

  • Providing content resources to broadcasters on how to engage women in radio programs, how to serve women farmers and how to address gender equality on air.
  • Offering gender equality training for broadcasters.
  • Supporting local stakeholders at understanding issues of gender equality and how to support women broadcasters.
  • Gender-responsive design of radio programs as well as gender specific radio episodes.

Our goals

The project aims to achieve the following results:

  • Increase the resilient livelihoods of at least 400,000 small scale farmers in Tanzania from 2021 to 2023.
  • Increase the use of quality gender-responsive interactive radio programming approaches on ecologically sustainable agriculture practices by four radio broadcast stations.
  • Encourage 2 million small-scale women, men and youth farmers in northern and central regions of Tanzania to use interactive radio as a source for quality information on ecologically sustainable practices.

The project also aims to contribute directly to a number of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), namely Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 2: Zero Hunger, Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing, Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production and Goal 15: Life on Land.