Maxine Betteridge-Moes | July 8, 2019
The student journalists at Radio Grin are dedicated to their craft and their studies. The student volunteers devote 14 hours a week to agricultural and community development programming on the station, which is located on the University of Development Studies Nyankpala campus in northern Ghana. These young broadcasters bring expertise from their studies in various faculties, including agriculture, agribusiness, and communication, to broadcast a range of informative and entertaining radio programs.
Station manager Elvis Ofosu Asamoah says the prominence of agriculture in Ghana, particularly within the vicinity of the campus, means that farmer radio programs are valuable and necessary.
Mr. Asamoah says, “Many of the students here are focussed on agriculture, so the radio program helps them apply their studies and their research to serve the local community as well.”
Radio Grin was established in 2012 and offers programming in English, Twi, and Dagbani. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, Rebecca Baalie, Joseph Nzeh, and Ivy Mamle Lornyor gather inside the studio for a two-hour agricultural program. Ms. Baalie is a communications major, and Mr. Nzeh and Ms. Lornyor are studying biotechnology and agricultural technology, respectively. Mr. Asamoah supervises production of the program, which covers topics related to new farming technologies, environmental conservation, health, and nutrition.
Ms. Baalie says: “I love hosting the radio program. I bring my knowledge as a communications major to conduct interviews and all of us in the production team make different contributions based on our education.”
Mr. Nzeh adds, “Sometimes we bring in other professors or students on campus to talk about the subject and provide insight as well.”
This year, Radio Grin became a Farm Radio International (FRI) broadcasting partner after attending a World Radio Day event in Tamale on February 13. The station recently aired a program on adapting to climate change in northern Ghana, using two FRI scripts: an interview script about how millet farmers are adapting to climate change and a backgrounder on climate change.
The program was live-streamed on Facebook and shared on WhatsApp. Ms. Baalie led the studio discussion, pulling interview questions from the scripts. She asked Ms. Lornyor and Mr. Nzeh to explain the differences between natural and artificial causes of climate change and the impact of human activities like deforestation and burning fossil fuels. She also interviewed another agricultural student about land degradation and decreased crop productivity, and the student explained his research on the overuse of fertilizer in northern Ghana. The nearly two-hour program touched on a range of topics related to climate change. These included the impact on livestock and other ruminants, pest and disease management, and adaptation strategies such as improved post-harvest management. Importantly, the hosts and guests were able to localize much of the information for northern Ghana, making it highly relevant to their audience.
The production team at Radio Grin is excited to partner with Farm Radio and will continue to make use of radio scripts and other broadcaster resources to support them in their work.
For more information about how to talk about climate change on the radio, read our issue pack on awareness of climate change. And, for ideas on creative ways to present this information, read this broadcaster how-to guide on adapting FRI resources for radio broadcast.