Notes to broadcasters on part-time farmers:

    | October 26, 2009

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    Our news story from Niger describes a new trend that reverses the rural-urban migration seen in so many African countries, and around the world. It also illustrates some interesting dynamics between city dwellers and rural farmers, as the “part-time farmers” gain new respect for agricultural work and full-time farmers begin to appreciate the new approaches that city-dwellers bring to the farm.

    Here are a few ideas for pursuing stories on rural-urban dynamics in your listening community:

    -Has there been a trend similar to the one described in this story in your area? What are the reasons given for returning to the country? What challenges do part-time farmers face and what benefits do they enjoy as they re-integrate into rural life?
    -Is there significant rural to urban migration in your area? What reasons do people have for leaving the country in favour of the city? What is the impact on the rural communities they leave?
    -In what ways are city-dwellers and rural residents in your area interdependent? (For example, do rural farmers sell food in the cities? Do they sell food that is destined for cities? Do rural residents travel to the city to access services that may not be available in rural villages?) Can you find interesting examples of interactions that promote respect between the two groups?