Broadcasting farmer stories helps audience and attracts advertisers in Uganda

| August 22, 2017

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Togo Mutanda Kasoro understands the value of broadcasting farming tips on the radio. He’s in charge of marketing and sales for two radio stations that serve a region of 3.3 million people in western Uganda: Voice of Toro and Voice of Kamwenge.

Broadcasters at the two stations have been reading Barza Wire articles on air since 2008, and Mr. Togo says he’s seen the impact of those stories on farmers in his region.
He says, “Such information helps the farmers. Some have begun using these methods, others need more detail.”

Mr. Togo says that farmer stories reach a large audience and potential advertisers are keenly interested.

He explains: “A good or popular program usually creates a niche which the advertiser targets. … We are trying to obtain consistent and well-prepared farmers’ programs or magazines which we may invite advertisers to sponsor as soon as listenership is built.”

In a region where many farmers cannot access farming information online, radio stations like Voice of Toro and Voice of Kamwenge play an important role in connecting farmers and sharing their ideas, successes, and challenges.

Mr. Togo says farmers call in to the radio stations regularly to provide feedback on the agricultural news, which covers cash crops, subsistence farming, and herding.

He says, “They appreciate [the farmer stories], and they may be encouraged to look for alternatives.”

When farmers call the radio stations looking for further information on implementing the practices they hear about on the news, broadcasters at Voice of Toro and Voice of Kamwenge encourage them to reach out to agriculture extension officers.

One recent story that Mr. Togo says was particularly popular was about farmers in Côte d’Ivoire getting good yields from crops of bird’s eye pepper.

Freelance writer Bosco Paré contributed that story, featured in a July 2017 edition of Barza Wire.

Mr. Togo hopes to expand farmer programming at the two stations, so farmers can benefit from ideas shared on the radio. And he knows advertisers, in turn, will see the benefits of reaching such a large and loyal audience.