Telling Africa’s Agriculture Stories Through Radio, TV, Film

By Dana Sanchez Published: February 4, 2016, 1:43 pm
Mango farmer at Matumba Farm, Malawi. Photo: modernfarmer.com/

Showcasing African farming through TV, radio, and film can help engage the public in conversations about agriculture, food justice, and sustainability, according to a report in FoodTank.

These forms of media allow information to cross geographic boundaries and reach a wide audience. From reality TV shows to radio broadcasts, media can be a way for the world to learn more about African farming and the food system.

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, campaigned for his new job partly by calling on African governments to engage African youth in agriculture.

The former Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria, Adesina is credited with leading an agricultural transformation there.

Aspiring agri-preneurs need role models, and their stories need to be widely promoted, according to ChristianScienceMonitor.

In developing countries, about 75 percent of households have access to a radio — often a main source of information. In countries with low literacy rates, radio can reach people who would not otherwise have access to information about agriculture, FoodTank reported.

Farmers in developing countries also access information via their cell and smart phones. Tigo Kilimo provides farmers in Tanzania with weather information to properly manage their crops. iCow from M-Farm lets farmers keep track of each cow’s individual gestation so farmers don’t miss an opportunity to expand their herd. The World Cocoa Foundation uses the app CocoaLink to tell cocoa farmers about farm safety, crop disease prevention, crop marketing, and more.

Food Tank highlighted 35 media projects around the world. Here are five of them in Africa.

The Organic Farmer, Kenya

The Organic Farmer is a Kenyan magazine that provides information to smallholder farmers about eco-friendly farming practices. The organization also offers a radio program, videos, and an “Ask The Organic Farmer” section on their website for farmers to learn more about organic farming.

Farm Radio Trust, Malawi

Farm Radio Trust works to support agricultural development in rural Malawi through radio. Priorities include training, building capacity, and participation through communication technologies, researching and documenting evidence-based agriculture practices, and promoting partnershipss.

The Organic Farmer Radio, Kenya

The Organic Farmer Radio broadcasts two weekly segments that deal with issues facing farmers in Kenya. A project of the Farmer Community Programme, the show interviews local farmers, showcases the latest research, and gives out agriculture information and advice.

Land Rush, Mali

Land Rush, a BBC documentary, follows the Sosumar project, a partnership between the government of Mali; Africa’s leading sugar producer, Illovo Sugar, an American agricultural developer, and African Development Bank. The film shows how thousands of farmers in Mali are face the possibility of losing their land.

Shamba Shape-Up, Kenya

Shamba Shape-Up is a makeover reality TV show that focuses on struggling farms. The show’s host visits different farms, meets farmers to learn about the issues they’re facing, then interviews expert guests to provide advice. The show boasts more than 10 million viewers weekly.

 

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