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Show your support now

Farm Radio International very often submits proposals for new projects and funding. Last week our ICT and Radio Specialist, Bart Sullivan found a funding opportunity which suits his latest idea for supporting African radio stations. He is proposing new ways for radio stations to share information and content. We have submitted his idea to the Knight News Challenge, an international media innovation contest, calling it:

“Radio commons: Cloud-based telephony apps and content sharing for African radio stations.”

In a nutshell we are proposing to create a low-cost, sustainable phone platform that rural radio broadcasters across Africa can use.  They will be able to load audio content onto the system and allow access to any farmer with a simple mobile phone.  We’re talking:  market prices, radio broadcast repeats, the ability to leave messages for radio stations etc.  Now, this technology is something we have used a lot in the field already, but with this funding we are planning to expand this to a much larger scale and add many much-needed features.  We are really excited about this opportunity, but we need YOUR HELP!

Please take a moment to read the proposal (it is only 400 words long!) and leave a comment or click the “like” button. If we can get the visible support of African radio broadcasters and our supporters around the world, it will assist our proposal and increase our chances of funding. The five entries with the most activities in terms of comments or “likes” will be advanced to the semi-finals.

Follow this link! Many thanks!

Here is Bart Sullivan at Farm Radio explaining why radio and other ICTs (such as the voice-based systems mentioned in this recent proposal) are so important for rural Africa:

For over 30 years, Farm Radio International has understood the importance of radio in giving access to information to millions of small-scale farmers. Radio is reliable, affordable and does not require literacy. It can reach remote areas, women and children. That is why our mission is to support broadcasters in developing countries to strengthen small-scale farming and rural communities.

UNESCO recently announced that World Radio Day will be celebrated for the first time on February 13, 2012. Farm Radio International is marking this day by releasing four stories specially written for Farm Radio Weekly. Each tells the story of a farmer who is never without a radio!

Goodson Chisaleka, a vegetable farmer in Chatata village, Malawi

Our first story takes place in Malawi, where a vegetable farmer took advantage of advice he heard on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. Goodson Chisaleka now makes a good living selling vegetables door-to-door in Malawi’s capital city of Lilongwe.

In the Republic of Congo, an indigenous woman’s life was transformed by listening to Biso na Biso radio station. Simone Botékéwas inspired by the story of indigenous women farmers who were growing their own cassava. Soon after, Simone started growing her own vegetables.

Our third story comes from Zambia, where a farmer took advantage not only of market prices broadcast on QFM, but of recommendations on which markets were best for selling her fully-grown pigs. Guided by the information she hears on QFM, she sells her pigs for a good profit.

When a local radio station in western Kenya interviewed a mushroom farmer and broadcast her contact information, the woman’s business took off. Farmers called her for information, visited her and invited her to their farms. Joan Kimokoti now runs a successful mushroom business and has trained more than 300 other farmers to grow mushrooms.

Here is one of the four stories being published later today:

Malawi: Listening to the radio perfects Goodson Chisaleka’s vegetable farming skills (by Norman Fulatira, for Farm Radio Weekly in Malawi)

Goodson Chisaleka never goes anywhere without his radio – even his vegetable garden.

Mr. Chisaleka is a vegetable farmer in Chatata village, in the central Lilongwe district of Malawi.

He carries his radio everywhere. When he cycles, Mr. Chisaleka laces the small radio to his shoulder. He switches among the four major channels in Malawi, listening to news, music and other programs.

Mr. Chisaleka says, “One day I was tilling in my vegetable garden and at the same time listening to the state-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation radio’s Ulimi Wamakono program.”

Ulimi Wamakono means “modern farming methods” in the local language. And it was Ulimi Wamakono that changed his attitude towards vegetable farming.

Mr. Chisaleka had already taken up vegetable farming as a pastime. But after listening to the radio program, he realized that there was money in vegetable farming, provided he used modern methods.

He increased the size of his vegetable beds and planted hybrid varieties, following the advice he heard from the anchor on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, which is a Farm Radio broadcasting partner. Now, he makes a good living growing vegetables. He takes advantage of the ready market in Lilongwe, where he sells vegetables door-to-door.

Mr. Chisaleka cycles through the townships of Lilongwe selling vegetables, with his radio across to his shoulder and humming to the music. Most days, he returns home with 3,000 Malawi kwacha, which is approximately eighteen US dollars.

The people who laughed at him for carrying a radio everywhere have changed their tune. Now they admire what he’s achieved by following the advice of a farm radio program.Radios Rurales Internationales dédie une édition spéciale d’Agro Radio Hebdo à la Journée mondiale de la radio qui a été célébrée pour la première fois le 13 février de cette année. Nous marquons cette journée spéciale par la publication de quatre articles écrits spécialement pour Agro Radio Hebdo. Chacun de ces articles raconte l’histoire d’un agriculteur qui a toujours une radio à portée de la main!

Goodson Chisaleka est maraîcher dans le village de Chatata au Malawi

Notre première histoire se déroule au Malawi, où un agriculteur a profité des conseils qu’il a entendus sur les ondes de la Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. Maintenant, Goodson Chisaleka gagne bien sa vie en vendant des légumes au porte-à-porte, à Lilongwe, la capitale du Malawi.

En République du Congo, la vie d’une femme autochtone a été transformée du fait qu’elle écoutait la station de radio Biso na Biso. Simone Botéké a été inspirée par l’histoire d’agricultrices autochtones qui faisaient la culture du manioc. Suivant cette expérience, Mme Botéké a commencé à cultiver ses propres légumes.

Notre troisième histoire vient de la Zambie, où un agriculteur a profité non seulement des prix du marché, diffusés sur QFM, mais aussi des recommandations identifiant les marchés les meilleurs pour la vente de ses porcs. Guidée par les informations qu’elle entend sur QFM, elle vend ses porcs à bon prix.

Après qu’une station de radio locale de l’ouest du Kenya a interviewé une cultivatrice de champignons et a diffusé des informations à son sujet, les affaires de cette femme ont pris leur envol. Des cultivateurs ont commencé à l’appeler pour obtenir plus d’informations, lui ont rendu visite et l’ont invitée sur leurs fermes. Maintenant, Joan Kimokoti dirige une entreprise de champignons et a formé plus de 300 autres cultivateurs à la culture des champignons.

Voici la première histoire :

Malawi : Goodson Chisaleka perfectionne ses compétences en culture maraîchère en écoutant la radio (par Norman Fulatira, pour Agro Radio Hebdo au Malawi)

Goodson Chisaleka ne va jamais nulle part sans sa radio – même lorsqu’il se trouve dans son jardin.

M. Chisaleka est maraîcher dans le village de Chatata, dans le quartier central de Lilongwe, au Malawi.

Il transporte sa radio un peu partout. Lorsqu’il se déplace à bicyclette, M. Chisaleka porte sa petite radio sur son épaule. Il écoute tantôt l’un tantôt l’autre des quatre grands diffuseurs du Malawi, à la recherche d’émissions de nouvelles, de musique ou autres.

M. Chisaleka dit : « Un jour, je labourais mon jardin potager et en même temps j’écoutais le programme ‘Ulimi Wamakono’, de la radio étatique Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. »

Ulimi Wamakono signifie « méthodes modernes d’agriculture », dans la langue locale. C’est en fait Ulimi Wamakono qui a changé son attitude envers la culture des légumes.

M. Chisaleka voyait la culture maraîchère comme un passe-temps. Mais après avoir écouté cette émission de radio, il s’est rendu compte qu’il y avait de l’argent à faire dans la culture maraîchère, à condition d’utiliser des méthodes modernes.

Il a augmenté la taille de son potager et y a planté des variétés hybrides, suivant les conseils formulés par l’animateur de la Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, qui est un partenaire radiodiffuseur de Radios Rurales Internationales. Maintenant, il gagne sa vie en tant que maraîcher. Il tire profit du marché de Lilongwe, où il vend ses légumes au porte-à-porte.

M. Chisaleka sillonne les cantons de Lilongwe à bicyclette, vendant des légumes, avec une radio sur son épaule et en fredonnant la musique qu’il entend. La plupart du temps, il retourne chez lui avec 3000 kwacha Malawiens, ce qui équivaut à environ dix-huit dollars américains.

Les gens qui autrefois se moquaient de lui parce qu’il trimbalait sa radio partout ont changé d’attitude envers lui. Maintenant, ils admirent ce qu’il a pu accomplir en suivant les conseils d’un animateur de radio rurale.