Maxine Betteridge-Moes | January 20, 2019
Benjamin Homadzi has been hosting Farmers’ Forum on Lorlornyo FM in the Volta Region of Ghana for six years. He loves interacting with his listeners during the phone-in and phone-out segments of the program and, though he is not a farmer himself, he says he has learned a lot from speaking to farmers and resource persons over the years.
Mr. Homadzi regularly visits the Farm Radio website for information and resources to put together his farmer program each week.
“I check for new things to feature into the program like maize, rice, cassava, vegetables, and many other topics,” he said.
In October, Ghanaian farmers began harvesting their maize crops, so Mr. Homadzi was looking for resources related to harvest and post-harvest management. He called his colleagues at Farm Radio’s Ghana office, whom he’d worked with during the Achieving Impact at Scale project, to seek support. He was advised to read the backgrounder on maize production, which contains plenty of useful information—including one particular tip that caught his attention because of its ease and simplicity.
He read that a good strategy for testing the dryness of maize is to shake maize and salt grains in a sealed glass bottle. If the salt sticks to the sides of the bottle after a few minutes of shaking, then the maize is not dry enough for storage. Mr. Homadzi translated this information to the local Ewe language and presented it on air. When he opened up the phone lines, he received a dozen phone calls from farmers who were excited to learn about this new tip.
“My listeners all really enjoyed it. They said they’ve tested that and it worked for them,” he said. “They want to know whether they can do the same thing to rice.”
Mr. Homadzi discussed the technique with his studio guest, a resource person from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), who was also intrigued by the information. When FRI staff learned that Mr. Homadzi had used the resource, they provided training on how to access our extensive collection of resources online at scripts.farmradio.fm and how to search for other relevant resources, including a backgrounder on rice production. Mr. Homadzi says the feedback he received from listeners after sharing the maize drying tip has inspired him to start a new segment in the weekly program.
“I want to make a three-minute segment every week and we will get a new thing to let our farmers know about,” he said.
FRI offers information and training resources to support broadcasting partners to produce high quality, engaging, and informative farmer programs. All of our resources, including drama scripts, backgrounders, interview scripts, and many more, are available at scripts.farmradio.fm.