Farmer Voice Radio

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Farmer Voice Radio (FVR) is a 3-year program that started in July 2009 and is being implemented through a consortium of partners led by American Institutes for Research (AIR). In Malawi FRM is one of the consortium members implementing FVR. The project is aimed at bringing impact radio programming for agriculture to farmers in six African countries: two flagship countries (Kenya and Malawi) plus four satellite countries (Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Mali).

FVR is currently working with seven production studios in Malawi, namely: Malawi Broadcasting Corporation in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, Mudziwathu Community Radio Station, Mzimba Community Radio Station, Dzimwe Community Radio Station and Nkhotakota Community RadioStation.

The key objectives of FRMs’ contribution in the FVR program are as follows:

  • Advising AIR on the project design and implementation strategy Offering resources, ideas and technical advice and assistance on
  1. Farm radio programming;
  2. Development of skills of radio station staff and volunteers; and
  3. The development of a guided revolution strategy aimed at strengthening the overall capacity of radio stations that serve farmers.
  • FRM is also supporting the FVR Country Office in Zomba through secondment of one full time specialist to the FVR Malawi country Office and also provision of 25% time effort from the Executive Director of Farm Radio Limited to provide technical guidance and implementation support to FVR.

FVR is a network of radio broadcasters, agricultural experts, and farmers to provide millions of small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa a broad variety of agriculture-related radio programming. Supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Farmer Voice Radio will give small farmers access to current information, useful resources, and new farming techniques to help them improve their productivity, livelihoods and well-being over the long-term.

Programming topics range from general farming practices to individually focused agricultural techniques based on the needs of small holder farmers in line with the National Agricultural Radio Agenda (NARA) and Local Agricultural Radio Agenda (LARA). The project currently runs in Kenya and Malawi but is yet to expand to Uganda, Mali, Ghana and Tanzania.

In Malawi, FVR is working with the following radio stations: Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Mudzi Wathu Community Radio Station and Mzimba Community Radio Station, Nkhotakota Community Radio Station and Dzimwe Community radio Station but this year will expand to Radio Tigabane and Department of Agricultural Extension Serices Studio.