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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.

Past Issues

Community responses to HIV and AIDS

Our script of the week highlights community-based approaches to coping with the impact of HIV and AIDS.

One of the impacts of HIV and AIDS is that uninfected people must shoulder an increased workload. Africans have established a wide range of social support activities to deal with this issue. Sometimes these activities are initiated by the community itself, and sometimes they are started and/or supported by governments, NGOs or religious institutions. The wide range of strategies includes:

  • loans and savings clubs
  • shared child care
  • labour-saving clubs
  • funeral funds/burial societies
  • social support groups
  • community grain banks

Coping strategies that are developed locally are often the most practical and least expensive to implement. Broadcasters have an opportunity to promote and support local coping strategies by featuring them in radio programs.

This script features two hosts discussing a variety of approaches to the labour shortages that often result from HIV and AIDS. Please see the end of the script for descriptions of some of the coping strategies mentioned in the script.

http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-73-hivaids-and-food-security/community-responses-to-hivaids/

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How to establish and manage successful radio listening groups

Our script of the week is from our latest Resource Pack, #99.

It is a broadcaster-how-to document which presents a tried and true method of establishing and managing radio listening groups, based on many years of experience in Zambia. The document is designed as a guide to forming and maintaining radio listening groups rather than a strict “blueprint” to follow, regardless of the situation. The basic principles of establishing and managing radio listening groups are well-established and do not vary greatly.

The document touches on the disadvantages of traditional radio listening, the advantages of listening to the radio in listener groups, ways of organizing listening groups, training listening groups, supporting listening groups, and monitoring and evaluating the success of radio listening groups.

http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/pakage-99-cassava-the-post-harvest-value-chain/how-to-establish-and-manage-successful-radio-listening-groups/

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African Press Organization press releases − direct to your inbox

Have you ever found it difficult to keep up with a breaking story, or understand the underlying history of a news event? Do you need to source up-to-date and archived information, along with quotes and pictures?

The African Press Organization provides free content for journalists and ensures that news is delivered promptly to the African press. APO owns the largest archive of Africa-related news releases.

The African News Source, or APO-Source, is an online database of Africa-related news releases. It offers free access to tens of thousands of news releases categorized by country, industry and subject. Journalists can run searches by keyword, date, country, industry, subject, or company name. The database can be accessed through this link: http://appablog.wordpress.com/.

APO also runs a mailing list, and you can sign up for free. It distributes information, as it is released, about countries, topics, and institutions of interest via email. Most press releases come with verifiable links but, as always, check your sources!

To sign up for the mailing list, go to http://www.apo-opa.com/subscribe_form.php and fill out the form indicating your preferences. Then just click Subscribe.

For more information, go to: http://www.apo-opa.com/for_journalists.php?L=E

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Improved cookstoves make life easier for women

This week’s story from Uganda highlights a farmer who makes a good income from designing and selling fuel-efficient cookstoves.

Improved cookstoves are especially valuable to women because women are often in charge of cooking in the home. If there is HIV and AIDS in the house and community, women’s work increases in many ways. If their husbands die, women must take on additional farm work. Many women are also responsible for orphans or other family members who have been left homeless. Women also care for people living with HIV at home. There are always funerals and community events to plan and attend – and all of these take time.

These short radio spots show that, if women replace their cooking fire or three-stone stove with a more efficient cookstove that burns less fuel, they will not have to spend as much time collecting firewood. More efficient cookstoves mean less work for women.

Improved cookstoves can be made of clay, dried mud, or metal. They may burn firewood, dung, charcoal, or coal. In some African countries, cookstoves are made and sold by women’s collectives. Certain types of stoves are popular in some countries, including Kenya Ceramic Jiko, Kuni Mbili and Upesi cookstoves.

Before you play these spots, you may want to find out which kinds of cookstoves are available in your area, where they are sold, and the price. Then you can incorporate that information into each spot.

http://www.farmradio.org/archived-radio-scripts/?rscript=73-2script_en

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A friend in need is a friend indeed

This week’s story from Malawi talks about using Mandela cocks to dry groundnuts in the field. In October 2013, FRI distributed a series of scripts on groundnut production, including A friend in need is a friend indeed.

A friend in need is a friend indeed is a four-episode drama that includes a fictional interview with an agricultural scientist after each episode. The drama and the interviews focus on farming practices that reduce aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts. Aflatoxin is a toxic, highly carcinogenic substance that is produced by microscopic organisms called fungi (named “germs” in the drama). The fungi infect groundnuts, as well as maize and other crops, and cause the foods to rot. The fungi produce aflatoxin as part of the infection process.

The drama highlights the steps farmers can take to prevent aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts. The first episode concentrates on finding aflatoxin-free groundnuts to plant. Later episodes focus on ways to prevent aflatoxin contamination in the field and post-harvest, including using Mandela cocks.

Episode 1: http://barza.fm/radio-resource-packs/package-97-growing-groundnuts/a-friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed-keeping-your-groundnuts-free-from-aflatoxin-contamination-part-i-charity-begins-at-home/

Episode 2: http://barza.fm/radio-resource-packs/package-97-growing-groundnuts/a-friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed-keeping-your-groundnuts-free-from-aflatoxin-contamination-part-2-dodging-a-blow-depends-on-whether-you-see-the-blow-coming-quickly-enough/

Episode 3: http://barza.fm/radio-resource-packs/package-97-growing-groundnuts/a-friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed-keeping-your-groundnuts-free-from-aflatoxin-contamination-part-3-a-good-thing-does-not-come-without-labour/

Episode 4: http://barza.fm/radio-resource-packs/package-97-growing-groundnuts/a-friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed-keeping-your-groundnuts-free-from-aflatoxin-contamination-part-4-when-its-yours-you-are-free-to-open-and-see-it-any-time-you-want/

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How to find useful and reliable information about farming on the Internet

The huge amount of information now available on the Internet is creating new opportunities to find specific and reliable information. But it has also brought new challenges.

How can a broadcaster avoid getting lost in such an enormous volume of information? How can broadcasters ensure the reliability of the information they find? What websites regularly publish reliable information on farming-related topics? How can broadcasters rewrite this information in language that is understandable by farming audiences? And what can broadcasters do about conflicting information?

This guide is divided into five parts. Part one briefly describes strategies for finding, organizing and sharing information or “content” on the Internet.

Part two suggests some methods to help you ensure that the information you find on the Internet is reliable.

Part three provides a list of organizations and websites that are known to provide reliable information.

Part four offers advice on how to deal with conflicting information.

The guide closes by offering practical advice on how to translate technical farming language into words and phrases that are understandable by farmer audiences.

Click here to download the file as a Word document.

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FRW news in brief

1-Kenya: President Kenyatta to step down while appearing before ICC

Uhuru Kenyatta will temporarily step down as president of Kenya during his hearing at the international criminal court.

The African Union passed a resolution granting immunity from international tribunals for sitting presidents. But Mr. Kenyatta said he would invoke a hitherto unused article of the Kenyan constitution that allows the deputy president, William Ruto, to temporarily become president.

Mr. Kenyatta faces charges of crimes against humanity. It is alleged that he helped instigate violence that followed Kenya’s December 2007 presidential election, when more than a 1,000 people were killed. Mr. Kenyatta maintains that he is innocent of all charges.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/06/kenyan-president-uhuru-kenyatta-attend-international-criminal-court

2-Uganda: Farmers uproot cassava in fear of floods

Persistent rains have caused flooding in the Alebtong District of central Uganda, washing away crops. Farmers have begun uprooting their cassava, fearing it might rot in the ground.

The chairperson of the Alebtong District disaster preparedness committee, Mr. Richard Alioka, said the district might be hit with food shortages.

Residents are also worried about diseases, especially cholera, as several streams and wells have been contaminated.

Bishop Tom Ibrahim Okello, the president of the Uganda Red Cross Society, said people should not sit back but plant new gardens. The Society has been distributing relief items, including blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, cups and bars of soap.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Residents-uproot-cassava-in-fear-of-floods/-/688334/2453470/-/f3fyxp/-/index.html

3-Cameroon: Dire conditions for Nigerian refugees

Thousands of Nigerians who fled Boko Haram attacks are crowded into the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon’s Far North Region. According to relief agencies, they are living in increasingly squalid conditions and at risk of contracting measles and other diseases.

The UN Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, says the population of the camp has risen from 6,000 to 15,000 over the past four weeks, and services are severely strained.

Camp manager, Muhamat Alhidi, says, “The population has reached a level where more urgent actions need to be taken to build more tents and provide sanitation facilities such as toilets and new wells.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/report/100689/dire-conditions-for-nigerian-refugees-in-cameroon

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Ebola: Key facts

The World Health Organization has published several pages of information about the Ebola virus on its website, including measures to prevent its spread. This information can be used to prepare programs to raise awareness among your listeners.

The underlying message is this: the risk of Ebola transmission is low. Infection requires direct, physical contact with the bodily fluids (vomit, feces, urine, blood, semen, etc.) of people who are infected with Ebola.

To protect yourself, your family, and your community from Ebola, go immediately to the nearest health facility if you develop symptoms of Ebola. These include high fever, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and heavy or uncontrollable bleeding. Isolation and professional treatment increase a person’s chance of survival.

A fact sheet is available here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

Advice concerning hand washing, what to do if you are travelling, and food safety is available at this address: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/what-you-need-to-know/en/

There are several up-to-date information resources on this page: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/en/

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Sekedo, a drought-resistant sorghum for Karamoja

This week’s story from Kenya talks about women who are planting sunflowers to lure birds away from their sorghum. Our script of the week talks about another group of farmers who changed their sorghum-growing practices ― by planting a new drought-resistant variety.

The region of Karamoja in northeastern Uganda is a semi-arid savannah. It has an unreliable rainy season, which appears to be getting more unpredictable as the climate changes. Drought and hunger are recurrent features of life in Karamoja. Most farmers rely on livestock, while sorghum and millet are the main staple crops.

This script features a farmer in Karamoja who grows a new, quick-maturing sorghum variety called Sekedo. Planting Sekedo may help farmers in Karamoja adapt to the shorter and more unreliable rainy season.

http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-84/sekedo-a-drought-resistant-sorghum-for-karamoja/

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It’s better to sell together: The benefits of collective marketing

This week’s story from Malawi introduces a woman who has done well as a cassava farmer. Our script of the week profiles Tanzanian farmers – and processors – who have benefited from group marketing of cassava.

In Tanzania, cassava has undergone a personality change of late. Cassava was considered a subsistence food, and a food strongly associated with a particular culture and particular customs.

But now, cassava is ubiquitous. You can find cassava flour, raw cassava tubers and fried cassava snacks everywhere ― in markets, on the roadside, in supermarkets, and in the hands of female vendors in traffic jams.

This script looks at the cassava value chain, the challenges of positioning cassava in the marketplace, and how collective marketing is helping both cassava producers and cassava processors.

http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/pakage-99-cassava-the-post-harvest-value-chain/its-better-to-sell-together-the-benefits-of-collective-marketing/

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Rebuilding lives

Welcome to Farm Radio Weekly. Issue #306 highlights stories from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo about rebuilding after conflict has shattered lives. We also present a story from Côte d’Ivoire about prisoners learning farming skills in prison.

Micheline Kavuo was forced to flee her farm and live a city life when hostilities broke out in northeastern DRC. But now that the Congolese army have repulsed the rebels and the authorities are making the countryside safer, she and her brother are starting to farm again.

Facing Justice was a biweekly radio program which aired on stations across northern Uganda. During its four-year lifetime, the program helped rebuild a community fractured by two decades of war. Now, its successor is carrying the torch of peace and reconciliation.

Prison life can be dark, depressing and dangerous. But it can also provide an environment where offenders are rehabilitated and learn valuable skills. A prison farm in Côte d’Ivoire is offering inmates a chance to escape overcrowded cells, eat better, and prepare for life on the outside.

October 2, 2014, is the International Day of Non-violence. The Day promotes using non-violence during protests and when demonstrating against injustice. Will your station organize a feature show on the Day? Follow the hyperlink for more information and resources.

The Ebola outbreak is still affecting communities across West Africa. Unfortunately, there has also been an outbreak of cholera in Ghana. Our Action section below features a script which can be used as a public service announcement. Please use it if cholera threatens people in your broadcast area.

Have a great week, and keep broadcasting!

-the Farm Radio Weekly Team

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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-Ethiopia: Farmer hotline heats up

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, and Ethio Telecom have launched an information hotline to provide rural, small-scale farmers with access to timely and relevant agricultural advice.

In the 12 weeks since it was launched, 300,000 farmers have made over 1.5 million calls to the service. This success underlines the demand for agricultural extension services in hard-to-reach parts of Tigray, Oromia, SNNP and Amhara regions.

The free telephone hotline provides pre-recorded information on land preparation, planting, crop protection, post-harvest activities, fertilizer application, processing, irrigation and weather. An SMS alert system notifies farmers and government extension agents about other agricultural issues.

To read the full article, go to: http://allafrica.com/stories/201409181595.html

2-Nigeria: Soap operas tackle serious issues

Television soap operas have long been popular in Nigeria. But one of the longest running soaps is broadcast on the radio.

Story, Story: Voices from the Market is a drama recorded in real locations rather than a radio studio. A recent episode dealt with the Ebola outbreak. One of the characters fell ill with the virus after returning to Nigeria, providing a platform to air critical information on the virus.

The program’s producers believe radio soap operas like Story, Story, with their millions of dedicated listeners, can help with situations like the current Ebola outbreak.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-08/its-not-just-soap-opera-its-radio-movie

3-Central African Republic: Supporting local media to end violence

The ongoing violence in the Central African Republic represents an opportunity for the media to play an important role in facilitating communication and dialogue in the country.

Radio is the most popular and accessible medium in the CAR. Under-resourced radio stations often use newspaper stories as on-air news items. But if these stories are inaccurate or misleading, the already tense situation can be further damaged.

To promote peace and national reconciliation, the Association of Journalists for Human Rights is mentoring a network of 18 community correspondents across the country. The organization provides workshops on how to sensitively cover stories on violence, and produces and distributes radio news bulletins in French and Sango to local FM and shortwave stations.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.odihpn.org/humanitarian-exchange-magazine/issue-62/supporting-local-media-in-the-central-african-republic

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Call for applications: Reporting course on governance and corruption

TrustMedia is offering a reporting course on governance and corruption. Among other subjects, participants will learn how to decipher financial documents and use investigative techniques to expose corruption.

Applicants must be working journalists or regular contributors to print, broadcast or online media organizations. They must have at least two years of professional experience and a good level of spoken and written English.

Bursaries are available for journalists from the developing world or countries in political transition who work for organizations with no resources for training. Bursaries cover air travel, accommodation and a modest living allowance.

The course runs from December 15-19, 2014, in London, England.

The application deadline is October 3, 2014.

For more information, go to: http://www.trust.org/course/?id=a05D000000PG2ApIAL

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African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms

The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms is a Pan-African initiative to promote human rights standards and principles of openness in formulating and implementing Internet policy in Africa.

According to its authors, the Declaration is intended to elaborate on the principles necessary to uphold human rights on the Internet, and to cultivate an Internet environment that can best meet Africa’s social and economic development needs and goals.

To find out more, please visit the website at: http://africaninternetrights.org/

To read the full text of the Declaration, go to: http://africaninternetrights.org/declaration/

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Radio spot on cholera

In light of the current cholera outbreak in Ghana, Farm Radio International’s Ghana office arranged for the following radio script to be distributed to many of FRI’s broadcasting partners in the country. The script touches on both the prevention and treatment of cholera. It was adapted from a piece written by Kuma Drah. Broadcasters across Africa can use this information to create their own radio spots and other pieces on cholera.

VOICE I: Do you know how you can prevent the loss of lives during an outbreak of cholera? Let’s find out more about cholera from a doctor.

VOICE 2: Cholera is a severe diarrhea-like infection that is caused by eating food or water contaminated by a particular kind of bacteria or germ. Cholera can kill untreated people within hours through excessive loss of fluid.

VOICE 1: How can we prevent cholera?

VOICE 2: You can prevent cholera by taking the following three steps:

First, drink only boiled or treated water and bottled or canned carbonated beverages.

Second, wash your hands often with soap and clean water.

Third, if soap and water are not available, wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand cleaner that contains at least 60% alcohol.

It’s most important to clean your hands before you eat or prepare food and after using the toilet.

You should also:

Eat foods that are packaged or that are freshly cooked and served hot.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats or seafood, or unpeeled fruits and vegetables.

Dispose of faeces in a sanitary manner to avoid contaminating water and food.

VOICE 1: Doctor, what should we do when we suspect that someone has cholera?

VOICE 2: Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediately replacing the fluid and salts lost through diarrhea. Patients are given oral rehydration solution, also called ORS. ORS is a pre-packaged mixture of sugar and salts which is mixed with water and drunk in large quantities. You can also prepare your own ORS at home if ORS packets are not available.

VOICE 1: Doctor, how do I prepare ORS at home?

VOICE 2: You need three ingredients: First, 1 litre or five 200-millilitre cups of clean water.

Second, six level teaspoons of sugar.

Third, half a level teaspoon of salt.

Stir the mixture till the sugar dissolves.

The patient should drink as much of the mixture as possible in order to replace the excessive loss of fluid.

VOICE 1: What next, Doctor?

VOICE 2: Rush the patient to a health facility. Remember that cholera is a germ usually found in water or food that has been contaminated by the faeces of a person infected with cholera. You can prevent the spread of cholera by keeping your hands, food, water and surroundings clean.

VOICE 1: Thank you very much, Doctor, for your clear and concise advice to keep our hands clean, eat and drink only food and liquids we know to be safe, prevent our faeces from contaminating water supplies, and rehydrating and seeking medical assistance as soon as possible.

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No water, no life: Corruption in a Zambian prison

Our story from Côte d’Ivoire shows a positive side to prison life. But that’s not always the case. Our script of the week looks at corruption in a Zambian prison, focusing on access to clean drinking water.

Like many Africans, a large percentage of Zambians get their drinking water from rainwater, shallow wells or unclean or contaminated water from streams. In response, governments, NGOs, donors and others have pumped funds into the water system in order to improve infrastructure, including in the prison system.

But, unfortunately, even prison systems are subject to corruption.

In this script, we see how people from different backgrounds were affected when a prison commissioner took advantage of his position to use a borehole meant for the prison for his own private use, and what happened when he was discovered.

http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-92-water-integrity/no-water-no-life-corruption-in-a-zambian-prison/

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Tanzania: ‘Blast fishing’ destroying marine habitats (BBC)

Along the coast of Tanzania, you can hear the dull thuds of underwater explosions. Fishers are using explosives to maximize their catch. But the rich coastal marine life is being destroyed as more and more fishers turn to illegal methods to make a profit.

Fishers light explosives and toss then overboard. The explosions generate underwater shock waves which stun fish and other marine creatures. Any fish that float to the surface are scooped up with nets and taken to the fish markets.

Experts say one blast is enough to kill everything within a 20-metre radius. But the explosions also destroy underwater coral systems, home to countless fish and other marine animals.

One worried fisherman prepares his wooden boat by the beautiful, calm waters of the Indian Ocean. His small vessel is one of the many that ply the thousands of kilometres of coastline. He says: “Blast fishing destroys the fish habitats underwater where fish reproduce. The number of fish has drastically reduced. We are not able to catch many fish like before.”

He and his colleagues have informed the police about blast fishers, but the practice continues. There is a secretive and apparently sophisticated network in place. Arrested dynamiters may be bribing officials to avoid prosecution. The fisherman says, “If they find out that you reported them they … threaten to hurl explosives on your boat, so sometimes we are scared to report them.”

Baraka Mngulwi works in the government department of Fisheries Resource Protection. His department faces a huge challenge. Mr. Mngulwi says that the punishments for blast fishing ─ up to five years in prison and a further 12 months for possession of explosives ̶ are not a deterrent. One blast can enable a catch of up to 400 kilograms of fish and a profit of $1,800 U.S. The temptation is just too great.

SmartFish is a fisheries program funded by the European Union. The program says that Tanzania is the only country in Africa which still practices large-scale blast fishing.

Michael Markovina works for SmartFish. He says that, after a series of blasts, coral reefs resemble a war-torn city. Mr. Markovina believes that blast fishing will turn Tanzania’s coastal waters into a barren wasteland.

Every morning, fishermen haul their catches to hundreds of traders in Dar es Salaam’s busy fish market. Demand outstrips supply, and auctioneers quickly sell the catch to the highest bidders.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to spot a dynamited fish. One trader says she can identify blasted fish by their loosened scales. She says, “We don’t buy them. Because of the impact of the blasts, they rot very fast … Some buyers and sellers don’t know that, so they buy them.”

Bala Gomwa is an auction officer. He says, “If you are not experienced, it’s very difficult. Out of 60 auctioneers, maybe two or three can tell.”

Mwanya Sleiman is a former blast fisher who now campaigns against the practice. He lost both hands when an explosive detonated before he could throw it overboard. He says: “My motivation was just the money I got from selling the fish, but I didn’t know about the impact it would have on me or the underwater environment.”

Mr. Sleiman urges others to learn from his experience. He explains, “I want the future generation to find a conserved Indian Ocean so that they can also enjoy the resources.”

To read the article on which this story was based, Blast fishing destroying Tanzania’s marine habitats, go to: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29049264

For more information and resources about blast fishing, go to: http://www.tnrf.org/en/dynamitefishing

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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-Liberia: Hip hop radio station informs community about Ebola

A Monrovia-based music radio station is playing a different tune by broadcasting public information about Ebola. Hip hop DJs at Hott FM rap regularly about quarantine centres, preventative measures and new cases of the disease.

The UN Children’s Fund, or UNICEF Liberia, teamed up with Hott FM to produce a hip hop song called, “Ebola is real.” It provides practical, youth-focussed advice on the virus. Two other Ebola-themed songs have been getting airplay across the country.

UNICEF states that almost half of Liberia’s population is under the age of 18. Using popular music to broadcast essential information about Ebola may help stem the spread of the disease.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-09-01/liberias-hottest-hip-hop-station-has-all-latest-ebols-music-and-news

2-Kenya: Better soil protection boosts crop yields

According to a report from the Nairobi-based Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA, about 1.7 million small-scale farmers in 13 African countries have adopted practices to improve the health of their soils, boosting their crop yields and incomes.

AGRA says its soil health program has led to the rejuvenation of more than 1.6 million hectares of degraded land in the past five years. Farmers who participated in the AGRA initiative in Tanzania, Malawi and Ghana have reported 200-300 per cent increases in yields of maize, pigeon pea and soybean.

According to the report, it is essential to tackle soil erosion and introduce beneficial farming practices such as crop rotation and sustainable fertilizer use. “Unhealthy soils,” the report states, “… could kill Africa’s hopes for a prosperous, food-secure future.”

To read the full article, go to: http://www.trust.org/item/20140821222748-4l1tj/

3-Democratic Republic of Congo: Thirty-seven dead from Ebola as virus spreads

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has spread into northwestern DRC, 800 kilometres from Kinshasa, the capital of the central African nation.

The Ministry of Health says the Ebola virus has spread to nine northwestern communities. Félix Kabange Numbi, DRC Minister of Health, reported that 37 people have died as of September 11. There were a further 66 suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola, according to the Minister.

The NGO Médicins sans Frontiérs has opened two health centres in affected areas of the DRC to help treat people infected with the virus. The World Health Organization states that, since March, 2,300 West Africans have died in the Ebola outbreak.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.jeuneafrique.com/Article/ARTJAWEB20140912082729/sante-virus-ebola-ebola-sante-ebola-a-fait-37-morts-en-rdc.html?utm

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Call for applications: Dart Center Ochberg Fellowships for 2014-15

Reporting responsibly and credibly on violence or traumatic events ─ such as street crime and family violence, natural disasters and accidents, war and genocide ─ is a great challenge.

Since 1999, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has offered the annual Ochberg Fellowships to outstanding journalists interested in exploring these critical issues.

The Ochberg Fellowship is a seminar program for senior and mid-career journalists who wish to deepen their knowledge of emotional trauma and psychological injury, and improve reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. Successful applicants will attend an intensive week-long program of seminars and discussions to be held January 17-22, 2015 at Columbia University in New York City.

Program activities include: briefings by prominent interdisciplinary experts in the trauma and mental health fields; conversations with journalist colleagues on issues of ethics, craft and other aspects of professional practice; and a host of other opportunities for intellectual engagement and peer learning.

Twelve fellowships are available for print, broadcast and online reporters, photographers, editors and producers with at least five years of full-time journalism experience. All fellowship seminars will be conducted in English. Fellows must be fluent in spoken English to participate in the program.

The fellowship covers travel to and accommodation in New York City, as well as most meals and other expenses directly related to program participation. The program does not cover costs related to travel visas, health insurance or ground transportation in fellows’ home cities.

Further information is available here: http://dartcenter.org/content/2014-ochberg-fellowship-guidelines#.VBaFk_mSxqX

Applications must include a CV, samples of work, and recommendation letters from past or current employers. The deadline for applications is October 1, 2014, using the online application form: http://dartcenter.org/2014-ochberg-fellowship-application

Selected fellows will be notified by email in early November.

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Free on-line agricultural training videos: Crops, livestock and business skills

Access Agriculture is an international NGO that encourages the use of training videos to help farmers improve their farming and generate higher profits. The organization’s videos are designed to support sustainable agriculture in developing countries.

The videos, available in several languages, are designed for use by agricultural research and development staff and communication professionals. Extension agents or representatives of farmer organizations will also find the information useful in the trainings they provide to farmers.

The videos can be downloaded or watched online. In addition, the audio tracks can be downloaded for use by radio stations, and DVD copies of programs can be requested on Access Agriculture’s website.

You can search the website at this address: http://www.accessagriculture.org/

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