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Getting farmers and farm science on air in Sub-Saharan Africa can vastly improve how agricultural knowledge is shared and taken up, says Kevin Perkins, executive director of Canadian charity Farm Radio International, in this audio interview. In Ethiopia, for example, 80 per cent of those who listened to a show on the benefits of planting the grain tef in rows started using this technique.
Farm Radio International supports radio stations and farming communities in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa by providing them with broadcast resources such as scripts, running training and backing radio campaigns on specific farming practices.
Perkins says interactive shows, in particular, are diversifying debates on agricultural science by carving out a space for farmers to call in and speak to policymakers and scientists. Whether via community radio stations in rural areas or large commercial broadcasters, farmers are getting on air and engaging government in conversations about what agricultural science works and makes sense for them.