written by Fiona Foster I December 15, 2011
The first community rural radio station in Bangladesh, Krishi Radio, is now up and broadcasting. It was installed in the province of Amtali, Barguna district, with FAO support and in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC).
CSDI Lead Technical Officer Mario Acunzo participated in the official launching of Krishi Radio during his recent mission in Bangladesh (20th-30th of November) to support and assess the implementation of the project “Enhancing Rural Communication Services for Agricultural Development through Community Rural Radio” (TCP/BGD/3205).
Krishi Radio FM 98.8, with the slogan “My Radio, My Voice,” broadcasts a wide range of programs on agriculture, fishery, health, social awareness and local songs and folk stories.
Krishi radio is a non-profit, non-political radio station run by local volunteers who collect and share knowledge among many different types of people such as fisherman, farmers, women and students. It operates from 7am to 9pm every day with 20-30 minute programmes in local languages and also broadcasts news and weather updates. The station has its own originally composed and uplifting theme song with two versions in Bangla and a local dialect and each programme has a signature tune.
Listen to the sounds of Krishi Radio:
Program content will change based upon what the listeners would like to hear and each topic is addressed between two and four times a week. The current program includes a wide variety of subject material. Agricultural, fishery and livestock programmes consider modern technology as part of agricultural livelihood, shrimp cultivation and the lifestyle of a fisherman, and the importance of animal protein and livestock production. Disaster-based broadcasts discuss climate change and nutritional programs encourage a balanced diet with healthy food choices. Programmes on social themes encourage women in development through publicly promoting their achievements or teach children new words related to hygiene or climate change. These are just a few of the twenty–four different programmesbeing aired on Krishi Radio.
Enhancing rural communication services, such as Krishi Radio, is important because agriculture is a major economic industry in Bangladesh, with 74 percent of the population farming, fishing or raising livestock as part of their livelihood. This station implements the tools and methods of Communication for Development and thereby provides stakeholders, especially farmers, with the information they need to improve their agricultural knowledge as well as an opportunity for knowledge sharing and problem solving.