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African Farmers Call for Weather Services Via Interactive Radio

Study reveals farmers in Malawi and Tanzania have demand for climate information services via radio, mobiles

A recent study conducted by CCAFS, in partnership with Farm Radio International in Tanzania and Farm Radio Trust in Malawi, surveyed more than 1280 people through audience research activities, desk surveys, interviews and knowledge partner engagement activities to determine the demand for interactive radio for the delivery of climate services to farmers and pastoralists. The overall responses from both Malawi and Tanzania were largely in favor of those services through radio and mobile phones.

With radio and mobile phones commonly utilized by farmers in both countries, those surveyed sited weekly and daily services on rainfall patterns, temperature data and forecasting services as useful information. As a result, Farm Radio International and Farm Radio Trust propose working with key institutions and radio station partners to develop interactive programming for rural climate services as part of their implementation of the GFCS Adaptation Program in Africa.

The proposed interactive climate services would consist of short weekly radio programs with the option of daily forecasts and would be supported with ICT services via mobile phones. The programs would also be continuously monitored to ensure relevance and usefulness, said the report.