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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 ‘sounds-off’!

Farm Radio International is piloting a new participatory information tool in Tanzania. The partner radio stations – Abood FM, Bomba FM and Baraka FM – are in the southern regions of Morogoro and Mbeya.

The new tool, called “Sound-off,” collects information on Internet-enabled mobile phones. Using the Mobenzi research application, farmers can give instant feedback after listening to agricultural radio programmes. “Sound-off” will be used in the future to monitor and adjust radio campaigns which are based on agricultural issues.

Extension officers can use “Sound-off” to collect farmers’ opinions every week. The “Sound-off” tool uses questions based on the “VOICE” standards (Value, Opportunity, Information, Convenience and Entertainment) to rate the quality, content and delivery of the weekly farmer programs broadcast by local community radio stations. Once the opinions are collected and collated via the Internet, an individual report is sent to each participating station. The stations can use these reports to modify and improve future programming.

Feedback collected in this fashion shows farmers’ overall satisfaction with agricultural programming on their local station. The information collected by “Sound-off” can also demonstrate how much knowledge farmers pick up from the programs, and whether they are putting that knowledge into practice.

Farm Radio International will be seeking to scale-up the use of “Sound-off” in radio stations across Africa. More information will be available once the pilot is completed, through Farm Radio Weekly and at FRI’s website, www.farmradio.org

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