Farmers' Voice Radio Academy kick-off!
Tuesday 8th March 2022 marked the first session of the inaugural Farmers’ Voice Radio Academy. What better occasion than International Women’s Day to launch a course that will result in the voices of thousands of women farmers being heard on local radio across Africa and Asia?
We received almost 60 applications for the programme, which combines four live group training sessions on the Farmers’ Voice Radio approach with individual coaching and the opportunity to apply for a start-up grant. Of these, 14 organisations from seven countries were selected to participate, represented by the following individuals:
Ministry of Agriculture in Mufulira District, Zambia – Haggai Sikolongo
Tuntuyfe FM Radio based in Karonga, Malawi – Innocent Nazombe
Matonyok Nomads Development Organization (MANDO) from Kenya – Michael Sayo
Coffee Management Services from Kenya – Catherine Ng’ang’a and Maureen Ndarathi
Kajulu Hills Ecovillages based in Kisumu, Kenya – Andronico Otieno and Stephen Tolo
Emerging Leaders based in Bengaluru, India – Vijay Kiran and Stalin Jukinraj
Participatory Development Associates from Kumasi, Ghana – David Eshun
YGFM Radio from Choma, Zambia – Maybin Augustine Katungulu
Community Development Centre from Arua, Uganda – Barnabas Samuel
Amani FM from Tana River County in Kenya – Fatma Mzee
Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre from Zambia – Daniel Mulumba Kalala
Farming and Health Education at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya – Marcelin Munga
Farmers’ Voice Radio South Africa – Khosi Kunene, Trish Tununu and Aubrey Matsila
Sukambizi Association Trust based in Mulanje, Malawi – Austin Changazi
Over the next two months these organisations will acquire and practice the skills, knowledge and tools to design and implement a Farmers’ Voice Radio programme series in their own context, in partnership with the smallholder farming communities they work with. They will graduate from the course with a fully developed and costed Farmers’ Voice Radio programme plan, ready to pitch to prospective donors. These plans will be featured here on our website along with their organisational profiles as potential sponsorship opportunities.
This first session was an opportunity for participants to start to get to know each other—they have already joined an informal community of practice on WhatsApp—and to understand the origins and principles of Farmers’ Voice Radio before going into more detail and practical examples in the next three meetings. The course methodology is interactive, using a variety of online collaboration tools, and tries as far as possible to model the participatory activities that we recommend participants use to replicate the training with their partners and service users.
Feedback so far has been very positive. One participant commented: “It was very interesting and has met my expectations. Looking forward as we go deeper. Thank you.”