Nelly Bassily | December 22, 2008
As many of our regular readers know, the African Farm Radio Research Initiative is a Farm Radio International project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This research initiative is aimed at assessing the effectiveness of farm radio in meeting the food security objectives of rural farming households in Africa. Five radio stations in each of five countries – Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, and Mali – are participating in AFRRI by testing various methods of communicating agricultural information to farmers.Seventy-five radio practitioners from AFRRI stations recently participated in intensive training sessions held in each of the AFRRI countries. Farm Radio International staff and guests from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation led participants through eight steps for producing effective storybased farm radio programs. During this hands-on training, country groups produced radio programs from material gathered during field visits and farmer interviews. The programs used a variety of formats, including panel discussions, vox pops, phone-in and phone-out shows. One group of participants asked farmers to “turn the tables” and interview extension officers. The programs were then played for communities, who then provided feedback on what they liked and disliked about the programs. We will share the results of AFRRI’s research in future editions of FRW.