CCARDESA BRINGS HOPE TO FARMERS
In Malawi, CCADESA uses different platforms to disseminate messages through radio and television programmes, agriculture shows, and print among others.
The Center for Coordination of Agriculture Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) is a sub-regional organization established in July 2011 by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states to coordinate agricultural research and development in the region.
CCARDESA implements its programs along with four key thematic areas namely, farmer empowerment and market access, research and technology generation and farmer demand-driven advisory services and innovations, knowledge, information and communication, and Institutional Development and capital building.
Agricultural information communication and knowledge management in the SADC region-Status
The knowledge, information, and communication which is taken as a regional knowledge broker in the agriculture research for development (AR4D), CCARDESA runs its programs and projects that promote agricultural information generation, management sharing, and dissemination.
It recognizes the rules of information and communication technologies (ICT) as an indispensable tool to facilitate the timely flow of information and knowledge across the region.
This intends to address agricultural research and design issues in the SADC region through a number of interventions such coordinating implementation of regional agricultural research and design programs, facilitating collaboration and stakeholders of the national agricultural research systems (NARS), promoting public-private partnership in regional agricultural R and D and Improving agricultural technology generation dissemination and adoption in the region through collective efforts, training and capacity building.
In order to achieve the aforementioned goals, CCADERSA has various projects. In Malawi, CCADESA uses different platforms to disseminate messages through radio and television programmes, agriculture shows, and print among others.
Under the electronic aspect of radio and television, different radio programs were produced for both private, national, and community radio stations.
For instance, the Ministry of Agriculture, irrigation, and water development produced Ulimi wa lero, a weekly programme that was aired on National, private, and community radio stations.
In print, the ministry of Agriculture, through the Department of Agricultural Extension Service’s communication branch produced a bi-monthly farm magazine called Za a chikumbi.
The magazine carried news and feature stories. The magazine was used as a tool for the dissemination of information among farmers by distributing it to all farmers across the country.
Apart from that, the Ministry also produced an electronic newsletter targeting policymakers, staff, and programme implementers known as Agri-eNews.
The ministry engaged communities in their respective villages annually through various shows.
To add on that, in August every year, annual events known as national agricultural fairs are conducted in partnership with different stakeholders. Seed fairs are also done in rural areas to disseminate newly released varieties by various public and private sectors.
Some of CCARDESA’s aims are to address agricultural research and design issues within the SADC region. Introducing this program will truly play a vital role for farmers in African countries, Malawi inclusive.
In Malawi for instance, CCARDESA through Agricultural Productivity Program for Southern Africa (APPSA) has managed to train farmers in climate-smart agriculture practices and this has highly benefited Chimphepo village situated in the outskirts of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.