Improving agricultural activities through radio – Stakeholders

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Social Farmers Workshop

Farmers in the municipality of Sagnarigu say that the provision of agricultural extension services through radio has helped them learn good farming methods, which has improved their productivity and income.

Mr. Salifu Osman, a rice farmer from Sange community in Sagnarigu municipality, said, “The program has helped me a lot. I used to farm anyway, but now when I listen to the radio I learn new ways to farm, prepare the land, sew, apply fertilizer, harvest and store .

He added, “I now harvest more than before. Previously, I harvested seven bags per acre of rice, but now I harvest up to 30 bags per acre.

He encouraged other farmers to tune in to the agricultural extension service radio program and said it would help them increase their yields.

Mr. Osman shared his testimony during a two-day meeting organized by the Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Farm Radio International in Tamale to assess the broadcast of radio Digital Agricultural Advisory Service Strategy and Plan (DAASSP). on how to maintain and improve it.

Participants included representatives from MoFA, agriculture departments, a radio team working on extension messages for farmers, representatives from Farm Radio International, among other stakeholders.

The DAASSP radio show, which started two years ago, is a 10-year initiative to help farmers access a constant stream of information and advisory services on their agricultural activities.

It is funded by Global First of Canada to complement government efforts to hire more agricultural extension workers to meet the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations standards of 1:500 farmers.

The current ratio of farmers to agricultural extension agents in the country is 1:1,200, hence the use of radio and other ICT platforms to provide agricultural extension services to farmers.

Madam Bridget Parwar, Head of Agriculture Department at Zabzugu District Assembly, said DAASSP radio program has done a lot in the area, adding that through the intervention, “we were able to send timely messages to farmers to make informed decisions. ”

Ms. Parwar said farmers in the region have now adopted best agronomic practices which has helped to improve their yields, leading to high incomes and improved nutrition for the people.

Mr. Paul Siameh, Director of Agricultural Extension Services Branch, MoFA, described the successes as gratifying and said they have brought changes in the lives of farmers.

Mr. Siameh urged stakeholders, especially agricultural extension officers, to integrate the innovative approaches learned to deliver extension services into their day-to-day activities at the regional level to improve extension service delivery.

Mr. Benjamin Fiafor, Farm Radio International’s Senior Country Representative, shared his impressions of the meeting and said, “We are impressed with what we are hearing, farmers are testifying that it has been very helpful and want it to continue. »

Mr. Fiafor said that an e-extension strategy will be launched and used by all extension directorates across the country, adding, “With this, we hope extension directorates will receive more support in financial terms. to allow them to implement a comprehensive strategy. and plan across the country.

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