Phones, fruit and plant doctors: improving farmers’ livelihoods

| November 4, 2013

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Hello! And a warm welcome to issue #266 of Farm Radio Weekly. This week’s featured stories come from Cameroon, Kenya and Uganda.

Africa is experiencing a boom in services available through mobile phone networks. Mobile banking and payment services are becoming more common, while information and advice for farmers is available through text message systems. Now cocoa and coffee growers in Cameroon are benefiting too!

Deforestation has become a thorny issue in arid parts of Kenya, where trees are being cut down in increasing numbers for furniture, construction and making charcoal. However, advances in fruit tree breeding mean that farmers can plant trees to counter this process, and provide themselves with an income in the dry season.

Uganda’s farmers are enjoying new plant clinics. Farmers in almost half the country’s 111 districts now have access to “plant doctors,” who assist them in diagnosing pests and diseases, prescribe treatments, and offer advice on how to avoid problems in the future.

Farm Radio International and its partner broadcasters in Tanzania are testing a system for increasing farmers’ involvement in agricultural radio programs. Read more about beep to vote in the Action section.

We wish you a very successful week,

-The Farm Radio Weekly Team