Nelly Bassily | July 2, 2012
The changing climate is affecting farmers in every part of Africa, and across the globe. Increased heat, a greater number of extreme weather events, and unpredictable rainy seasons present a variety of challenges for farmers.
There have been many news stories on this phenomenon. Here are a few recent ones:
Uganda: Cassava Key to Food Security, Say Scientists http://allafrica.com/stories/201206210835.html
Tanzania: Drought Drives Tanzanian Herders Into Conflict With Farmers http://allafrica.com/stories/201206121085.html
Kenya: As Rains Change, Citizens Turn to Planting Indigenous Trees http://allafrica.com/stories/201205291171.html
The website of the organization Sci.dev.net has a webpage devoted to climate change in Africa, with news stories and features, analysis, policy briefs, reports, and more: http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/climate-change-in-africa/
Farm Radio International has distributed many scripts on climate change and farmers. You can browse these scripts at: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/climate.asp. Included in this list of scripts related to climate change are three issue packs, which provide more detailed information on awareness of climate change, soil fertility and climate change, and water harvesting.
Farm Radio Weekly has published many stories which highlight the challenges of a changing climate on small-scale farmers. Here are a few of the more recent FRW stories:
Kenya: Traditional weather predictions used in official weather forecasts (FRW #195, April 2012) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2012/04/02/kenya-traditional-weather-predictions-used-in-official-weather-forecasts-alertnet/
Zimbabwe: Erratic rains and long dry spell worry farmers (by Zenzele Ndebele for Farm Radio Weekly in Zimbabwe) (FRW #190, February 2012) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2012/02/27/zimbabwe-erratic-rains-and-long-dry-spell-worry-farmers-by-zenzele-ndebele-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-zimbabwe/
Kenya: Home-grown solutions help pastoralists adapt to changing climate (IPS) (#FRW 183, December 2011) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/12/19/kenya-home-grown-solutions-help-pastoralists-adapt-to-changing-climate-ips/
There are many ways to develop radio programming on climate change. Remember that your programming will be more effective if it responds to the information needs of your audience. Ask what weather-related challenges farmers in your listening audience are facing.
Try connecting farmers to extension workers and government or NGO experts on climate change by hosting a panel discussion, having farmers phone in comments and questions to experts in the studio, or hosting (and recording) a meeting between government, NGO representatives and farmers in the village.