About the Project
This project is also featured in the WISE Book 'Learning a Living'
The Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio broadcasts educational radio programmes on crop cultivation, livestock rearing and soil management 10 hours a day in the local Igbo Language to inform and educate its 250,000 small-farmer listeners and improve their agricultural, environmental management and market access capacity.
The educational radio programmes cover erosion and flooding control, farm and household management, food safety, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, combating malaria and farm safety. They also deal with such topics as application of fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides; rainwater harvesting; treadle pumps; and small scale irrigation management. Illiterate small farmers learn about methods for accessing hybrid seeds, reaching national and international markets, export documentation, and accessing finance and microcredit facilities. A question and answer service replies to questions sent in by farmers and allows them to share experiences with one another.
The station also helps poor farmers by broadcasting information on basic business skills such as market research, cost-benefit analysis, business planning, opening bank accounts, and keeping accurate accounts and store records.
The programmes help smallholders decide what, when and how to produce crops, and who they should produce them for. They have access to daily commodity prices to help them decide which market to go to and when, and, thanks to information on the export process, they are already tapping into the international market. The household income of 65% of the station’s listeners has risen, and they have increased their crop output. The educational programmes have also helped reduce soil degradation and conserve wood resources.