Funds awarded to scale up Farmers' Voice Radio Resources online
Updated: Jul 15, 2020
We are delighted to let you know that we were recently awarded two grants to enhance our online Farmers’ Voice Radio Resources from The Network for Social Change and The Fore. The COVID-19 pandemic has, and will have, a huge impact on the farmers and partners we work with, and it creates many obstacles to the way we work. This funding has therefore arrived at a hugely critical moment, enabling the Lorna Young Foundation to increase the reach and sustainability of Farmers' Voice Radio and raise the voices of even more farmers across the world.
Over the next year we will be working hard to scale up the Farmers’ Voice Radio online resources, providing an accessible and engaging online training platform and community of practice. This will increase the reach of Farmers’ Voice Radio, attract diverse funding and support, and significantly increase its impact. This kind of online support and training has become even more important in the past few months, overcoming many of the hurdles associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, such as restrictions on gatherings, face-to-face activities and travel.
Why has the Lorna Young Foundation (LYF) been investing so much in making Farmers’ Voice Radio’s methodology and approach free-to-access to anyone, anywhere?
As many of you know, the reputation of Farmers’ Voice Radio is growing: over the past year we have received requests for assistance from more than 20 grassroots farmer groups, international NGOs and agri-businesses who are keen to develop their own Farmers‘ Voice Radio projects to address smallholder sustainability challenges. Farmers’ Voice Radio projects and training workshops have thus far—with the exception of our recently started project in Sierra Leone—been delivered by the Farmers' Voice Radio team through face-to-face training. As a very small charity, this business model limits the scale of implementation to 3-4 projects per year and prevents Farmers' Voice Radio from meeting the demand from small local organisations that do not have access to international funding sources. The model is also heavily reliant on international travel.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance, now more than ever, of being creative with how we engage with and support farmer groups and their members. So, Farmers' Voice Radio has risen to this challenge.
We believe that, equipped with the necessary information and tools, local organisations around the world should be able to implement Farmers’ Voice Radio without in-person input from our team – instead using appropriate online technology and remote support. Our research also shows that international businesses, NGOs and research institutions with an interest in sustainable agriculture are prepared to invest in proven knowledge transfer mechanisms in specific countries, contexts and supply chains. The challenge is to develop an accessible online platform that will train local partners in Farmers’ Voice Radio and provide the right level of support from both ‘experts’ and peers to facilitate the implementation of effective, sustainable and high impact Farmers’ Voice Radio programming.