By: Linda Dede Nyanya Godji
Women farmers are often faced with several challenges that hinder their yields. One of such challenges is access to good agricultural training and education.
As part of efforts to address this gender disparity and other food security issues, Farm Radio international (FRI), initiated a five-year (2018-2023) project dubbed “Scaling Her Voice” (SHV), which is aimed at using radio to improve Food and Nutrition security for small-scale farmers and gender equality in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Presenting the findings of the project to stakeholders on Thursday, September 22, 2022, the Country Director of FRI, Mr. Benjamin Fiafor, stated that the project has helped to improve information and communication services, particularly by and for women and the youth.
“Most of the farmers who were part of the project are now aware of good agricultural and nutritional practices which has helped to increase their yields. For example, most of the participating farmers now use certified seeds; able to plant in rows and apply fertilizers and weedicides appropriately. They have also learned how to add other crops in their production and this is helping to address food security issues.” Mr. Fiafor added.
In Ghana, the project mobilised 21 radio stations across seven regions thus, Eastern, Volta, Oti, Central, Bono, Bono east and Ahafo regions to improve the quality of rural radio services to communities. “The project which is currently rounding up has so far recorded 511 hours of on-air radio program with the selected radio stations.
Mr. Fiafor also stated that, each of the radio stations were assigned an agric extension officer as part of the project and they provided extension support to listening farmers who interacted and participated in the radio training programs. “The project recorded over 3325 interactions by listening farmers. This is on a higher side considering the fact that listeners had to pay for their own call unlike other projects by Farm radio”
The Country Director again also disclosed that prior to the project, key stakeholders, including the radio stations were trained to have gender transformative ideas in mind. “This activity helped a long way as most of the selected radio stations now have a co-female radio presenter hosting the program at the end of the project.” He said.
Stakeholders at the result sharing meeting were excited about the design and approach of the SHV project and urged FRI to replicate this approach and into other projects.
They also challenged FRI to engage stakeholders especially the radio stations to find way to ensure the sustainability of the concept even after the project had ended.
About Scaling her voice (SHV) project
SHV is a project by Farm Radio International (FRI), Using Interactive Radio to foster Gender-Transformative Changes in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was implemented with funding from Global Affairs Canada plus support from other Farm Radio partners.
The project was carried out in four West African countries which include, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal to improve gender equality and food security for poor small-scale farmers.
In Ghana it was implemented with 21 radio stations 7 seven regions.