Community Driven Development through Participatory Farm Radio Campaigns

Title: Community Driven Development

Country: EthiopiaTanzaniaMalawi and Uganda

Organisation: Farm Radio International (FRI)

Theme: Participatory Farm Radio Campaigns

More than ever, farmers, and female farmers in particular, need access to relevant agricultural information to help them cope with change to meet the nutrition and food security needs of their families and communities. It is also important that farmers have a stronger voice in directing future agricultural research and policies so they are more demand-driven.

Although an increasing number of female farmers in rural areas have access to mobile phones and radio, they still face specific challenges in accessing and using the relevant research, knowledge and opportunities they need in order to adapt and stay one step ahead regarding their goal of food and nutrition security for their families. These challenges may be as simple as being denied access to a household radio by males who carry them to fields, or being less able to read and understand extension information. Women have less access to and power over the use of resources such as land. Radio provides a space where men and women can interact, discuss and address these challenges together.

This Farm Radio International project addresses these complex issues through an integrated, effective approach that respects small-scale farmers as good decision makers and effective agents of change: participatory radio campaigns (PRCs). Though not exclusively directed at women, this project actively engages women farmers, asks them to express their specific information needs regarding nutrition and climate smart agriculture, and links them with the relevant research, results, inputs, services and markets. Through interactive PRCs, both male and female farmers are able to access information, evaluate it, pose questions, and listen to other farmers’ experiences. They are encouraged to make an informed decision to try the new technique—and they will be supported in its implementation.

The project was set up in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Uganda with the support of Irish Aid, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, Farm Radio Malawi and the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research.

Learn more about Her Farm Radio projects which focus on the voice and knowledge needs of women farmers across Africa