A Canadian organization that supports African farmers through radio broadcasts has a new name Farm Radio International/Radios Rurales Internationales.
The Ottawa-based charity researches and produces scripts about farming and rural development and distributes them to over 300 radio broadcasters in Africa, enabling them to reach farmers who often have no other source of information.
The organization, founded in 1979 by long-time CBC farm broadcaster George Atkins, was previously known as Developing Countries Farm Radio Network. Executive director Kevin Perkins says that was a bit of a mouthful. “Those who support us and work with us have repeatedly told us that they like to tell their friends and neighbours about our work but find our name cumbersome and difficult to remember.”
Perkins says the new name was chosen after careful research, interviewing and surveying donors, partners and associates in Canada and Africa. “Of course, our new name does not change our commitment to respond to the communication needs of small-scale farming families in the global south,” added Mr. Perkins. “We continue to be inspired every day by the hundreds of millions of African farmers and their families who rely on radio for information.”
Along with the new name, Farm Radio International has updated its logo, a stylized corncob microphone. The organization has also revamped its website, www.farmradio.org, to ensure it meets the specific needs of both donors and radio partners.
Among the organization’s new interactive initiatives is Farm Radio Weekly, a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. The service was launched in late 2007 and provides broadcasters without the resources to do their own research, with information on a variety of timely topics. Back issues of Farm Radio Weekly are available via the website which also houses most of the organization’s vast script library.