Considering that 75 percent of the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) population is involved directly or indirectly in farming and related employment, the strategic role of family farms in such a transformation is increasingly being recognized by key actors (FAO 2013; 2014). Small-scale farmers have generally been perceived pejoratively and labeled by many experts and scholars as ‘traditional’ or ‘backward’ ‘subsistence farmers’, inferior to the technologically progressive, profit-oriented Large Scale Commercial Farms that are linked to financial inputs and commodity markets (Moyo, 2016). Inadequate access to quality and timely information and knowledge among other challenges continue to significantly impede family farmers’ contributions to agriculture, food security and rural development and also affects their decision making and capacity to engage meaningfully. The YenKasa Initiative as a regional platform is promoting partnership and multi-stakeholder engagements to bridge this gap in sub-Saharan Africa.
YenKasa Africa promotes creation of a dynamic and interactive platform of communication that brings together local community radios, media professionals, communication and development practitioners, and civil society organizations to strengthen local capacities and collaboration. By advancing the role of communication for agriculture and rural development, the YenKasa Initiative drives special attention to issues including family farming, sustainable natural resources management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction, food security, gender mainstreaming, agricultural innovation and remote access to information via ICTs.
'YenKasa' is an Akan expression from Ghana meaning “Let’s Talk.” The initiative to enhance knowledge and experience sharing in communication in support of agriculture and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. It encourages communication, development and community media practitioners based in Africa to share initiatives and resources on rural communication, enhance local capacities, establish fruitful collaborations at the regional level and advocate for communication in the rural sector.