Nelly Bassily, Research and production officer

| May 14, 2012

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When I started at Farm Radio International a little over four and a half years ago, I had a few years of media-related international development work in Africa (specifically in Benin and Egypt) under my belt, but not much in the way of agricultural experience. At that time, Farm Radio Weekly was a pilot project that was about to take off. Two hundred issues later, it’s so exciting to see the Weekly grow into a thriving round-up of features, news, events and opportunities for and by African agricultural broadcasters. Add to that two African news bureaus based in Burkina Faso (for francophone Africa) and Malawi (covering Southern Africa), and it’s easy to understand the richness and diversity of African farmer voices that Farm Radio Weekly strives to bring to your inbox every week.

That diversity shines through in a story written by Inoussa Maïga, a bright young journalist from Burkina Faso (whom I had the pleasure to meet at the JADE offices in Ouagadougou, along with the wonderful and dedicated francophone bureau chief, Nourou-Dhine Salouka). Maïga travelled to the village of Namposséla, Mali to bring you the inspiring story of a group of farmers who, after noticing that their yields were dropping every year, decided to work together to change this. By collaborating to produce compost, they have succeeded in improving their soils and yields. I admire the solidarity of these farmers. Also, as the story concludes, when it comes to farmers, “unity is strength” is not an empty phrase.

Mali: Composting in groups (by Inoussa Maϊga, for Farm Radio Weekly in Mali)

On top of Farm Radio Weekly, I have been working on Barza, the online community for African radio broadcasters ( In the months to come, it’s my hope that more and more African broadcasters will be able to interact and share more farmer stories through Barza.

When I’m not working, I keep active by practicing an Afro-Brazilian martial art called capoeira. If you don’t know what capoeira is, I encourage you to check out this video, which gives you an overview of what capoeira is and looks like.

I’m extremely lucky to work with such a devoted and talented team. Here’s to 200 more Farm Radio Weekly issues!!!!

-Nelly (You can reach me at: