Radio for Farmer Value Chain Development (RFVCD)

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The Challenge

Smallholder farmers in Malawi, particularly women farmers, continue to struggle to achieve food security and higher incomes, despite producing the vast majority of the country’s food supply. There is potential for these farmers to produce more and earn higher incomes, but this potential remains unrealized. Many factors contribute to this problem, but a root cause is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the value chains in which farmers participate.

Our Solution

Under the Radio for Farmer Value Chain Development project, we are using our proven participatory radio and other ICT-based communication strategy to provide Malawian smallholder farmers, especially female farmers, with the tools and information they need to achieve enhanced benefits from the groundnut value chain. We are working towards this goal by building farmer knowledge and improving communication between different value chain actors.

Strategy

The RFVCD project is structured around five main objectives:

  1. To develop the capacity of radio station partners to produce and broadcast “impact driven” farm radio programming.
  2. To provide smallholder groundnut farming women and men with regular radio access to reliable extension information about the groundnut value chain.
  3. To ensure that radio strategies and programs attract and are of high relevance to the needs and interests of female smallholder farmers.
  4. To produce and broadcast participatory radio campaigns that focus on increasing the knowledge and skills of farmers related to improved production practices and post-harvest management practices in the groundnut value chain.
  5. To work with radio stations and market access organizations to design, develop and broadcast market information related to the groundnut value chain in a program known as “Radio Market Place”.


Achievements

  • Through partnerships with Malawi-based groundnut experts, FRT developed and distributed twelve Farm Radio Resource Packages to four partner radio stations and coached broadcasters on how to effectively use the packages.
  • Undertook gender-based analysis that involved extensive consultation and capacity building activities with female farmers to ensure the radio programming served their interests.
  • Convened multiple design workshops with a broad range of value chain actors to design content for participatory radio campaigns (PRCs).
  • PRCs on all phases of groundnut farming – production, post-harvest and marketing – designed, produced and aired on partner radio stations.

RFVCD Project Profile

Focus: Groundnut Value Chains


Location: Dedza, Mchinji and Ntchisi districts, Malawi


Implementation Period: September 2012-December 2014


Status: Ongoing


Project Lead: Clement Shema, Program Officer


Partners: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Farm Radio International


Radio Station Partners: Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Zodiak Broadcasting Station, Nkhotakota Community Radio Station, Mudziwathu Community Radio Station

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