In an effort to increase access to information and knowledge along the dairy value chain and more so for the benefit of smallholder dairy farmers, the EADD project in Uganda has launched a farmers’ training radio program called Ente Bugagga (livestock is wealth).
The program, a first of its kind in the dairy industry in the country, is offering trainings to hundreds of dairy farmers on different topics relating to the dairy industry as presented by different experts assisted by EADD field staff. It is also providing a forum in which farmers can discuss issues that are affecting their dairy production through interactive call-in and short messaging (sms) sessions.
In Uganda, Radio is the most listened mass medium commanding a large listenership especially in the rural areas. Radio is also relatively affordable cuts across the barriers of illiteracy.
Currently, EADD is partnering with two local radio stations, Buddu FM in Masaka and Radio Kitara in Masindi to air 1 hour programs on dairy farming. The programs air on Sundays from 9-10 p.m on Buddu FM and on Wednesdays from 8-9 p.m on Radio Kitara.
The programs are mostly pre-recorded based on issues that farmers on the ground are asking for and once in a while experts are brought into the studios for live discussions with farmers. The programs also feature news updates on events and happenings in the dairy sector as well as provide weekly updates on milk market prices in the different EADD project sites and the country at large.
This radio initiative is currently being conducted on a pilot scale for a period of six months but EADD hopes to partner with more local radios stations to engage a wider audience.