Impact Business Radio, the first business radio station in southwestern Nigeria, and the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project (IITA-CWMP) are discussing areas of possible collaboration with the view to scaling out the knowledge being generated by the project.
This follows similar discussion with the team of Joy FM—a private radio station based in Benue State, north-central Nigeria.
The plan is to work with the radio stations in a collaborative manner, making the media part of the IITA-CWMP, according to Godwin Atser, Communication and Knowledge Exchange Expert at IITA.
The Chairman of Impact Business Radio, Mr Owolabi Oladejo welcomed the partnership, stressing that research not shared is a disservice to humanity.
“We are excited over this opportunity to work with you and share the vast knowledge being generated, not just on the Cassava Weed Management Project but also research in general,” Oladejo added.
The plan is that Impact Business Radio and IITA will create a program on agriculture with the participation of IITA-CWMP staff. The educational program would focus on, but not be limited to, cassava production, processing, weed control, and processing.
Training is also part of the strategy where both teams would organize trainings for prospective farmers and practising farmers to share new knowledge and techniques on improved management practices.
Other areas of interest are joint proposal writing and programs targeting the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2, i.e, Zero Hunger.
Dr Alfred Dixon, Project Leader, IITA CWMP, described the relationship with the radio stations as a move in the right direction.
“We need to leverage on the mileage of the radio stations to scale out our technologies,” he noted, stressing that arrangements are also in place to bring radio stations in Ogun State and Abia State on board.
In the developing world, radio is the most common means of sharing information in most rural communities, as poor electricity and internet networks eliminate other media channels.
Farmers in rural communities listen to radio to get information on politics, government policies and programs, and other educational programs.
Although radio has been a source channel for social mobilization and behavioral change especially in the health sector, its effect on agricultural transformation in Nigeria leaves much to be desired owing to factors such as lack of technical expertise to man agricultural programs and, in some cases, failure of radio stations to create agriculture-specific programs.