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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Changing things for the better

Thank you for opening issue #285 of Farm Radio Weekly. In this edition, you will find stories from our field correspondents about pastoralists turning towards crops, and young people interested in radio journalism.

From Kenya comes the news that women Maasai are growing their own vegetables for sale, and that men are considering growing crops to feed their livestock. As the climate changes, these strategies may become essential.

Disadvantaged youth across Africa are finding it difficult to find work other than begging and selling cheap goods. But a Tanzanian initiative is bringing youth into radio and television studios. Many are showing a talent for communicating their problems and experiences in a lucid and intelligent way.

Get involved with Earth Day! Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From Cairo to Cape Town, Dakar to Djibouti, Africans plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more – all for the environment. Find out more in the Resource section!

Here is a test to find out whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.

-        The Farm Radio Weekly team

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Kenya: Maasai adapt to climate change with crops, not cows (by Sawa Pius, for Farm Radio Weekly)

Emily Kokoyo has reason to smile since she started practicing mixed farming. Her family used to rely solely on livestock for a living. Now she also grows drought-resistant and fast-maturing crops suited to the changing climate.

Ms. Kokoyo lives in Kirkamat, a village 100 kilometres west of Nairobi. She grows potatoes, beans and vegetables on a plot of land just under a half-hectare. The crops suit the current climate in her local area, which has been experiencing severe droughts, floods, erratic rains and soil erosion.

The semi-arid region is occupied by about 200,000 Maasai. Ten years ago, the Kenyan government allocated 2,850 square kilometres of land to individual Maasai. Owners were required to clear the forest in order to build houses and grow crops. Trees were turned into charcoal and timber, leaving the land bare. This is believed to have affected the weather patterns.

In 2011, the International Development Research Centre, or IDRC, and the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, also known as KARI, started a three-year, 95 million Kenya shilling [$1.1 million US] research project. The project aimed to develop a method of forecasting weather patterns for the next 80 years. This weather information is needed to help the community adapt to the changing climate by mixing crop farming with raising livestock.

Ms. Kokoyo says: “This is helping me a lot, because here in Maasailand, cows belong to men. But since KARI brought us these types of crops and taught us how to farm, [I] am now able to harvest enough for food and sell some to my neighbours.”

The project planted drought-resistant varieties of legumes, potatoes, sorghum, maize, and beans in demonstration plots. The seeds are made available to farmers, who are taught how to plant and nurture them. The project is also promoting tree planting to restore the local microclimate.

Dr. Michael Okoti is the national coordinator for environment and climate change research at KARI. He says the research project used historical and current data to predict weather patterns. He adds, “We have regional climate models and [can] project them to the future, the next 80 years.”

More than 600 farmers have started growing crops. According to Dr. Okoti, the target is 1,500 farmers by September 2014. But, he says, it has not been easy. Policies change faster than culture. While it is hard for pastoralists to change their ancient practices, Mr. Okoti says it is no longer practical to own a large herd of livestock, because they cannot be moved around as easily as in the past.

Most farmers are happy with what they have learned. Peter Ole Nembo planted five types of legumes. They provide him with food as well as fertilizing his soils. He also grows a variety of fodder crops which prevent soil erosion. He has planted one hectare of land and encourages his neighbours to do the same.

Samuel Ole Seme set aside two hectares for farming. He feeds his five dairy cows on good quality pasture grasses. He says, “I now have exotic dairy cows which give me 20 litres of milk in the morning and ten litres in the evening. That’s one cow!”

Mr. Seme also has a mixed herd of indigenous and improved Sahiwal cows which he raises for meat. He sells the meat to pay his children’s school fees.

As they learn to blend their traditional ways with new practices, the local Maasai can now look forward to a more secure future.

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Tanzania: Radio’s young, aspiring reporters (by Adam Bemma, for Farm Radio Weekly)

Daudi Frank enters Radio 5’s Arusha studios wearing a baggy turtleneck sweater. His trousers are stained with dirt, his plastic sandals caked with mud. The sixteen-year-old squeezes in his thin frame beside other young people from the youth outreach group Mkombozi [Saviour].

Linus Kilembu is the host of the radio program Mlango wa watoto [Children’s door]. He welcomes kids on his program every week. Mr. Kilembu asks Daudi how he copes with living on the streets of Arusha.

Daudi replies, “It’s cold at night sleeping on the stairs at [the] football stadium. But when I wake up in the morning, I listen to the radio and it makes me happy.”

Daudi has lived on the streets for the last five years. His father passed away when Daudi was nine, and his grandmother could not support him. He had no money for school fees, so was forced to leave school. Now, he makes his way every morning to Soku kuu, the city’s central market, where he earns a handful of shillings by selling plastic bags and bars of soap.

Daudi says: “I want to learn, so when Mkombozi workers approached me on the street, I joined the mobile school. Then they asked me to speak on the radio. I think I have a talent for broadcasting.”

Leah Kimaro is the program coordinator at Mkombozi, a group that reaches out to youth living on the streets. She recognized that Daudi had confidence in his own expression. So Ms. Kimaro asked him to join Mtandao wa wanahabari watoto Tanzania [Young Reporters Network of Tanzania]. The network was founded by the UN Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, and the South African-based Children’s Radio Foundation. It aims to equip youth across the country with media skills.

Ms. Kimaro says, “Daudi is a special kid. He’s the only one who has lasted up to now in our radio program. Others have dropped out, but he’s continuing.”

The Young Reporters Network empowers youth to make real change in society. With a regular time slot every week on radio stations across the country, young people can on their views on issues like child labour, abuse, and access to education.

Shaban Maganga organizes weekly radio and television programs in Mwanza, a city on the shores of Lake Victoria. Sayari ya watoto [Children’s Planet] airs on Metro FM, while Baraza la watoto [Junior Council] is broadcast on Barmedas TV. The shows are aimed at disadvantaged eight- to sixteen-year-olds.

Mr. Maganga says, “The kids do everything themselves. They record interviews, prepare scripts and edit audio. Then they go live on air and present the program.”

Mr. Maganga is the executive director of Mwanza Youth and Children’s Network, or MYCN. MYCN teamed up with UNICEF to use radio to get young people’s messages to the public, key decision-makers and the government.

UNICEF estimates that radio reaches about 70 per cent of Tanzania’s population. But young people seldom get the opportunity to speak out about their issues, concerns, experiences and interests in a way that engages the general public. According to UNICEF, “The Young Reporters Network gives them that rare opportunity.”

Both Mkombozi and MYCN are running into funding problems as they try to keep the radio shows on the air. Ms. Kimaro says their funding ran out last year, while Mr. Maganga sees a challenge keeping the program going beyond May 2014.

Daudi says: “I hope to go back into the studio soon. I’m interested in kids’ programs because I feel they speak to me as a youth. I admire Linus and wish I could be a radio presenter like him one day.”

For more information, please go to: http://www.unicef.org/tanzania/11436.html

To listen to the young reporters’ programs, visit: https://soundcloud.com/groups/young-reporters-network-wanahabari-watoto

To watch a video about the work that UNICEF does with the Mwanza Youth and Children’s Network, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeFZlaprQPk

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FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-World Bank: Gender gap holds back women farmers in Africa

A new report by the World Bank looks at the role of women in agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa.

The report, Levelling the field: Improving opportunities for women farmers in Africa, examines the status of women farmers in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Niger, Ethiopia and Malawi. Looking at the inequality in crop production between men and women farmers, the report states that women face a “pervasive inequality” which must be addressed to boost food security and economic growth while reducing poverty.

The report states that, though half of agricultural workers in Africa are women, agriculture in Africa has “deep-rooted gender gaps.” World Bank Africa Region Vice President Makhtar Diop stated that strengthening land rights and ensuring equal access to inputs and resources is the only way to address this imbalance.

To read the full story, go to: http://www.newbusinessethiopia.com/index.php/buss/99-agribusiness/699-gender-gap-holds-back-women-farmers-in-africa

2-Ethiopia: Influx of refugees from conflict in South Sudan

Gambella is one of the poorest regions in Ethiopia. Since the conflict in South Sudan started last December, 76,000 refugees have arrived in this part of a country already known for food insecurity.

The UN’s High Commission for Refugees, or UNHCR, is expecting more than 150,000 people to cross the border from South Sudan, fleeing the violence in that country. South Sudanese refugees are also migrating to Uganda and Kenya, and north to Sudan. The situation is making humanitarian relief very difficult.

According to UNHCR, 95 per cent of those seeking refuge are women and children, while boys are being forced to join a side of the conflict. While the governments of Ethiopia and Gambella region say borders will remain open and those fleeing violence will not be turned away, UNHCR states that health services and malnutrition are concerns which must be addressed.

To read the full story, go to: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/mar/24/humanitarian-crisis-refugees-south-sudan-ethiopia

3-Rwanda: World Bank gives $70 million to combat poverty

The World Bank is giving Rwanda a $46 million loan and a grant of $24 million as the last instalment of a three-year aid program to fight poverty and combat natural disasters.

The number of Rwandans living in extreme poverty has dropped over the last ten years from 40 per cent to 24 per cent. Twenty years ago, the genocide claimed the lives of over 800,000 Rwandans. Since then, President Paul Kagame has opened Rwanda to foreign investment, though there are limits to political opposition and freedom of the press.

The World Bank expects Rwanda’s economy to grow by 7.5 per cent in 2014, which is in line with the government’s own projections. However, the risk of natural disasters caused by torrential rains poses a threat to the country’s economy.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140319165417-z5zc1/?source=hptop

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Call for applications: Electronic media fellowships

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession. RTDNA members include local and network news executives, news directors, producers, reporters and digital news professionals, as well as educators and students. Journalists with less than 10 years’ experience can apply for one of four fellowship opportunities.

RTDNA is offering fellowships for journalists looking to advance their careers. Each fellowship includes a cash award ranging from US$1,000 to US$2,500.

All four fellows will also be invited to the Excellence in Journalism conference in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, in September 2014.

Journalists outside the United States are encouraged to apply but must accompany their work samples with English translations if they were originally written in other languages.

The deadline to apply is May 2, 2014.

For more information, go to: http://www.rtdna.org/content/fellowship_info

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Online debate: Income generation and the sustainability of community radio

An online debate on how to generate income to make community radio financially sustainable will run from Monday, March 31, 2014 to April 10, 2014.

Participants are invited to discuss and exchange opinions and information on income generation. Group debates will be organized on LinkedIn.

The debate follows up on CAMECO’s research on participation in community and local radio operations. That research began with three online surveys on community participation. More information is available on the COMECO website at: http://www.cameco.org/english/publications/CAMECO-Practice-Series.

The moderator for the debates is community media expert Birgitte Jallov, supported by the CAMECO team. CAMECO will provide regular summaries and share central issues amongst language groups. A short concept paper is available at:  http://www.cameco.org/english/resources/Radio-and-Participation/

CAMECO invites those interested in participating to join the exchange and contribute to the debate, and encourages people to feel free to share this invitation with all interested persons and groups. The CAMECO team is looking forward to welcoming you to the LinkedIn group Sustainable Radio.

To register for the Sustainable Radio English language group, go to:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=7483966&trk=groups%2Fmost_popular-r-subgr-subgrpname&goback=%2Egmp_7483966%2Egmp_7485658

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Get involved with Earth Day!

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From Cairo to Cape Town, Dakar to Djibouti, Africans plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more — all for the environment.

Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the reality of a changing climate becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever.

Earth Day 2014 focuses on promoting sustainable communities through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, cities can be transformed and a sustainable future achieved.

Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

As the global organizer behind Earth Day, Earth Day Network creates tools and resources for everyone to get involved with Earth Day in their communities. To find these resources, visit: http://www.earthday.org/greencities/resources/

For more information on Earth Day 2014, go to: http://www.earthday.org/greencities/earth-day-2014/

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Farm Radio International trainers learn how to create ear-catching intros and promos

FRI’s in-station trainers were recently trained how to produce good intros and promos for farm radio programs.

A course called Producing ear-catching intros and promos and designing an effective farm radio program, was held March 17-21 at the Farm Radio International offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The training was designed to build the skills of FRI’s trainers and Ethiopian radio station partners. In-station trainers from Mali, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Ethiopia had the opportunity to share their experiences in this training session.

According to FRI’s Senior Consultant, Strategic Opportunities, Communications, Training and Standards, David Mowbray, such trainings encourage African partner radio stations to do things differently so that “the audience will go out of their way to listen.”

As one way of ensuring that programs are effective and relevant for farmers, FRI has developed the VOICE standards tool (V=Values farmers, O=Opportunity to participate, I=Information that is useful and accurate, C=Convenient and Consistent, E=Entertaining), which evaluates a radio program from a listener’s perspective.

According to Mr. Mowbray, if you do not enjoy making a radio program, then the listeners will probably not enjoy listening to it, and you can’t sell bad product! Radio broadcasters and producers need to produce entertaining programs. Otherwise, farmers will spin that dial to another station!

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Sekedo, a drought-resistant sorghum for Karamoja

This week’s story from Kenya shows how members of the Maasai community are changing their traditional practices to adapt to the changing climate. Our script of the week covers the same ground for a different community – farmers in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda.

The climate in Karamoja was difficult before the weather patterns started to change. Karamoja is a semi-arid savannah, with bush and mountainous areas. In the past, there were short rains during April and a longer rainy season from June to early September. But the annual rains were often sparse, or failed completely. Drought and hunger are recurrent features of life in Karamoja.

More recently, the region – and the entire country – is experiencing increased variability in rainfall patterns.

Sorghum and millet provide the bulk of the diet in the region. The Dodoth, Jie, and Karimojong people have adapted to the often harsh environment by concentrating much of their efforts on the welfare of their livestock.

This script shows how one farmer in Karamoja profited from growing a new and improved quick-maturing type of sorghum called Sekedo. Growing Sekedo may help Karamoja farmers adapt to the shorter rainy season.


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Healthy! Staples, vegetables and insurance

Welcome to Farm Radio Weekly issue #284. We hope this email finds you happy and healthy!

FRW brings you three stories from our correspondents in Africa: farmers adopting improved varieties of traditional crops in Kenya, Rwandan women digging up their flower beds to grow vegetables for their families, and Zimbabwean small-scale farmers discovering the benefits of crop and livestock insurance.

By planting improved local varieties of traditional crops, Kenyan farmers are improving their yields and feeding their families better than before.

The Rwandan government has promoted family farming for many years, but recently Rwandan women are replacing their flower gardens and renovating unused backyards to provide fresh and tasty vegetables for their tables.

In Zimbabwe, severe droughts have led to crop failures and deaths of livestock. Now farmers are being offered insurance policies that protect their investments should the rains fail.

In honour of World Health Day 2014, our resource section includes links to information which you can use to highlight the damage done to your communities by disease-carrying organisms.

To keep the body in good health is a duty … otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.

-the Farm Radio Weekly team

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Kenya: Improved local varieties boost food security (by Sawa Pius, for Farm Radio Weekly)

Joseph Nzila’s family has struggled for many years to grow enough food. The family of fifteen relied on just maize and a poor variety of beans, and their one hectare yielded just one bag of maize.

The 67-year-old farmer explains: “I have six children and eight grandchildren. I was having a problem paying school fees as well as feeding them.”

Terezia Nzila is Joseph’s wife. In days past, she worked on other farms in exchange for food to feed her family.

But life is different now at the Nzila home in the Kee division of Makueni County. Mr. Nzila now harvests several bags of maize, beans and cowpeas every year. The increased yields are courtesy of a project that began in 2011, when the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute, or KARI, distributed improved local varieties to farmers in the Watema Fruits Farming Self Help Group.

As part of a research project KARI runs with Canada’s McGill University, Mr. Nzila and other farmers were taught how to intercrop the improved varieties to increase yields.

Mr. Nzila bought improved seeds for green grams, cowpeas, beans and maize from KARI. The seeds tolerate the harsh semi-arid weather, maturing quickly on little rain.

Mr. Nzila says that, since the project began, he has harvested two bags of cowpeas, four bags of beans and four bags of maize per year.

In the Katangi Division of Machakos County, another group of farmers is growing improved varieties of pigeon peas, cassava, sweet potatoes, beans and other crops.

Josephat Mbete is one of the 23 farmers in the Menkukya Self Help Group. He says, “We used to [only] plant maize, but it would just dry up when rain disappeared.”

As part of the KARI-McGill research project, Mr. Mbete now intercrops maize with an improved pigeon pea variety. The new variety does well in sandy soil because it doesn’t need much water.

Mr. Mbete says, “The variety is big and heavy compared to the ordinary one, and the insects don’t like it. It is good when cooked with cassava, and in one year we harvest twice.”

Farmers who plant the improved varieties and learned to intercrop are now harvesting enough food. The improved varieties mature quickly, are resistant to drought, and yield better than the maize which had been the farmers’ only crop.

Back in Makueni County, farmers are now teaching each other how to intercrop. Lucy Makanza is Joseph Nzila’s neighbour and has learned the technique from him. Mr. Nzila also helped her acquire the improved varieties.

Mrs. Makanza says: “You can see by yourself how my plot looks. I have improved maize, beans and cowpeas, which I’m expecting to harvest abundantly.”

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Rwanda: Women boost family health with backyard vegetable gardens (Fulgence Niyonagize, for Farm Radio Weekly)

Beside her beautiful new house in the Kamonyi district of southern Rwanda, Dativa Mukamana has created a vegetable garden. Madame Mukamana divides her colourful garden into small plots of eggplants, tomatoes, onions and peppers. She says: “I preferred to put vegetables in the garden because the space seemed very big and I saw no interest in all of the flowers which, apart from their beauty, do not bring anything to the family.”

Madame Mukamana, originally from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, had always dreamed of having a vegetable garden. She recalls, “Our townhouse didn’t have very much space around it, and whenever I bought vegetables at the market, I doubted their quality because they looked dirty.”

Since she started the garden, she eats fresh vegetables unlike those sold at the market, which are often wilted by the sun.

The garden has inspired her neighbours. Madame Umuhire Bénitha now harvests vegetables from her backyard, which had been left to grow wild.

Madame Umuhire says, “This seemingly small plot is big, considering how much I can harvest.” For the last six months, she has harvested tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, and spinach from her own garden. She buys vegetables from the market only when absolutely necessary.

Another local family recently planted their garden with vegetables. They too have reduced their food bills. Buying vegetables for lunch and dinner every day costs a lot of money. Before these families established their gardens, they spent more than 15,000 Rwandan francs [$22 US] each month. Not only are they now saving that money, the vegetable gardens save their children the time spent travelling to and from the market.

Having a vegetable garden means you are sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the harvest. The women give some of their vegetables to neighbours and friends, and also sell their surplus. [The first lady] says, “Recently I had an abundance of peppers and I sold them at the market. This meant that I could buy other needs without asking anything of my husband.”

Since 2006, the Rwandan government has encouraged Rwandans to set up kitchen gardens to address the malnutrition common in many families, and especially in children. Many families established kitchen gardens under pressure from the authorities, but have since scaled back their efforts or given up completely.

Christine Nyirandayisabye is the Executive Secretary of Runda village, a few kilometres west of Kigali. She says: “We encourage the people in our village to at least grow food in the kitchen garden at home [and] to maintain [the garden] for their own good and not to please the authorities.”

Christine Mukambugo agrees. Madame Mukambugo is a nutritionist who says a well-maintained kitchen garden can provide a balanced diet. She explains freshly harvested vegetables have increased flavour and nutritional quality. The vegetables are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, which promotes growth and resistance to disease, vitamin C, which helps in bone formation, and vitamins E and F, which are important to bodily growth. Madame Mukambugo says that eating fresh vegetables means that families can “say goodbye to malnutrition in the family.”

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Zimbabwe: Insurance against unpredictable weather creates security for livestock and crop farmers (by Nqobani Ndlovu, for Farm Radio Weekly)

Fortune Dliwayo wishes he could forget the year 2010. Mr. Dliwayo is a livestock farmer in Guyu, in the province of Matabeleland South, a part of Zimbabwe known for cattle ranching. In the nightmare year of 2010, he lost 25 of his 36 cattle to drought.

Cattle farming in this area is largely dependent on rain-fed pasture lands. But the poor rains in 2010 dried up grasslands and water sources. More than 9,000 cattle died due to drought in Matebeland South.

The drought forced Mr. Dliwayo to embrace crop and livestock insurance. He explains: “I was never for the idea of paying monthly premiums, but the 2010 drought forced me to do so. I can now make claims and be refunded to restock whenever my cattle die for whatever reason.”

His livestock policy covers losses resulting from fires, lightning, diseases, accidents, explosion and electrocution. Mr. Dliwayo is one of the many small-scale farmers who have bought policies to protect against crop failures and livestock deaths.

Insurance companies charge farmers between $50 and $500 per month. Mr. Dliwayo pays $70 per month for his policy.

Noreen Mukombwe is a farmer from Umguza in Matabeleland North province. An agricultural extension worker encouraged her to insure her crops.

She notes, “I was reluctant to join these policies, [but] ever since I started insuring my crops, it has been worth it − especially with unpredictable weather patterns like poor rains.”

Her policy covers losses caused by fire, lightning and flooding in planted crops such as maize. Ms. Mukombwe says she does not pay premiums all year round; she pays only for the time period for which she is covered − from planting till her crops are delivered to the buyers.

Berean Mukwende is the Vice President of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, or ZFU. He says the organization encourages farmers to insure their crops and livestock, and that insurance cannot be ignored by any serious farmer.

Mr. Mukwende says: “[Insurance] creates a sense of security for any farmer when they face challenges. Farming cannot survive where there is no funding, and insurance cover is one source of funding needed for the sector.”

Mr. Mukwende says ZFU knows that farmers need a lot of education on the benefits of crop and livestock insurance. He says ZFU has no statistics on the number of small-scale farmers who are now insuring their crops and livestock.

Econet is Zimbabwe’s largest provider of mobile telecommunications. Late last year, the company also introduced crop and livestock insurance. Under their scheme, farmers get coverage for as little as eight US cents per day, which is deducted from their prepaid phone account during the farming season.

If there is no rain, registered farmers are given up to US$100 for every 10 kilograms of seed they planted.

Mr. Dliwayo hopes he will be able to build up his business and enter the export trade. He says: “I am encouraged by the fact that, despite the risks associated with livestock farming like cattle dying …  I can always be assisted to restock when the unexpected happens, and achieve my dream.”

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FRW news in brief

Farm Radio Weekly has a new trial resource for you: Farmer news briefs. These are stories from across the continent which have been adapted from print or online sources and are suitable for use in your regular farm radio program. Read them, edit them, broadcast them, localize them, or simply use them as background info. Want more details? Click the link under the story to see the original article.

Please let us know what you think. Do you want to see Farmer news briefs in Farm Radio Weekly on a regular basis? Email us at farmradioweekly@farmradio.org

1-Zambia: Fighting to save local radio

The government of Zambia has threatened to revoke the broadcasting licence of Radio Mano in Kasama, in the country’s Northern Province.

Information Minister Mwansa Kapeya stated that the radio station is not observing good broadcasting ethics and is airing programs which create public discontent. Mr. Kapeya is pledging to review the government’s media policy and offer grants to community radio stations.

The grants are designed to help stations sustain their operations as most community radio stations are staffed by volunteers. There are more than 70 radio stations across Zambia, with that number continually increasing. The government has also set aside 8.3 million Zambian Kwacha [$20,000 US] to install FM transmitters to enhance radio reception countrywide.

The UN Educational and Scientific Organization, or UNESCO, has also provided some financial assistance to radio stations in rural areas.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.zambian-economist.com/2014/03/funding-local-radio.html There is further information here: http://lusakavoice.com/2014/03/01/govt-warns-radio-mano-of-de-registration/

2-Mozambique: Program lends a helping hand to agricultural development

Small-scale farmers in Mozambique are receiving aid and technical support from the US and Brazil through a program called Mozambique Food and Nutrition Security Program.

The program was created in 2012 with the help of the Mozambique Institute of Agricultural Research, or IIAM, and is designed to expand fruit and vegetable production and distribution throughout the country. According to IIAM, fruit and vegetable growing is key to generating employment and income for small-scale farmers, as produce represents 20 per cent of family expenditures.

South Africa is the largest supplier of fruit and vegetables to southern Mozambique. IIAM figures show that, prior to 2010, nearly all the onions, 65 per cent of tomatoes and 57 per cent of cabbages consumed in the cities of Maputo and Matola came from South Africa.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/brazilian-innovation-financed-mozambican-agriculture/

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Call for applications: Scholarship to investigative journalism conference in Canada

Global Integrity is an international NGO with offices in the US and South Africa. The organization champions transparent and accountable government by producing innovative research and technologies that inform, connect, and empower civic, private, and public reformers who seek more open societies.

Global Integrity is offering a scholarship for an African journalist (based in Africa) to attend an international investigative journalism conference Holding Power to Account from June 13-15, 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information on the conference, organized by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the University of Winnipeg, go to: http://winnipeg2014.com/.

The scholarship covers the flight from the reporter’s home country in Africa to the conference, plus hotel and a per diem to cover meals and transportation.

If the journalist needs a visa to visit Canada, Global Integrity and the conference organizers will provide a supporting letter. However, if the visa is denied for any reason or the chosen journalist has not requested it within one week being notified of their selection, the scholarship will be offered to another reporter.

For more information, see: http://www.globalintegrity.org/posts/scholarship-to-upcoming-investigative-journalism-conference-in-canada/.

To apply, fill out the form at this address: https://www.globalintegrity.org/job/general/. Applicants must explain in no more than 4-5 paragraphs how participating in the conference could make a difference in their journalism career or enable the reporting of a story they are working on, or wish to work on.

Applications must be received by April 13, 2014 to be considered.

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Enemies of the Internet 2014: An online resource for journalists concerned about freedom of speech

To highlight World Day Against Cyber Censorship, held March 12, 2014, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) released a report entitled Enemies of the Internet 2014.

The report spotlights government units that coordinate Internet surveillance and censorship. It is government bodies like these, little known but often at the heart of surveillance and censorship systems, that RWB brings into focus in this year’s report.

You can access the report at this address: http://12mars.rsf.org/wp-content/uploads/EN_RAPPORT_INTERNET_BD.pdf

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World Health Day: Protect yourself from vector-borne diseases

In 1948, WHO held the First World Health Assembly. The Assembly decided to mark April 7, starting in 1950, as World Health Day. World Health Day celebrates the founding of WHO, and is an opportunity for the organization to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health.

Each year, the Day focuses on a different threat to human health and longevity, and this year’s theme is Protect yourself from vector-borne diseases.

More than half the world’s population is at risk from vector-borne diseases (those transmitted to humans by insects and other small organisms) such as malaria and dengue. But we can protect ourselves and our families by taking simple preventive measures, including vaccination.

Small insects, such as mosquitoes, sandflies and ticks, and some aquatic snails are responsible for a number of deadly and debilitating human diseases.

Go to the World Health Organization’s website to find resources and events on this year’s World Health Day: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2014/en/

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Redio kwa wakulima kila wiki!: Farm Radio Weekly stories now available in Swahili on Barza!

Farm Radio International is pleased to announce that an archive of recent FRW stories has been translated into Swahili, and is now available on Barza.

To access the archive, simply go to the Barza site (www.barza.fm). You can browse the Swahili FRW stories here:http://barza.fm/sw/category/farm-radio-weekly-swahili/

If you are not currently registered for FRI’s online social networking site, we encourage you to complete the free and easy sign-up on the Barza home page.

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Grow food cheaply by the roadside

This week’s story from Rwanda profiles women who are creating large backyard vegetable gardens to feed their families and make money from the surplus.

But what if you live in a city and don’t have any land? How can you grow food? All around you there are only houses and buildings, roads and traffic.

But take another look at those roads. Is there land beside them? Often there is. And often nobody is using it. Why not grow food beside a road? You can earn money and feed your family better by farming roadsides and public rights-of-way.

Many people who live in cities across the world grow food or graze animals on strips of land beside roads or canals. They also use public utility rights-of-way such as the land around a power line or railway tracks. This kind of urban agriculture is called roadside or right-of-way farming.

In Nairobi, Kenya, many of the roads between the centre and the outskirts of the city have crops along their edges. If you were to drive or walk along these roads, you would also see cattle grazing.

Our script of the week gives some instructions on growing crops on the roadside and rights-of-way. It includes sections on how to protect crops from theft, how to get water for your roadside or right-of-way crops, and how to protect your crops from airborne lead.


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Sweet potatoes and sweet savings

Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of Farm Radio Weekly. In issue #283, there are stories frrom Zimbabwe on sweet potatoes, from Ghana on the benefits of co-operative savings schemes and from Liberia about an outbreak of Ebola.

City dwellers in Zimbabwe are growing the food for their tables to counter rises in the price of bread and maize flour. They are turning to a popular rural staple − sweet potatoes!

Dunwaa Soayare’s life changed for the better after she joined a local women’s savings group. By taking small loans, the widow is protecting herself and her family from crop failure and investing in the future.

An outbreak of Ebola in Liberia is worrying local farmers. Many are thinking about abandoning their farmlands to protect their families.

In our resource section, Farm Radio Weekly offers you a French-language guide on how to represent women in the media, and presents an interactive English-language guide to women’s rights across the globe.

-the Farm Radio Weekly team

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