The YenKasa Africa Radio Campaign for family farmers in six African countries
The YenKasa Africa Radio Initiative was a game-changer in promoting family farming in Africa. The project’s success was evident in the number of listeners reached, with over 5 million tuning in through six local radios across six African countries. Across the six African countries – Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Togo, the radio partners broadcasted in local languages. Ruben FM and Koch FM in Kenya aired in Kiswahili and Sheng languages. In Ghana, URA Radio in the Twi language and PASME Community Radio in Zambia beamed in Nyanja. In Tanzania, Mviwata FM was communicated in Swahili and Radios Rurales in Togo in Tem, Kabye, Moba, and Peulh. Finally, in Madagascar, Radio Don Bosco broadcasted in Malagasy. Besides local languages, each radio produced one radio show in English or French.
The initiative’s approach promoted partnerships between rural/community radios, farmer organizations, rural institutions, and FAO projects, which enabled it to reach its three main objectives: to raise awareness of the role of family farming in sustainable food systems and to inform about relevant UNDFF-related activities at the policy, institutional, and field levels; to share information about issues related to family farming and the priorities of farmers’ organizations; and to enhance the use of radio as an interactive service in support of family farming.
The YenKasa Africa Radio Initiative has been in the works since 2020 as part of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) to raise awareness of the role of family farming in sustainable food systems. In 2022, the initiative took on a new dimension, focusing more on participative radio methodology and capitalizing on the experience gained in the previous years. The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) coordinated the initiative, fostering participatory radio production through dialogue between family farmers’ organizations and community/rural radios.
Over the course of the initiative, 30 radio programs were produced across all participating countries in the Forest and Farm Facility program in Africa. The initiative covered several essential topics related to family farming, including agro-ecological techniques, climate change, women and youth in rural development, forestation and deforestation, types of forest species and products, agro-foresting farming, sustainable agriculture and land management, benefits of cooperatives, financial inclusion, and tree nurseries.
The initiative’s success was not without its challenges. However, the results will ensure that the stumbling blocks will be managed in the 2023 radio initiative. Some of these stumbling blocks are that radio stations needed to be made aware of the topics discussed in the programmes, and farmer organizations were unaware of how to structure a cycle or radio programme and develop it with the technical assistance of the radios. This year, these aspects will be considered through dedicated capacity development initiatives committed to rural organizations and local radio stations.
The awareness campaign has led to plans to systemize promoting family farmers through the continued use of local radios, blending it with other technologies to foster a Rural Communication Service linkage. With the continued support of the partners, the YenKasa Africa Radio Initiative is poised to impact the lives of rural communities in Africa significantly. The continued support of partners will be critical to ensure the development of the YenKasa Africa participative Radio initiative.
Click HERE to access the 2022 YenKasa Africa participatory radio initiative