My name is Kumah Drah, I am a Training and Standard Co-ordinator of Farm Radio International in Accra, Ghana. May I share with you this audio post card on how radio is helping an extension officer in his work.
Mark Dadoza, pictured above, is a crops services extension officer in Ghana’s Ketu North District in the Volta Region. He has been working for 28 years. He has as many as 2,500 farmers to work with. Much as he would like to meet each of the farmers, he cannot because of the problems of transportation and poor roads. His old motorbike breaks down on the road quite often. But during the 20 weeks that Mark has been serving as a resource person on Fafaa Radio, he has seen a remarkable improvement.
“I am Mark Dadoza. I am the crop service and extension officer in the Ketu North district. I have been working over 28 years now, since 1986.
Actually, working with farmers has broadened my knowledge because when you get to the farmer you will know a lot. There are some things, maybe it is not pertaining to the book, but it is through getting to the farmers’ level, it is there you get to know a lot from the farmers. Something like you will go and experience something from the farmers and you broaden it a little bit.
That is my motor bike over there. It is over-aged and actually this is the same motor bike I am using for my extension and at the same time Farm Radio. It’s over aged. So sometimes if I am riding, sometimes I feel pity for it to send it to the fields. Normally it gets broken down on the road. Sometimes I have to push it to the house. That’s the major work . . . major challenges I am facing.
So with this radio program, the farm radio which has just come to existence just some 20 weeks now. It is helping us a lot because already I am having about 2,500 farmers to work with. It is more or less E-extension; that is what we call E-extension. With radio, you can channel a lot of things into it. You broadcast, then you get that wider coverage, because already I am supposed to work with 2,500 farmers which I cannot reach with this my mayor bike. But with this farm radio work, I am reaching a lot of people at the same time. So it is helping me a lot.
I am becoming very popular in all the communities. Communities which I have not been visiting formerly and communities which is not under my care, like Akatsi South. These days if I pass there then they say ‘oh oh chief stop, stop, sweet potato man stop.’ I never knew it (the program) is getting to a lot of people.
So with this E-extension, especially this Farm Radio International (radio show), I am becoming so popular in the town, even Dzodze town people will call me ‘Oh Dadoza stop.’ They want to know much about sweet potato. So I appreciate the effort of Farm Radio International. It has helped me a lot to achieve my aim in reaching farmers.”
Mark says through the Farm Radio International-supported radio program that is promoting the production and consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato, he has achieved a lot in his extension work. He appreciates the effort of Farm Radio International because radio programs have helped him achieve his aim of reaching more farmers.