In Kidi Ya Chanza: Modeling Sound Farming Practices through Radio
Posted Mar 12 2009 3:58pm
Small farmers in Nigeria are facing a rapidly changing climate, which poses critical challenges to their livelihood. Lack of information on environmentally appropriate farming methods poses a particular barrier.The challenge to those that possess the knowledge about appropriate environmentally sustainable farming practices—the Nigerian government, research institutions, and civil society—is to find a means to disseminate this information to the farmers that seek it.
In an effort to respond to this problem, the African Radio Drama Association (ARDA), a production and training center that produces entertainment-education programs throughout Nigeria, developed In Kidi Ya Chanza, a 26-episode radio now in its second season.
Each episode of the series begins with 15 minutes devoted to the drama. The drama is set in rural and peri-urban environments in northern Nigeria . Although it centers on fictional locations to enable cross-cutting themes to be applied to locales throughout Nigeria , the drama also references real towns and communities.To complement the messages provided in the drama, the series integrates firsthand expert knowledge into the latter portion of each series. Agriculture extension officers or experienced local farmers provide informative dialogues on new adaptive strategies that can be used in conjunction with farmers’ traditional knowledge to combat the harsh conditions in a region. In Kidi Ya Chanza uses a variety of channels to promote listener engagement and interaction. Listeners are encouraged to provide feedback via text message, phone and mail, as well as local farmers' associations.
ARDA chose a serial drama format for the following reasons:
Through multi-dimensional characters, drama can credibly portray models of responsibility, community leadership, and self-efficacy, and at the same time present new social norms to drive behavior change.
Drama supports household discussions of otherwise difficult topics.
Drama encourages the audience to be part of the process of change without creating message overload.
The series is produced in two local Nigerian languages, with scripts available in English and French. It is broadcast weekly by five radio stations and will be evaluated to test the effectiveness of informing smallholder farmers of climate change adaptation measures and strengthen their capacity to mitigate the impact on their livelihoods.
In Kidi Ya Chanza draws upon a long history of entertainment education for agricultural development that was first piloted by the BBC series The Archers, a British radio soap opera that has been broadcast since 1950. Originally produced in collaboration with the British Ministry of Agriculture, The Archers was conceived as a means of disseminating information to small farmers to help increase productivity in the post-World War II years of rationing and food shortages. The 15-minute radio series, also set in fictional towns, began as a conduit for announcements from the Ministry of Agriculture. However, the formal relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture ended in 1972 and the show since has expanded its focus to include health and social issues, including rural drug abuse, inter-racial relationships and civil partnerships. While In Kidi Ya Chanza continues to focus primarily on agriculture-related themes, the precedent set by The Archers demonstrates the possibility of expansion to other content areas.