Farming goes digital in Malawi: Farm Radio Trust, Access Agriculture hailed for farmer-to-farmer videos

Malawian farmers can now learn from fellow farmers across the continent in the confines and privacy of their homes, thanks to an initiative by Farm Radio Trust and Access Agriculture.

 Bwanaisa-- We're benefiting. Pic by Chris Loka, Nyasa Times

Bwanaisa– We’re benefiting. Pic by Chris Loka, Nyasa Times

With funding from the government of Flanders, Farm Radio Trust has distributed smart phones which farmers are using to watch farm videos translated into local languages as aided by Access Agriculture.

According to Farm Radio Trust’s, Phillip Chinkhokwe, Malawi is “leading the way” in the use of the videos.

In a presentation at Sunbird Hotel in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe last week Chinkhokwe said the results were innumerable.

“I’m happy that farmers have welcomed the videos as a new model of receiving extension apart from using radio,” said Chinkhokwe.

Phil Malone of Access Agriculture said it is “encouraging” to learn that Malawian farmers have benefited a lot after watching the videos.

“It is an achievement,” said Malone.

Caroline Bwanaisa from Mangochi said after watching farmer to farmer videos she is now conversant with some issues that affect agriculture and ways how to deal with it.

She said it is very motivating seeing fellow farmers in the videos narrating their success stories in farming a thing they can borrow a leaf from.

“I have always expected agriculture extension officers to be experts in all my farming activities, but it is not possible.

“Now after watching a video I have learnt a lot on my own and I am now putting into practice some of the expertise I learnt using videos,” he said.

Bwanaisa appealed to Farm Radio Trust and Access Agriculture to continue with the initiative saying local farmers are learning a lot.

Dr. Geraldine Reymenants of the government of Flanders said they will continue supporting the initiative because of the significant results so far being achieved.

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