Date Posted: April 28th, 2008
When selecting stories for FRW, we always look for those that may provide useful information, or inspiration, to a wide range of small-scale farmers. Oyster farming is a type of aquaculture practiced in special coastal environments, like Namibia’s Walvis Bay Lagoon, where salt water and fresh water mix. It is a niche crop, growing in popularity as the Namibian government promotes it as a source of local employment and an export commodity. But even more interesting than the practice itself is the response of oyster farmers to the red tide that can devastate their crops. While all farmers face the threat of varying natural disasters, some are more prepared than others. We hope that farmers in your listening audience are inspired by the proactive approach taken by Namibia’s oyster farmers.
Farm Radio International has several scripts that discuss ways farmers can prevent, mitigate, or cope with natural disasters:
-“Farmers have important knowledge about weather and environmental change – Part I – learning about local signs of drought” (Package 75, Script 5, June 2005)
-“Farmers have important knowledge about weather and environmental change – Part II –preparing for drought” (Package 75, Script 6, June 2005)
-“Communities manage watersheds together” (Package 64, Script 5, July 2002)
-“Your community group can help in times of disaster” (Package 64, Script 8, July 2002)
-“Disaster prevention, mitigation, and recovery: story ideas for the radio” (Package 64, Script 10, July 2002)
-“A local farmer predicts floods” (Package 60, Script 3, July 2001):
You can encourage dialogue on disaster preparedness by producing a radio show that discusses a recent disaster in your area, or a type of disaster that threatens your area periodically:
-Invite a panel of experts, such as farmers, extension workers, and representatives from NGOs that specialize in emergency preparedness, to discuss the disaster or threat on the air. Ask about the vulnerability of crops and livestock to these disasters, and the ways that farmers can reduce vulnerability. Discuss steps to stay safe and protect livelihoods in times of emergency. If possible, highlight the success of a farmer or group of farmers in preventing loss during a natural disaster.
-Invite your audience to call or text-in to interact with the panel. Ask them to share their experiences with the disaster or threat, and its impact on their farms. Invite them to discuss methods they have used to protect their farms, or query the panel about how they could prepare for future emergencies. Be sure to ask panelists and callers for details on specific proactive measures farmers can take.