Radio show turns barren lands into arrowroot oases

Kathuiria Poverty Reduction Group, a Farmer Voice Radio (FVR) Listener Club based in the Central Province of Kenya, has enthusiastically followed FVR broadcasts on Coro FM since they first heard them.

Members of the group have taken up the challenge of putting FVR radio agricultural information into practice. For example, FVR programs on upland growing of arrowroot, a popular staple food in the region that traditionally grows in marshy grounds, have inspired a number of the group members to adopt this new practice.

One member of the group, Mr. Zablon Kimindu, was so inspired by a program on fish farming that he has developed a small fish pond on his one-acre piece of land. “After listening to a successful fish farmer from Sagana talk about the benefit he has derived from fish farming on radio, I realized that the government was not the only source of agricultural information and that farmers could learn from one another,” says Mr. Kimindu. After the broadcast, Mr. Kimindu obtained the telephone number of the fish farmer from the radio station and made arrangements to visit him. “I came to know about ornamental fish whose market is apparently very huge both locally and internationally,” he reported.

Using the few resources at his disposal, and improvising with locally available material, Mr. Kimindu is determined to succeed in a venture that only a few years ago would have been shunned by many farmers in a region that traditionally does not consume fish. Mr. Kimindu’s determination and enthusiasm has been contagious. Peers in his neighborhood have enquired about fish farming and he freely shares what he has learnt with them. Three farmers are in the process of developing their own fish ponds as a result.