Radio programmes with practical instructions for farmers in Kenya
Each week, "The Organic Farmer Radio" (TOF Radio) produces two 30-minute programmes on ecological methods of farming, which are then broadcast on the national station KBC or the private broadcaster Mbaitu 92.5 FM. On KBC, the programme is in Swahili - one of Kenya's official languages whereas the Mbaitu programme is broadcast in "Kikamba", a local dialect (vernacular). It deals with the issues facing farmers on a daily basis, discusses the latest research findings and allows local farmers to share their experiences with others. They feature regular interview with farmers who describe their use of the methods advocated by TOF. Farmers profiled in the programme are interviewed locally on their farm or invited to the studio in Nairobi.
"TOF Radio" is a project of the Farmer Communication Programme (FCP)
TOF Radio is designed to increase awareness and knowledge of ecological farming methods and strengthen the exchange of information between scientists, agricultural advisers and farmers with the ultimate aim of improving food security and reducing poverty.
The significance of organic farming in Africa differs from that in Europe: Many African farmers are unable to afford conventional farming methods using pesticides and fertilizers and so organic farming is an essential alternative. It is vital that these impoverished farming families are given help and advice on how to increase yields without major investment. The farmers have an enormous thirst for knowledge because education and training in agriculture are almost non-existent in many parts of Africa.
Through these two programmes, TOF Radio reaches up to 3.7 million listeners per week.
Objectives 2016 - 2018
- Produce and broadcast two weekly radio programmes on ecological farming methods - one in Swahili and one in the vernacular (dialect)
- Improve programme content and relevance by providing feedback opportunities for listeners
- Develop a plan for TOF Radio so that it can be independent in future
Between 2013 and 2015, a total of 235 programmes were produced, of which 122 were broadcast on KBC (Kenya's largest radio station) and 103 on Milele FM. From 2016, the vernacular programme will be broadcast on the Mbaitu station. The weekly broadcasts regularly draw attention to other projects in the Farmer Communication Programme FCP. Together the two broadcasts reach 3.7 million listeners.
There has been a noticeable increase in the demand for the TOF magazine for farmers and the Biovision Infonet. The editorial teams for the TOF magazine and the TOF Radio hold joint meetings. This ensures that identical content can be prepared appropriately for each, i.e. handled differently if necessary.