Stephen Karmazyn | July 25, 2016
Peter Balaba didn’t plan on becoming a radio broadcaster. In fact, you wouldn’t think that a professional librarian would be so quick to take on the role of radio personality. But that’s how it played out for Mr. Balaba.
“What I like about broadcasting is that it has given me the opportunity to talk and interact with different people in and out of my community,” he explains.
Mr. Balaba is the program manager for Nakaseke Radio, which broadcasts to about 40,000 listeners in central Uganda. To create his show, he frequently meets with listeners in their fields.
Nakaseke Radio broadcasts to Luwero and Nakaseke districts, located about an hour and a half drive from Kampala. The station is in the Nakaseke Multipurpose Community Telecenter, a community centre that provides information and communication technologies and library resources for the community.
Mr. Balaba was working as a librarian at the telecentre when the radio station was established and his work changed.
Connecting with farmers on the ground is one of the essential parts of his job. Broadcasters at Nakaseke Radio visit the field to record farmers’ experiences. They also host live talk shows, inviting farmers into the studio to discuss farming issues. The station also provides updates of agricultural prices and weather information via SMS to its listeners.
“Currently, we are working on uplifting maize standards to ensure that there is enough maize produced for food security and better prices for the commodity,” says Mr. Balaba, describing one of the radio station’s existing projects.
Mr. Balaba participated in the 2015 Farmer program e-course offered by Farm Radio International, just one of the many radio training opportunities he is proud to have taken part in.
“I was empowered to make radio scripts, which I always use, which was not the case before,” he said of the Farmer program e-course.
With a wealth of training and experience under his belt, Mr. Balaba plans to keep pushing forward to create a platform for farmers to share information and learn from each other. In this way, he’s creating an audio library for farmers.