Ten years ago, Farm Radio International had the idea to start Farm Radio Weekly: an online agricultural news service that would regularly provide radio broadcasters with stories and resources for their radio programs. In this way, farm radio broadcasters would easily have access to content that they could put straight on air – and their rural listeners would benefit from news stories about farmer innovations.

After more than 450 issues, the online news service has been renamed Barza Wire, but we still publish new stories online weekly and circulate an email newsletter. At the core of the publication are Farmer stories, which share the challenges and successes of small-scale farmers, in their voices. These stories are written by our freelance writers. We also publish resources for farm radio broadcasters, relevant radio scripts, training and funding opportunities, and profiles of successful broadcasters.

These stories are reaching more than 4,000 subscribers and 100,000 annual web visitors. Nearly 80% of our subscribers are from sub-Saharan Africa and, each week, more than 100 journalists with radio stations and media organizations read Barza Wire. Through these readers, our stories are reaching millions of small-scale farmers, so that they can be inspired by the practices of successful farmers from across the continent.

Read Barza Wire in English and French at wire.farmradio.fm.

This news is part of our Partner Spotlight on Farm Radio International (FRI). Partners in GFAR like FRI are aware that rural communities often have little say in their own future and in directing support to create the innovations to get there. Yet farmers and social groups are experimenters, producers of knowledge and researchers in their own right, hence they need to be empowered to drive innovation processes. FRI has used radio for three decades as a tool for bringing information to people that other communication methods often cannot. Paired with other technologies, radio also allows an opportunity for two-way conversation, so that development practitioners can hear farmers’ knowledge, insights and concerns, and respond accordingly to them.

Multistakeholder actions that empower farmers to voice their own needs and know-how to drive innovation and improve their livelihoods, are part of GFAR’s Key Focus Area Empowering Farmers at the Center of Innovation.

GFAR Secretariat is turning the spotlight on the work and Collective Actions of Partners in GFAR who share in our mission to strengthen and transform agri-food research and innovation systems globally. Not a GFAR partner yet? Join now!