Welcome to all!

    | May 3, 2010

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    We extend a special welcome to a new contingent of Malian readers. A total of 29 Malians and one person from Burkina Faso signed up for Farm Radio Weekly while attending the Salon International de l’Agriculture 2010, held in Bamako, Mali, last week. We hope you enjoy your first edition of FRW!

    Land grabbing – the lease or sale of large tracts of land to foreign companies or governments – is one of the most important issues facing African farmers today, and an issue that Farm Radio International continues to follow closely. Last year, we produced a series of stories that looked at how local people are working to resist, or get a better deal from, land grabbing attempts. This week, we visit a part of Mali where a large area of farmland was taken over by a foreign company, and many of the fears about land grabbing have become a reality. Farmers have been forced off their land with no compensation and the only benefit to locals is jobs on the company’s construction site. Next week, we’ll bring you another story about the reality of land grabbing.

    In other news this week, we turn to Mozambique, where farmers and fishers are taking steps to reduce their vulnerability to annual floods. (For more information on reporting and/or sharing information during a natural disaster, see the Notes to Broadcasters and the Radio Resource Bank). We also feature a story from Kenya, updating a situation at Mombassa port. According to a coalition of farmers’ organizations and other civil society groups, a shipment of 40,000 tonnes of maize sitting at the port is genetically modified. The coalition feels the shipment is a threat to local farmers and local genetic resources.

    We have a very special resource for you in the Farm Radio Action section. James Achanyi-Fontem from Cameroon Link has prepared a report that offers a wide range of strategies to ensure the financial and social sustainability of community radio stations. We hope you find inspiration from this overview, which James compiled after surveying six Cameroonian community radio stations, ranging from new to well-established.

    Happy reading!

    -The Farm Radio Weekly Team