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World Radio Day 2024: Transforming Farming in Nigeria

Posted On: February 12, 2024

By Blessing Terhemen, Digital Media Coordinator for Nigeria

Farmers Maryam Rabin and Fatima Shehu. Maryam holds a mobile phone and Fatima holds a radio.
Maryam Rabin (left) and Fatima Shehu (right) with the radio that sparked their vegetable farming transformation.

As we mark World Radio Day, we celebrate the far-reaching impact of this enduring technology. In northern Nigeria, radio not only transmits the knowledge needed to cultivate life-changing crops but also sows dreams in the hearts of smallholder farmers.

In a serene village tucked between fields in Sabon Gari, two smallholder farmers, Maryam Rabin and Fatima Shehu, faced the daily challenges of coaxing a living from the fertile yet unpredictable soil. One day, as they turned on their old radio, a serendipitous discovery unfolded—an engaging agricultural program named Duniyar Kayan Lambu (The World of Vegetable Farming).

The radio waves carried the voices of seasoned vegetable experts from East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation (EWS-KT) discussing modern growing techniques. Captivated, Maryam and Fatima eagerly absorbed lessons on efficient water usage, crop spacing, and organic fertilizers. The radio became their virtual classroom, a gateway to transforming their traditional farming methods.

Armed with newfound knowledge, the duo sought guidance from EWS-KT, and a Technical Field Officer named Margaret Rekwot began to train them in person on good agronomic practices as part of the Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Market project, co-funded by the SDG Partnership Facility. Together, Maryam and Fatima embarked on a journey to bring change to their community. They started a small vegetable farm, meticulously spacing their cabbage and onion plants, incorporating hybrid seeds, and experimenting with composting to naturally enrich the soil.

Farmers Maryam Rabin and Fatima Shehu amid the cabbages in their field.

As the weeks passed, Maryam and Fatima marveled at the transformation in their modest vegetable patch. Green leaves reached for the sky, and the once-sparse plot now teemed with healthy plants. The radio had not merely bestowed agricultural wisdom; it had sown the seeds of abundance in their lives.

The impact radiated beyond their fields, as their bountiful harvest allowed Maryam and Fatima to establish a small vegetable stand at the local market, offering fresh produce to their community. With their new farming expertise, the two women are helping to foster sustainable agriculture and enhance food security.

On World Radio Day, the inspiring journey of Maryam and Fatima illustrates the crucial role that radio can play in bridging the gap between tradition and modern practices, enabling smallholder women farmers to thrive in an ever-changing agricultural landscape.

Farmers Maryam Rabin and Fatima Shehu stand in their cabbage field with other women from the community.