Family farmers are the backbone of food security and nutrition in Africa, let their voices be heard
Radio campaign aims to advance resilient family farming in Africa
A new radio campaign launched this week aims to amplify the voices of family farmers across Africa and highlight issues related to family farming and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is set to reach an estimated 10 million people through 100 radio stations in sub-Saharan Africa.
The campaign is part of the YenKasa Africa initiative – supported by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Farm Radio International (FRI) and four international and African farmer organizations – which aims to encourage knowledge-sharing to support agricultural and rural development. ‘Yen kasa’ is an expression from Ghana that means ‘let’s talk’ or ‘let’s dialogue’.
Family farmers must be at the centre of efforts to transform African food systems if we are to make real progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition.Abebe Haile-Gabriel, FAO Assistant Director-General
“Family farmers must be at the centre of efforts to transform African food systems if we are to make real progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition. Encouraging farmers to speak up and share their knowledge through this campaign is an important part of that wider effort,” said FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel.
The launch comes as part of the United Nations’ Decade of Family Farming. From 2019 to 2028, the decade aims to recognize the important role family farmers play in eradicating hunger and shaping the future of food systems.
Family farmers, including pastoralists, fishers and foresters, produce about 80 percent of the food consumed in Africa, and are the backbone of rural economies and food security and nutrition. They are stewards of increasingly-scarce natural resources and the environment and are on the frontline of dealing with the impacts of climate change. Yet they have little say in policy decisions that impact their lives and livelihoods, and they are among the poorest and most marginalized groups in the world.
“Radio stations are uniquely and ideally placed to reach and support family farmers.”Ian Pringle, Farm Radio International Director of Programs
“Radio stations are uniquely and ideally placed to reach and support family farmers,” said Ian Pringle, Director of Programs at Farm Radio International. “That’s why we’re inviting these stations to work with us as a voice for family farmers — and to amplify the voices of family farmers themselves.”
Through radio programs uniquely designed to meet their needs, broadcast in local languages, with information requested by farmers themselves, radio broadcasters play a key role in ensuring farmers can access the information they need to make informed decisions. Further, radio services amplify the voices of family farmers themselves, ensuring they have a say on the topics that impact their lives, livelihoods and communities.
Participating radio stations will feature interviews, farmers’ stories, talkback segments, dramatic pieces and campaign spots on a range of issues including youth in agriculture, gender inequalities, land rights, innovations, and preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Radio stations wanting to participate can access campaign materials here, or at yenkasa.org, and can register as a participant to receive additional materials and support.
The campaign is a collaboration between FAO, FRI, the international farmers’ organization La Via Campesina, and African farmers’ organizations: the Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO), the Regional Platform of Farmers’ Organizations of Central Africa (PROPAC), and the Network of Farmers’ Organizations and Agricultural Producers of West Africa (ROPPA).
YenKasa Africa is supported by FAO, FRI and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Uloma Patricia Mezie-Osuocha
Communications for Development and Outreach Consultant
FAO Regional Office for Africa
Farm Radio International
Head of Stakeholder Engagement
Farm Radio International