Rongo University and the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific organization – UNESCO signed an agreement to establish a UNESCO Chair on Community Radio for Agricultural Education on the 18th October, 2019. Subsequently, Prof. Samuel Gudu was named the Chair holder. Prof. Gudu is assisted by Dr Peter Day from the School of Media and Arts at the University of Brighton, in the United Kingdom.
The mission of the Chair is to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 2. This SDG seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security for all. The Chair also aims to promote UNESCO’s focus area of promoting multi-stakeholder partnerships through training, research and innovation. Achieving these novel ambitions will require an ingenious use of the media and other ICT platforms suitable for knowledge and information sharing. To this end, experts involved in the project believe that Community Radio platforms have got a huge potential for participatory knowledge sharing and capacity to mitigate some of the most pressing global challenges, which include climate change, food security, and conservation of biodiversity.
The initiative targets smallholder farmers who constitute at least 80 percent of food producers in Migori County, Kenya. This will be achieved through enhanced participatory knowledge sharing on sustainable farming systems through radio programmes and new media content. Other targeted beneficiaries include students of media and agriculture from Rongo University, agricultural extension workers, community radio broadcasters, environmentalists, agronomists, agribusiness experts who will receive training on research and content production for radio broadcasting and social media sharing.
Majority of Kenyan households have access to a variety of radio channels which broadcast in indigenous languages. On the other hand, youthful farmers, who constitute a sizeable proportion of local food producers believe in the power of new media platforms. If harnessed well, these networks are capable of sharing novel farming technologies within a wide network of agricultural stakeholders. In this regard, the philosophy of the Chair is hinged on the unlimited potential of radio power and new media technologies and, their ability to catalyze social change and enhance a widespread adoption of sustainable farming practices.
(UNESCO No. 1380)
(Ver. PBe 01-2023)