Radio for channelling information

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On the 30th of March 2017, N2Africa and a group of other Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded agronomy projects with a focus on maize, cassava, highland banana and legumes came together with Farm Radio International. All these partners met to share their knowledge and predictions about soils, crops and yields, and Farm Radio International aims to communicate this information to farmers at scale.

The Farm Radio International project helps African radio broadcasters to reach small-scale farmers in rural communities. Radio services are used to share knowledge and to give a voice to rural communities. During the meeting, the Farm Radio International team described their approaches and explained how they achieve interactions between broadcasters and farmers. A new “beep2vote” polling system had been developed which allows listeners to vote in a poll question by leaving a missed call ‘beep’ to a designated number, which is free for the caller. Radio and mobile phones are therefore great media to provide and gather information for and from farmers.

Ken Giller remarked about the meeting: “It was important to see the work that is happening by the Legume Alliance and the other projects that have been developed. These are not just passive information channels there are real opportunities to gather farmer data in these campaigns. I have seen the work on legumes at first hand in my role in N2Africa and also because I am project champion for the work that is happening here on legumes.”

This section was based on input from Duncan Sones in the ASHC newsletter.