Friday, 26 August 2011

More sensitization is needed on benefits of information and knowledge sharing

Mr Bamanyisa Patrick Black
Program manager
Voice of Toro  
Kabarole district

It’s unfortunate I attended only one workshop of ToroDev to train journalist on broadcasting for business development. A lot was achieved, ideas were shared, information exchanged and yes I appreciate you for the good work, however more and more trainings are needed for sensitize people.

Bamanyisa Patrick

Yes a lot has been improved on our packaging especially for the farmer’s programmes by making them more participatory and conducting more research before broadcasting them.
However, some challenges still remain for instance, people still don’t know how to speak on radio and many fear to come out to speak publically therefore, they need more sensitization because it is affecting information and knowledge sharing which is not good for business development.

Friday, 12 August 2011

"I have been invited on Kyenjojo FM to speak on air at no cost..." Ahebwa Willam

Mr. Ahebwa Willam
Fruits farmer
Kakabara Sub County, Kyegegwa District

I attended all the workshops of ToroDev on Rural FM Radio Broadcasting for Entrepreneurship Development and I am a leader of the Kyegegwa District Radio Listenership Club, I have gained a lot from all the trainings I attended because my fruit market has expanded.

I have been invited on Kyenjojo FM to speak on air at no cost I really appreciate Toro Development workshop for the training.

Before the training with Toro Dev, I didn’t know the importance of the radio as a farmer but after the training, I got to understand that radio stations are the best ways of marketing my fruits and other produce because they are widely listened to.

I have been on Kyenjojo FM teaching other farmers, I have got different clients who ask for my seeds and come to buy them from my home and my agri-business is now expanding to a bigger level.

Ahebwa William (Lef) sharing with ToroDev M&E Officer Amanya Sheila
ToroDev has also connected me with different radio staff and I have got so many friends on the radio who help me to advertise my fruits weekly and monthly without any pay.

People have come from all over the region (Rwenzori Region) to buy my products hence increasing my market and income.

However, I still a have a challenge of expensive pesticides for my fruits.
I appeal to the Civil Society organizations to conduct more training and also establish a forum for fruit Farmers for improved knowledge sharing

"Now I listen to farmers programs on radio..." Musana Samuel - Youth Farmer

Mr. Musana Samuel. Busoro Subcounty, Kabarole District

Poultry keeper and farmer

I appreciate ToroDev for all the trainings they provided to me on Rural FM Radio Broadcasting for Entreprenuership Development, out of the training and workshops I attended, I was able to learn a lot especially on how to market my products on different radio stations.

Before the workshops of ToroDev on Rural FM Broadcasting for Entrepreneurship Development, I didn’t know that radio stations can help to market farmers produce, but now I know how to market my produces using radio stations and I can easily approach the radio staff for any help.

Now I listen to farmers programs on Radio stations across Rwenzori Region, this has helped me to get different ideas, knowledge and share issues with fellow farmers. I have to say that I used not to do it before the training workshops of ToroDev.

Musana Smauel in his Poultry Farm


I still have a problem with Rural FM radio stations because they still do not fully sensitize farmers on where to sale their produce.

Rural FM Radio stations have not yet reached the standards of broadcasting up-to-date information especially on market access, improved seeds, etc.

Efforts needed from the Civil Society on Rural FM Radio Broadcasting for Entrepreneurship Development
Civil Society organisations should sponsor some of the programs on radio like on weather focus.

They should also sponsor farmers and small scale entrepreneurs to appear on radio programmes to share knowledge

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Rural Woman maize farmer Embracing ICTs to market her produce

On Thursday 4th August, 2011 Toro Development Network (ToroDev) Staff had a tiresome but rather fruitful journey to the pre-dominantly maize growing areas of Kamwenge District in Western Uganda.

The reason was to asses’ progress of ToroDev’s in Partnership with Stem van Afrika interventions in Rural FM radio broadcasting for Entrepreneurship Development in the Rwenzori Region.

Muhereza Phobic describing how maize farming has helped her family pay school fees for her four children (one at university) and construct two permanent houses (one commercial in the town council and one residential)

The stop over was Mrs. Muhereza Phoebic maize farm, on the outskirts of Kamwenge town. In November 2010 ToroDev in Partnership with Stem van Afrika organized knowledge sharing and training workshops for small scale rural women and youth grassroot entrepreneurs on how they can use Rural FM radio stations to market their produce, services and information access for small scale rural entrepreneurship development.

The workshop was attended by over 47 women and youth rural small scale entrepreneurs from Kamwenge District. Mrs. Muhereza was one of the participants for the training. Since Rwenzori region in pre-dominantly an agricultural area, most of the participants were farmers.

After the workshop, a radio listenership club was formed for Kamwenge district which among other things was to lobby for better FM radio broadcasting and programming for rural entrepreneurship development.

According to Muhereza, local farmers especially members of the listenership club can now participate on Voice of Kamwenge agricultural radio programmes every Saturdays to share information and market their products because they are more organized and more networked with the radio staff. In addition, they are now more aware of the appropriate times and appropriate radio programs to access information related to markets especially for agricultural products.

The problem she finds in using FM radio stations is the high costs they still charge on advertisements for agricultural produce.

“Apart from FM radio stations, we also use mobile phones for information access and market for our maize. Mobile phones have greatly helped to link us with the middlemen who buy the maize” Says Mrs Muhereza.

Muhereza Using a Mobile Phone for market access
Although Muhereza is a successful maize farmer, to guard against the natural calamities and price fluctuations, she has diversified to poultry and cattle farming.

She attributes her successes to her husband who she describes as “very supportive” and together they have been able to pay school fees to their four children (one at the university) and construct two permanent houses (one commercial in the town council).

Despite all the success, she says the challenges are still quite enormous, “We have had challenges of increasing capital for agribusiness development because of high interest rates for loans from microfinance institutions and other banks and high loan security demands.”

After witnessing the fruits of unity through utilizing the listenership clubs to participate in agbusiness promotion radio programs, Muhereza is now focusing on mobilsing other maize farmers to jointly market and sell their maize produce to avoid exploitation by middlemen.

She adds that joint ventures with other maize farmers will also help reduce on the costs of radio advertisements and ensure better lobbying for better government services like better roads and reduced interest rates on loans among other benefits.