Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cameroon Engaged In African Rural Radio Program Analysis (ARRPA) Initiative

By James Achanyi-Fontem, ARRPA Cameroon
Cameroon is participating in an African Rural Radio Program Analysis (ARRPA) Initiative organized by Farm Radio International (FRI), a Canadian based charitable organization that supports broadcasters in meeting the needs of local small-scale farmers and their families in rural communities.FRI is supporting and implementing an investigative research program, ARRPA in five African countries namely: Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania. Tchetta Meli Evariste Rostand just returned from Arusha, Tanzania, where he participated in a face-to-face workshop on the use of the tools for the investigation following an online course facilitated by Bartholomew Sullivan based in the FRI Africa regional office.
The face–to-face training was coordinated by Doug Ward, the chair of the Board of Directors of FRI in the presence of the executive director, Kevin Perkins and his collaborators in Canada and Africa. The research project aims at discovering and documenting the farm radio programming continuum in order to understand all the key processes that take place at the radio station level in researching, producing and broadcasting radio programs for small-scale farmers. For 30 years now, FRI has been producing and distributing radio scripts in order to help radio stations create better programs for listening farmers, and more recently FRI has been sending out the Farm Radio Weekly news and information services. One of the questions that ARRPA seeks to answer is, “to what extent and how are these services used by broadcasters, and can they be enhanced or supplemented with additional resources in order to make a stronger contribution to the production of effective radio services for small-scale farmers?
During the face-to-face workshop in Arusha, Tanzania, the FRI Chair emphasized on
specific objectives of ARRPA:
To understand and document how radio stations go about producing and airing farm radio programs.
To document how FRI’ scripts, newsletters and other resources have been used in the stations’ farm radio programming.
To find out how to make our support services more useful to broadcasters in farm radio programming.
In working towards these objectives, FRI is partnering with four radio stations of different typologies producing and airing programs for farmers in the five African countries that are interested in the investigations. In Cameroon, Tchetta Meli is visiting five station: CRTV Littoral in Douala, Lebialem Community Radio in Menji, Radio Bare Bakem in the Moungo, Radio Yemba in Dschang and Radio Medumba in Bangangte for the investigation. The ARRPA initiative in Cameroon is piloted by Cameroon Link, that has been a partner of Farm Radio International for over 20 years.
It is expected that ARRPA will enable FRI determine what services are more useful to African broadcasters / radio stations and how best to support them in meeting the needs of local small scale farmers. Findings of the study will also inform FRI on the development and implementation of innovative farm radio services for smallholder farmers in line with its 2011-2015 strategic plan.
For more information, please visit the web site of Farm Radio International at-

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