Celebrating family farmers on the airwaves across Africa

| November 9, 2020

Download this story

Family farmers are essential for food security, nutrition, environmental protection, and a vibrant economy. And over the past three months, their efforts and contributions were celebrated on 110 radio stations across Africa as part of the “Voice for Family Farmers” campaign.

The UN is recognizing 2019 to 2028 as the Decade of Family Farming and so Farm Radio designed a radio campaign to celebrate family farmers, with the help of our partners in the YenKasa initiative, which includes the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization, La Via Campesina, and other regional producer organizations such as PROPAC and ROPPA.

The campaign included radio spots and other radio resources focusing on the key messages of the campaign: celebrating the contributions of family farmers, particularly women and youth. Participating radio stations were also encouraged to broadcast the voices of family farmers by interviewing representatives of farmer groups or by opening their phone lines to callers.

Between the campaign launch in late July and World Food Day, Oct. 16, 110 radio stations from 13 countries broadcast the radio spots and other resources. The response from radio stations in West Africa was overwhelming: 79 stations broadcast the Voice for Family Farmers campaign, including 26 stations in Mali and 26 in Senegal.

Most participants broadcast the radio spots, often translating them into the language of their broadcast. Listen to some examples of these broadcasts: https://soundcloud.com/farmradio/sets/un-decade-of-family-farming

The response from participating radio stations has been positive, which is very encouraging.

Ajok Joyce, a presenter at Speak FM in Uganda, said: “It is a good initiative and it has come at a time that the world is facing coronavirus pandemic.… Many need to be brought to their attention on how they can secure food. I can’t wait to participate next year.”

Williams Moi from Uganda Broadcasting Corporation said, “I think this campaign is good for development and promotion of farming news. I will participate yearly.”

And Mahamane Traoré, a broadcaster from Radio Bingha in Mali, said it is “a campaign that allows people to better understand the importance of family farming. Yes, we will participate in the next campaign.”

More than half of the participating radio stations also amplified farmers’ voices through interviews with farmer organizations and call-in segments. The response from their listeners was also positive. Kibendelwa Kalivulira, the director of Radio Paon in DRC, indicated that: “Farmers commended this initiative and suggested that face-to-face sharing would enrich it. In collaboration with farmers’ associations, we organized roundtables. No less than 500 farmers interacted by call-in, SMS, and suggestion box.”

Seydou Oumar Traoré, the director at Radio Baoulé in Mali, said, “Farmers appreciate the messages and are happy to be associated with such a program. Rarely they are made to act on subjects which concern and value them, they say.”

All 108 stations who participated in the radio campaign will receive a participation certificate. Five stations will also receive a prize of $100 CA in mobile credit. These include:

● Adama (Ethiopia)

● Redeemer’s (Nigeria)

● Radio Baoule (Mali)

● Radio Communautaire Diamako (Mali)

● Jenku FM (Senegal)