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Using radio and technology to fight rural poverty in Ghana

Adjoa Kuma tells us how a radio program is helping her to earn more money from her farm. (Photo credit: Farm Radio Ghana)

Adjoa Kuma, a maize farmer in Ghana’s agricultural heartland, has been farming her small parcel of land for the past five years with little success -- until she started listening to the AgroTech program on her local radio station, Radio BAR. 

“It is clear I will get many more bags of maize and more money to put towards my family and health with this year’s yield,” Ms. Kuma says.  She explains that the teachings on the radio program are better than the old methods she was using.  

Before she planted maize by throwing seeds by the fistful. Now, however, she is planting her maize in rows and applying fertilizer. 

In a nearby community, an AgroTech field agent goes farm-to-farm. Talking one-on-one with farmers, he learns all he can about their farms.  He enters the information into his tablet, using a mobile app created by Grameen Foundation’s AgroTech program.  

Dozens of field agents collect farm data in this way, and use it to understand local farm practices and how to improve them.  This knowledge is turned into advice delivered directly to the farmers, and broadcast by field agents over the airwaves. Agents also work with their farmers to create personalized farm management plans that will enable them to grow and sell more food.  

In a country where rural hunger remains all too common, AgroTech offers unprecedented opportunities for smallholder farmers to learn sustainable, modern farming practices; obtain credit and farm inputs; and find regular buyers for their crops. 

Dozens of field agents have worked directly with almost 5,000 farmers, while the radio programs extended AgroTech’s reach to another 490,000 farmers, Ms. Kuma among them.  Her advice to other farmers is to listen to the AgroTech radio program, promising that if they apply what they learn, they will be able to improve their farming.

AgroTech was created by Grameen Foundation, with Farm Radio International and Digital Green. Working with the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture and ACDI/VOCA, we are committed to empowering even more farmers to take important steps out of poverty.