admin | November 10, 2023
At least 70% of Nigerians engage in the agriculture sector, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). However, it is still rare to find media outlets whose primary focus is reporting on agriculture.
As Nigeria faces so many challenges related to climate change, experts think that the media can play a critical role in educating the public about this issue and in helping farmers to adapt to global warming and improve their crop yields.
Lavun Community Radio was established to meet the information needs of farmers and to connect them to available markets. As Nigeria’s first community radio station, Lavun helps to create awareness of the agricultural value chain. “The aim is to have a radio station communicate effectively to the farmers,” says Mustapha Ahmed, the station’s unit head of production.
The station also broadcasts programs on other issues, ranging from health to education, community development, and religious programs like Christian and Islamic sermons. These programs are aired in English, Pidgin, and local languages like Nupe, Hausa, Fulani, and Yoruba, Nigeria’s dominant languages.
Lavun Community Radio has built several global partnerships. For example, it receives agricultural scripts from Canada-based Farm Radio International every week and rebroadcasts programs on irregular migration from Dakar-based West Africa Democracy Radio.
In 2020, Lavun Community Radio received a $2,000 CDN grant from Farm Radio International which helped the station purchase a laptop, two back-up mixers, and other materials. “We are making headway and progress,” Mr. Ahmed says.
Despite this progress, the station still faces many challenges, especially getting more funding in a very challenging environment.
For Lavun Community Radio Station, Mr. Ahmed says that poor power supply is a big problem. While someone donated equipment for solar power which is serving some sections of the station, it still needs adequate funding to power the entire station.
Despite the difficulties, Lavun Community Radio Station is committed to promoting agricultural journalism to enlighten local farmers.
This story is adapted from an article written by Patrick Egwu called “Agriculture is key in Nigeria. These two outlets are trying to keep farmers informed.” To read the full story, go to: Agriculture is key in Nigeria. These two outlets are trying to keep farmers informed. (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism)