Tuesday, 4 December 2007

FADECO Community Radio

Joseph Sekiku heads the Family Alliance for Development and Co-operation (FADECO), a nonprofit organization in Tanzania that shows farmers how to raise their standard of living through environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. His intense appetite for communications has had astonishing results. He has created a mini information empire founded on the principle that knowledge is power. Joseph’s latest enterprise, FADECO FM, is Karagwe’s first radio station. Joseph estimates that the information he generates reaches nearly one-quarter of the district’s 450,000 residents.
Joseph Sekiku in his studio holding
a part of his FADECO radio.
At breakfast time farmers can tune into Kilimo Chetu (Our Agriculture) to listen to answers to their agricultural problems. Midmorning there is Habari za Masoko (Market News) to find out the prices their crops are currently fetching on the market. Tanzania does not publish commodity prices so Joseph downloads the information from the Kampala Agricultural Commodity Exchange. And there is no problem in converting to Tanzanian shillings; he gets
the daily exchange rate off the internet too.

Dar es Salaam is a 1500-kilometre trip over bad roads so Joseph encourages farmers to market their produce across the border in Uganda. He fi nds outlets by surfi ng the web. His latest pet project is the promotion of soya beans. Programmes explain how to farm and process soya and detail its wide range of uses. He envisages soya as a profi table export crop. China, he says, is ready to buy 600 tonnes and upwards. He has already located a willing buyer there from a
Chinese website. FADECO FM would not have been possible without RAIN’s intervention.

Taking stock of RAIN: 2003–2007, p.9-13: RAIN - Regional Agricultural Information Network
FADECO Community Radio FRC 100.8 FM now on air
Brochure for Postgraduate Programme in Agricultural Information and Communication Management(AICM)

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