To transform the lives of millions of smallholder farmers through a highly effective and cost-efficient strategy that engages farmers in the production of local radio programmes. These programmes broadcast vital farming information, so improving the long-term viability and sustainability of rural communities.
Smallholder farming communities in developing countries are under huge pressure.
Intensive cultivation, climate change and poor agricultural practices have resulted in deforestation, degraded land and declining productivity. Smallholder farmers are isolated and excluded due to geography, social norms and illiteracy. Smallholder farmers do not have the knowledge or information they need to improve their farming or sell their produce for a good price, which means they remain in poverty and they are very vulnerable to any crisis.
Farmers' Voice Radio is an innovative use of a traditional technology, disseminating up-to-date, relevant and practical information to even the most remote and isolated communities. It does this by bringing local farmers, agricultural experts and supply chain partners together to share their knowledge, experience and expertise via the trusted medium of community radio.
Farmers' Voice Radio is an initiative of the Lorna Young Foundation, a small but mighty organisation established in memory of one of the UK’s fair trade pioneers. The Foundation aims to reduce poverty in developing countries by improving smallholder livelihoods, through better access to information, expertise and markets, and by bridging the gap between producers and consumers.
KEY CONTRIBUTORS TO FARMERS' VOICE RADIO
A physical or virtual group of business, state, NGO and research reps connected to the focus sector or supply chain.
Their role is to bring specific knowledge or a particular perspective to the programmes through interviews or responses to listener questions.
Selected for its popularity and accessibility in the target community.
The radio station assigns one or two presenters to attend and record regular Listener Group meetings.
Public or private technical experts (agriculture, veterinary, environment, gender etc.) who provide extension services to the target communities.
Their role is to participate in regular Listener Group meetings and to provide input to discussions on agreed topics.
Group of 10-12 farmers (at least 50% female) selected to represent a cross-section of the target community.
They are the principle source of the radio content and provide continuous feedback on programme quality and impact.
Wider radio programme audience; potentially millions of people.
They are encouraged to engage with the programmes by raising questions and comments through SMS and voice calls.