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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

Farm Radio International shares favourite stories from the first 99 editions of FRW

In keeping with the theme of this week’s edition, this section is devoted to the favourite stories of people involved in the creation and production of FRW. Doug Ward and Kevin Perkins provided the leadership that got Farm Radio Weekly started. Heather Miller and Nelly Bassily prepare, revise, translate, and publish the news stories and resources for each edition. And Blythe McKay and Vijay Cuddeford provide support in news story selection and editing.

Doug Ward, Chair of the Board

-“Africa: Locusts destroy crops and pastures in Kenya, threaten farm lands in Sudan” (Various UN Sources)
FRW #1, December 3, 2007

No question about my favourite Farm Radio Weekly story. Why? Because it is the first story in the first issue of Farm Radio Weekly!

Farm Radio International has provided important stories for farm broadcasters for three decades. But the script packages, as they are called, only go out three or four time a year.

I’m an ex-broadcaster. I wanted program ideas every week not just every three months! And when we talked to African farm broadcasters, we found out that was what they wanted too.

And so we designed Farm Radio Weekly, and begged and borrowed money to do a test run. And then we asked some African broadcasters to try it. They had ideas to make it better, but most of all, they said to tell everyone and get started. And so we did!

Kevin Perkins, Executive Director

-“Africa: Tiny but powerful – bees and chilies can keep elephants away from crops” (Various Sources)
FRW #1, December 3, 2007

Farm Radio Weekly has produced so many excellent stories that it is hard to select the very best.

However, one of my favourites is a story first published in December 2007 about how the recorded sound of an angry swarm of bees can chase elephants out of a farmer’s field. It is the kind of creative, simple, and effective idea that farmers in one part of Africa can discover and share with other farmers through the Weekly.

Heather Miller, Farm Radio Weekly Editor

-“Cameroon: Farmers find manure a good substitute for expensive chemical fertilizers” (by Lilianne Nyatcha, for Farm Radio Weekly, in Douala, Cameroon)
FRW# 28, July 7, 2008

The world was in the middle of what we now call the “food crisis” when Lilianne Nyatcha contacted me. She was going to visit her family, who live in an agricultural community, and wondered if we would be interested in a news story. The story that she found was a great example of farmers persevering through great challenge. High chemical fertilizer costs were preventing so many farmers from obtaining their normal yields and driving up food costs across the globe, but these farmers were willing to try an alternative, and found a solution in their own backyards.

Nelly Bassily, Research and Production Officer

-“Nigeria: Group advocates for women farmers’ rights” (by Greg Modestus, for Farm Radio Weekly, in Nigeria)
FRW# 17, April 7, 2008

I like this story because it looks at the importance of empowering women farmers in their quest to obtain equal land rights to men. Land is precious for women farmers. This story illustrates that when women farmers band together, not only do they make their land rights and other rights a reality, they support each other and find constructive ways of bettering their livelihoods.

Blythe McKay, Development Communication Coordinator

-“Uganda: Turning trash into treasure” (by Sawa Pius, for Farm Radio Weekly, in Kampala)
FRW# 58, March 16, 2009

I like this story for several reasons. It is written by one of our stringers, and it demonstrates a local innovation that not only provides additional income for people producing compost, but also helps address a sanitation problem. And the compost can be used to increase crop production!

Vijay Cuddeford, Managing Editor

-“East Africa: Indigenous vegetables make a comeback” (New Vision, New Agriculturalist)
FRW# 22, May 26, 2008

I think this is a great win-win-win story. The indigenous vegetables described in this story are easy-to-grow, incredibly nutritious, earn good income for farmers, are environmentally friendly, and could even strengthen farmers’ pride in their own traditional food cultures.

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