admin | July 4, 2016
Tuning in to the audience is important to the broadcasters at ADARS FM. To collect audience feedback, they host call-in sessions every week and conduct monthly community visits to interview farmers.
“Many listeners [tune in to] our programs with individual or family radio sets. But listener groups have been formed specially for farming programs in many communities,” Gideon Osei explains. Mr. Osei is a news editor, broadcaster, and coordinator of agricultural programs with ADARS FM.
Farmers particularly benefit from a weekly program called Akuafo Mo, which means “Congratulations to farmers.” The program is broadcast live and repeated later in the week.
Currently, the program is discussing fertilizer and improved seeds, as part of a partnership with Farm Radio International and the Grameen Foundation.
Mr. Osei is particularly proud of the impact his program recently had on one farmer—Yussif Abdallah, from Suronuase village.
Mr. Osei explains, “[He] said his two-acre maize field failed to germinate and he tried to find out the cause of the failure.” A recent episode of Akuafo Mo had described a germination test that farmers can use to test the viability of their seeds. Mr. Osei says, “He decided to test the same seeds he planted. The seeds failed the test and he realized that he did not purchase from the right source—and that could have been avoided.”
Mr. Abdallah continued to test seeds until he found some with a high germination rate, then planted those. By using the germination test, says Mr. Osei, he saved time and money.
ADARS FM broadcasts to about 60,000 listeners in the Brong Ahafo Region of central Ghana. The station’s programs reach the Kintampo North, Kintampo South, Techiman North, Bole, Nkwanta, Presenter, and Banda districts.
“We do community development-oriented programs that focus on the needs of the people. [We] also engage the listeners in our programs by giving enough room for participation and feedback,” says Mr. Osei. “Also, I help to mobilize resources in times of need.”
Mr. Osei got involved with ADARS FM straight out of school, and participates in most aspects of the station’s activities. But he loves being on air.
He says: “I like broadcasting because of the unique opportunity to serve a large number of people at a time. It is a very challenging job that keeps me thinking about finding out how to bring people’s voices and needs to the fore.”
Mr. Osei was one of the gold-star participants in FRI’s 2015 Farmer program e-course. He says he most enjoyed the Farmer program design activity, in which participants applied everything they had learned during the course to design a program. He adds, “[The e-course] has made my broadcasting more interactive, participatory, and inclusive.”