admin | June 21, 2021
Endalkachew Mihret Zelalem is the host and producer of the farmer program at Finoteselam Community Radio Station in Amara, Ethiopia. He has worked for five years at the station and was inspired to become a broadcaster so he could inform farmers, and more specifically help them sell their surplus production at a fair price. He says his strength as a broadcaster is that he loves serving farmers.
Mr. Mihret Zelalem’s farmer program focuses on topics such as using compost to improve production, the availability of seed varieties, improved methods of plowing, and managing pests and diseases. His program also has a strong focus on raising awareness of harvest and post-harvest methods to prevent losses.
Every fourth week, Mr. Mihret Zelalem devotes his entire program to listener feedback. This special episode is a phone-in with subject matter specialists available in the studio.
While conducting phone-in programs and travelling to the field to meet and interview farmers, Mr. Mihret Zelalem became aware of the challenges that farmers face: the lack of fertilizers and improved seed varieties, the lack of products to manage pests, and the lack of mechanized equipment for harvesting.
To respond to these challenges, Mr. Mihret Zelalem invites subject matter specialists to talk on-air about how farmers can overcome them. Local decision-makers tune in to his program and, in some cases, also provide solutions to farming challenges.
In addition to recording farmers’ voices in the field, Mr. Mihret Zelalem records and airs familiar local sounds to make the farmer program lively and entertaining. For example, he records farmers singing while they work. This is a hallmark of the program, and it creates a feeling of familiarity for listeners.
Mr. Mihret Zelalem first encountered FRI through its resources. He has also attended various training sessions and continues to be involved in FRI projects.
Mr. Mihret Zelalem says he was amazed to learn about the “brave and great” purpose of the George Atkins Communication Award: to help small-scale farmers by providing valuable information to improve their livelihood and productivity. He aspires to follow in George Atkins’ footsteps by helping farmers improve the quality and quantity of their production.
Endalkachew Mihret Zelalem was one of five runners-up for the 2021 George Atkins Communications Award. The George Atkins Communications Award recognizes radio broadcasters for their excellence in serving their rural audience and commitment to Farm Radio International. Read the profiles of winners and runners-up in the Spotlight section of Barza Wire.
Photo : Endalkachew Mihret Zelalem in studio. Photo courtesy of Finoteselam Community Radio Station.