Thursday, 11 June 2009

Radio, video key to agricultural innovation in Africa

Conventional media, radio and video are powerful, accessible and relevant forces of agricultural innovation and transformation in Africa than usually considered, a study published in this week’s issue of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability shows.

The study undertaken by the Africa Rice Centre (WARDA) and Benin’s University of Abomey however finds that the power of radio and video programming is not adequately recognized and accorded due attention by Africa’s policy-maker s, stifling its potential to unleash farmer innovations.
“Farmers’ innovations are often shaped by capital limitations and mainly rely on locally available resources, of which knowledge is a key one,” says Paul Van Mele, a scientist at the Africa Rice Centre. “Video proved a powerful, low-cost medium for farmer-to-farmer extension and to expose rural communities to new ideas and practices.”

Entitled ''The power of video to trigger innovation: rice processing in central Benin,'' the study examined the impacts of educational videos featuring early-adopting farmers demonstrating the use of new technologies and techniques.

Radio, video key to agricultural innovation in Africa