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Radio show helps Tanzanian farmers fight climate change

As thousands of farmers in northeastern Tanzania face long spells of dry weather and erratic rainfall, Farm Radio International is collaborating with local partners on a radio program to help onion and rice growers adapt to the effects of climate change.

Last year, Farm Radio International helped the private radio station Moshi FM [1] to start broadcasting the show, Heka-Heka Vijijini – Swahili for “upbeat mood in the village.” The program aims to help farmers in parts of Same district, about 100 kilometres from Mount Kilimanjaro, find ways to maintain their harvests and find better markets for their produce.

With the help of local agricultural extension officers, the show advises its audience on suitable planting times. It also provides up-to-date weather information and tips on how to increase crop yields in challenging weather.

Moshi FM program manager Yusuph Masanja said the program has simplified the work of extension officers. Since it is not easy to visit individual farmers, they can now use the airwaves to more easily communicate with farmers.

The program airs every Wednesday and Saturday for one hour. Methods being promoted to listeners include crop diversification and irrigation to boost soil fertility.

Gloria Meena and Paulina Ndauka are two villagers who listen to the show. Mrs. Meena says: “I have found the programs very useful because they teach good farming methods and how [to] deal with floods [and] the changing climate.” Mrs. Ndauka says, “Before I started tuning [in] to the program, I did not know how to prevent soil erosion … but now I know how to protect my farm.”

To read the full story in English, please visit the Trust website via this link: http://www.trust.org/item/20130822085851-3xcv4/?source=hpeditorial [2]. The story is also available in Swahili here: http://www.trust.org/item/20130822085851-3xcv4/?lang=4 [3]