Farmers Radio station

Project Focus : Flow of development information in a rural setting

Estimated cost: 50 million FCFA (€76’000)



  1. 1.        JUSTIFICATION
  1. 2.       OBJECTIVES
  1. 3.      OWNERSHIP
  1. 6.      BUDGET


  1. The project to establish a Radio Station for the Kupe Muanenguba farming community is justified by the following:

1.1.          Kupe Muanenguba Division (KMD) is predominantly a rural and agrarian community about 90 % of whose population is engaged directly or indirectly in the agricultural sector. That is why this project is named a “Farmers Radio Station” (FRS) whose programmes will be tailored essentially to the needs of the farmers;

1.2.          KMD is geographically a landlocked and hilly area with serious transport and communication obstacles both among the villages and with the main national urban centres. There are no paved roads whatsoever, and the existing earth roads, the maintenance of which falls under central government responsibility, are impracticable most of the year except for a few months during the dry season   Additionally, there are no postal services outside of Bangem, the Divisional capital. There are also no telephone landlines, no facsimile and Internet facilities. Existing mobile telephone networks (MTN and Orange) have very limited and erratic coverage. Thus, the FRS would relieve the adverse effects of this situation by reducing the need for physical movement to transmit and receive information among KMD farmers;

1.3.          The FRS should constitute a timely communication channel between MINADER (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Yaoundé and its decentralized units at Regional and Divisional level, on the one hand, and KMD farming community, on the other, in the instant or early transmission of information needed by the farmers in various aspects of their profession and activities, such as legislations/policies regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or seed certification schemes; approved and banned farm inputs such as chemicals; new government initiatives for farmers and how to access them; available government grants for the farmers; farm credit opportunities; etc.

1.4.         At present MINADER generally lacks a farmer outreach communication programme, and the Ministry in charge of Communication (MINCOM) in no way systematically makes up for that serious information gap, besides its ad hoc coverage of special events usually tied to Ministerial visits to the countryside. As a result, hardly any information reaches most village-based farmers, such as in landlocked KMD, about the existence, goals, operations, and coverage of the numerous MINADER projects and programmes (close to 50 in total at present), virtually all of which are based in Yaoundé, the political capital city. The same applies to MINADER-related legislations, regulations and directives on all aspects essential to the farming profession. MINADER’s delegation in KMD is equally handicapped in terms of the difficult flow of development information.

1.5.              Similarly, and notwithstanding the overriding priority government claims for the agriculture sector and national food security since the 2011 Ebolowa Agropastoral Show, or the insistent pledge to reverse or at least reduce bulging food imports, MINADER has as yet developed no robust advocacy initiative promoting at broad national level the merits and virtues of village-based smallholder agriculture and the need to ramp up productivity, shifting from subsistence-based agriculture to explicit commercial farming endeavours. The FRS would fill that advocacy gap by aiming to raise farm and farmer productivity in KMD through radio education programmes on aspects itemized hereunder, including irrigation and other mechanized solutions;

1.6.          The need to use the Radio Station as a tool for training and capacity building  of farmers in all aspects of their profession, such as how to apply farm inputs in the most effective ways to upgrade crop productivity and overall farm production; ecosystem protection methods including, especially, soil regeneration; farm maintenance techniques; product quality assurance; organic farming; climate-smart farming; etc;

1.7.          At present the transport and communication difficulties mentioned above limit the circulation of price information to the farmers from the national bodies (ONCC and CICC) charged with circulating such information to the farmers on a periodic basis. Accordingly, the FRS would enable the Chede Cooperative Union, project promoter, to communicate produce prices systematically to its membership and advise them of produce sales and evacuation possibilities;

1.8.          In the present age of climate change phenomena and unpredictable weather patterns, the Radio Station should prove very handy in alerting the farmers to any serious weather conditions that could affect their crops. Furthermore, the Radio Station would help advise the farmers about crop and animal diseases and epidemics likely to have adverse effects on their incomes;

1.9.          The fact that close to 50% of the farmers are illiterate argues the case for communicating with them in their mother tongue, best done through radio broadcasts.

1.10.     The need for government officials and other stakeholders, within and outside of KMD, to listen to the farmers more frequently about their achievements and constraints as well as activities and needs, through specifically tailored radio programmes giving voice to farmers or based on farmer interviews;

1.11.     The FRS would greatly enhance Chede’s overall effectiveness, as the most important federal structure for KMD farmers, in communicating with its KMD membership and fulfilling its statutory obligations, particularly in facilitating the convening of meetings of its governing bodies such as General Assembly, Board of Directors, Supervisory Committees, and Development Committees, since invitations to meetings can be radio-broadcast to those concerned as opposed to using other communication methods now nonexistent in KMD..


  1. The objectives of this project, which flow from its justification outlined above, are essentially the following:

2.1. Promote food production, farmer productivity, and food security in KMD and environs by using the FRS as an advocacy and awareness-raising instrument at the service of KMD farmers;

2.2.Relieve some of the effects of the physical inaccessibility of most of the villages in KMD, the project zone, and by so doing enhance Chede’s functional efficiency, especially in the convening and conduct of its statutory meetings;

2.3. Serve as a farmers general communication tool that addresses their sundry needs, especially to receive professional and other information on a timely basis and have an opportunity to be heard periodically by government and especially MINADER officials at various levels;

2.4. Serve as a training and capacity building tool by using it to  disseminate best farming practices to the farmers, and relay new government legislations, policies, and developments of direct concern to the farmers;

2.5. Advise farmers periodically about weather conditions likely to impact positively or negatively on their crops and incomes;

2.6. Communicate regularly farm price information to the Chede village cooperative network members as well as unaffiliated groups;

2.7. Serve as communication interface between the Chede farming community and the external world.