ED offers new year a lively welcome, outlines the work vision

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The new year has started with a trans-formative action from the Executive Director Rex Chapota as he delivered his new year’s message during an all staff first meeting of the year on January 11, 2017.

Looking more determined for a very successful year ahead he started by wishing the team a Happy and Prosperous 2017 and assured members of staff that the organization will continue to lead in providing advisory information to rural masses

As an organization we will continue to ensure that we provide ‘information for sustainable livelihoods of farmers’ in 2017 being the vision that we crafted to challenge ourselves

 

At FRT, we believe that this need and desire can be achieved if other basic pre-requisites have been met and one of them is ACCESS AND UTILIZATION OF THE BEST AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE that can trigger increased productivity, better access to markets both national and international, improved nutrition, environmental sustainability, more access to finance and other services that ultimately leads the farming communities to sustainable livelihoods. 

The simple message I have for all of us is that we need to brace up to provide the best available services to our clientele

The ED said this in reflection to global, regional and national agricultural development trends, where one clear thing is that  farming communities are in dire need of ‘transformation development’ that can trigger a better life.

He however said this calls for a robust and dynamic sense of URGENCY among all players in the Agricultural sector to deliver and meet the needs and priorities of farming communities. 

For FRT, the boss said as an organization we need to continue to be “COUNTED ON” by both farmers and other players: civil society, private sector, public sector, donors, investors, academia, scientists and all kinds of researchers. 

Announcing the theme for this year dubbed ‘READINESS TO LEAD’ the Executive Director said there is huge demand for transformational development oriented extension and advisory services, hence as an organization we need to be ready to take the lead in exploring, implementing and sharing results and success stories of our interventions

Knowledge brokering is our core business, He said, our services are going beyond just targeting the farming communities, we need to engage more players in the industry through backward and forward linkages in the development chains and create both vertical and horizontal relationships 

Rex Chapota made mentions of projects under bigger donors like Government of Flanders, USAID and WFP as the work that has stretched us to partner more than ten radio stations that we are working with in using radio enhanced with ICTs to delivery agricultural and rural advisory services.

He pointed out that we need to demonstrate that ‘WE KNOW WHAT WE DO” and that we provide our result oriented services in the most efficient and effective way. 

The Executive Director warned that there will be no ‘business as usual’ and advised staff members to be geared for ‘readiness to lead’

We cannot talk about readiness to lead if our thinking and approach is ‘business as usual’, He said. This thinking will need to cultivate new skills, new energy, new relationships, and new ways of planning, new execution systems, new mentality, and new thought process.

At the level we have reached, we can no longer keep quiet about work, He added 

The boss said FRT is becoming more of a repository of knowledge in the sector saying we need to present to the world what we are doing and the change we are making. 

He cited the words of our Board Chairperson, Commissioner Baldwin Chiyamwaka that we need to be a ‘quotable’ organization and ‘thought leader’ in the space of innovative rural advisory services 

This is incredible work, and for once we shall endeavor to be indeed the thought leader in the space we are in by all means possible. That is why our media engagement including social media space will and must be strengthened. We can no longer afford to do this incredible work with silence!

He emphasized on the need to share ‘evidence of impact’ of the incredible work.

RESULTS shall be the major call of our work in 2017, He added

The Executive Director re-assured the members of staff that the organization will continue to rise in space to greater heights both in resource inflows and implementation of work for tangible results at every level to improve the development trajectory in the country

Announcing major activities in 2017, he mentioned of investing in national and rural radios to scale up agricultural radio programming; expanding the Mlimi (Farmer) Call Center by increasing number of e-Extension staff to meet the farmer call traffic; development of Mlimi Mobile Application in partnership with mHub; more investment in ICT for rural advisory services to train and support more farmers to become tech-enabled; and launching of Mlimi Studios that will add value to partner radio stations work on quality and standards of programming.  

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