Parliamentarian boosts youth engagement in agriculture through radio
Radio Medumba is a rural radio station located in the Bangangté sub-division, Ndé division, in the West region of Cameroon. Launched in August 2000, the station has made the rural world its focus with the slogan: “The station at the service of local development.” Agriculture occupies a significant place in the program schedule.
The station devotes two hours a week to farmer radio programs presented in French and Medumba, the local language. The programs are presented by two young graduates of an agricultural school who voluntarily decided to share their knowledge with the many farmers in the area.
At first, the programs were produced in the studio. But the station decided to relocate to the farm one day a week to produce one of the programs. The studio-produced editions allow listeners to share their experiences and ask questions about agricultural practices. The program produced from the field features one particular group of young farmers who have recently taken up farming.
This group of young university graduates created a farming group and sought help from the two hosts of the agricultural show. The young farmers were also looking for funding to help them get started farming 12 hectares of land inherited by one of the group members. Now, the radio program is following their progress as they develop their business.
That is how the Honorable Thérèse Ngassam, Member of the Cameroon National Assembly and devoted listener of Radio Medumba, first heard about the project. After she heard the group’s story, she decided to support the young people through parliamentary funding for micro-projects. The Cameroonian parliament regularly makes funds available to members of parliament in order to support small projects for the well-being of their communities.
After a meeting in September 2017, the youth and their advisors identified which crops could be profitable. They divided the land into three sections. The first section was dedicated to cocoa farming, the second for plantain, and a third for maize and cassava.
By January 2018, the young farmers had begun to prepare the field and search for improved seeds. Before the first rains in March, they had finished preparing the field and planted the seeds. In July, they gathered the first maize harvest. The young people decided to sell their products on the local market first before expanding to other regional and national markets. The radio broadcast information on where to buy their crops.
This group of farming youth won first prize for cassava at the Western Regional Agro-Pastoral Show in Bafoussam. On this occasion, Mrs. Ngassam declared: “This is the best gift the youth have given me during my mandate … I’m happy to have taken this initiative that will be remembered by many families and the people of the Ndé division … who no longer lack maize for household consumption and breeding, cassava for fufu and garri, etc.—and soon cocoa.”
The farming project is viewed as a success, and often quoted in speeches by Cameroonian authorities. In recognition of Radio Medumba’s support for their project, the young people made a grant to the station to help diversify and sustain the agricultural shows.
Mrs. Tchounga Ide Carine is the station director for Radio Medumba, a community station in the city of Bangangté in the West Region of Cameroon. This story was originally published in YenKasa Africa. Read the original story: https://www.yenkasa.org/a-parliamentarian-boosts-youth-engagement-in-agriculture-through-radio/