Seydou Camara says he is “a lover of the countryside,” and this farmer’s son knows agriculture well. Mr. Camara has been working at Radio Wassoulou in Yanfolila, Mali for eight years as a program host. He likes to serve people and says that radio is a great tool for putting this ambition into practice.
Mr. Camara is a runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award.
He is in charge of several programs on public health, the environment, and agriculture, including Sènè Baro (The Farmers’ Speech). This weekly program features farmers with a wealth of experience who share their best practices with listeners.
Over the past year on Sènè Baro, Mr. Camara addressed the issue of uncontrolled use of chemicals in agriculture, including unapproved fertilizers and pesticides that are sometimes disguised as food products. In all, he produced five shows on the consequences of chemical use by reporting from the field, inviting experts to speak on air, and giving listeners a chance to respond through a call-in segment. Mr. Camara also uses Google Meet to facilitate live, on-air debates.
He says he received a lot of congratulatory feedback from listeners after these programs. He adds that the program inspired a lot of positive change amongst listeners, though many farmers continue to use unregulated inputs.
Mr. Camara brings the voices of farmers into his programs by using a variety of formats, including vox pops, narrative interviews, call-ins, and Uliza poll. In all of his efforts to interact with listeners, he strives for gender equality by giving equal time to men and women in vox pops, and by recording Uliza messages that are specific to women.
Mr. Camara strives to make his programs entertaining with lively facilitation, by broadcasting proverbs that appeal to listeners, and above all, by featuring songs that are related to the program topics.
Radio Wassoulou has been a Farm Radio broadcasting partner since 2000. Mr. Camara uses many Farm Radio resources, which allow him to conduct research and produce quality episodes. He has completed several self-guided modules, participated in online discussions, and endeavours to follow the VOICE and FAIR standards. He has also participated in project-related training through Radio Wassoulou’s involvement in the Scaling Her Voice project.
Photo: Seydou Camara in studio. Photo courtesy of Seydou Camara.