Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A radio for the Farmer

In a typical village in rural Uganda and many parts of Africa, a radio is a very powerful tool which is mainly used to receive information within communities.  It’s used to broadcast lots of information ranging from death Announcements to talk shows about issues affecting the community. The benefits of radio, just like the mobile phone is amplified by the fact,that the adoption of this technology in some rural areas has occurred much faster than with other ICTs. In a country like Uganda where mobile technology has quickly become much more cost effective for telecommunication provision, Radio is used to boost its further adoption, use and application.

According to the farm Radio International 2011 report, Radio is the most widely used medium for disseminating information to rural audiences across Africa. Radio can reach communities at the end of the development road – people who live in areas without phones or electricity. Radio reaches people who cannot read or write. Even in very poor communities, radio penetration is vast. It is estimated there are over 800 million radios in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Gender factor
Photo by: Edward Echwalu
Just like many other ICTs, Radio has one major limitation. It has been a one-way medium that reaches farmers in their homes and or fields and on its own, radio has had limited means of interacting with listeners because of the one way flow of information.  And even if it’s true that radio is the most widely used medium, it’s ownership, control and greatest percentage of listenership is limited to mainly the men despite the fact that majority of those involved in Agricultural production are women.

The Question:
How have you successfully used radio as an ICT to reach not only men but also women for projects that benefit both of them for example on Health, Education, business, Governance? Share your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. well i'd have added but we ( run farmradio in uganda, you should just pay us a visit one time we are now venturing into mobile phone enabled citizen journalism, check this out and please vote for our proposal


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