The power of information: How FRI resources inspired a broadcaster in Ghana to take up farming

Haruna Rashida truly understands the benefit of good farm radio resources.

Host of Pukparba Saha (Farmers’ Time) on Ghana’s Northstar Radio, Haruna recently attended a Farm Radio International broadcaster resources workshop in Tamale. After the training, she took a few minutes to sit down with our staff and reflect on the impact of Farming Radio International’s broadcaster resources and training on her radio program, her listeners, and herself.

She says that she has become a better broadcaster thanks to Farm Radio, having learned how to better capture farmers’ views and challenges in the interviews she conducts with them in the field. Farmers’ voices are now heard loud and clear in her program, especially those of women — which Haruna makes a special effort to include. She is also incorporating farmers’ experiences into radio dramas, which she says have done a lot to increase the adoption of improved farming practices. They have proven so popular that “some children are even able to narrate the drama” to her when she visits listening communities.

Haruna says that farmers are now regularly calling into the station to find out when Pukparba Saha will be on to make sure that they don’t miss it. And she knows that the show is making a big difference in farmers’ lives because they tell her so.

Farmers in Kumbungu, for example, told her that they have stopped doing bush burning and are now using cover crops to help the soil retain more nutrients, just like they learned on the radio. One farmer’s maize harvest went from 7 bags to at least 10 as a result, and he is now teaching other farmers to follow suit.

A farmer in another community told her that it was learning about the nutritional benefits of soya beans through her program that convinced him to try growing them and to become a local advocate for soya bean cultivation.

But Haruna’s listeners weren’t the only ones to be impacted by her improved farm radio program. Haruna herself decided to take up farming because of the information and knowledge she was gaining through Farm Radio International.

“I got the motivation to farm through the resources and what I learned about farming on the farmers’ program.”

Equipped with Farm Radio International resources and a small plot of land offered to her by one of her satisfied listeners, Haruna began farming in 2016. She says that she is happy to have ventured into farming and enjoyed a good harvest last year. And she has ready access to the information she needs to farm with confidence and results.

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