Three Nigerian radio stations are now broadcasting agronomic recommendations on the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices. The Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices is one of the Decision Support Tools of the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI). The radio stations include Splash FM (105.5 FM), Harvest FM (98.9FM) and Amuludun FM (99.1FM).
Research done by the Cassava Weed Management Project concludes that farmers are able to more than double the yield per hectare of cassava (from less than 10 tons per ha to more than 20 tons per ha) using the ACAI’s Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices extension toolkit.
The three radio stations which are airing the toolkit are among the prominent listened to stations, according to Media Planning Services— an agency that advertisers depend on to make investment decisions.
The program on Ibadan-based Splash FM which is also streamed online is aired every Wednesday, 7.00 PM – 7.30 PM and is anchored by Seun Akinola with Godwin Atser, IITA Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist. On Benue-based Harvest FM, the program is aired in Tiv language by 1.00 PM -1.30 PM every Fridays and anchored by Joseph Kwaghdega with Atser, while Amuludun FM airs the Yoruba version every Tuesdays (5.00 PM – 5.30 PM) with Rasheed Adegbola as the anchor with Abiodun Olatoye, an extension agent with Oyo State Agricultural Development Program. Plans have also been concluded to broadcast the program on Radio IITA—an internet-based radio.
In several rural areas in Africa, radio is among the top medium used by farmers as a source of information. With the traditional extension system being overwhelmed, ACAI is using the radio platform to reach out to millions of farmers in Nigeria. The radio programs being promoted by ACAI are aimed at changing the behavior of farmers and influencing the adoption of ACAI recommendations.
Radio channels being selected were based on reach and listenership. ACAI plans to undertake a study on the effectiveness of the radio programs after six months. At the moment, the private sector is excited over the radio programs and partnership support is being received from pharmaceutical and life sciences company, Bayer. More companies are planning to sign-up.