Innovative Agriculture Radio Program Launched in Bong and Nimba

A six-month agriculture radio program aimed at bolstering farmers’ efforts has been launched by ACDI-VOCA, an international agriculture development organization. The project targets Bong and Nimba Counties with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The radio project is under ACDI-VOCA’s Agriculture for Children Empowerment (ACE) program and is collaborating with two community radio stations, Radio Gbarnga in Bong and Radio Saclapea in Nimba County. The project will serve as platform for broadcasting messages around innovative agricultural best practices, increase flows of reliable information within the Vegetable and rice value chains, and facilitate closer interactions between smallholder farmers and value chain actors.

Speaking at the launch of the radio project  in Saclepea, Nimba County,  the  director for  ACDI-VOCA  Agriculture for Children Empowerment Project  Laveto  Akoi-Forkpa  said  the  initiative  was designed primarily to enable   smallholder farmers  in the two counties  have access to relevant  information  that promote farming as a  business  to enhance their livelihoods.

He indicated access to updated information by smallholder farmers in Liberia on innovative agricultural practices is limited. In most cases, he said, local farmers’ primary source of information remains their friends and family network and occasionally government agriculture extension officers and NGOs staff.

The  ACDI- VOCA  project  director  further stressed  that agricultural knowledge among smallholders is often outdated and a contributing factor to poor performance which the project seeks to address  through the radio program  campaign expected to benefit over  300 smallholder farmers  in the two  counties  beyond  the targeted  farmers the project is covering.

Mr. Akoi-Forkpa indicated that to ensure that smallholders effectively benefit from profitable value chains, it is important that they have better access to credible information in a timely manner and have the opportunity to interact more closely with relevant private sector partners.

He mentioned  during the  course  of  the agriculture radio campaign which is  expected to run up to  June 2013, farmers will  be provided  relevant information to  increase  their  knowledge of simple farm management techniques for  improved yields; increase  knowledge on quality control, packaging requirements and marketing strategies , increase smallholder knowledge of existing agribusiness services, business information and facilitate their linkages to new market opportunities, price information sharing among others.


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