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Keeping young people on the farm — in Mali

A 'radio reality' series on a local radio station aims to convince young Africans that farming can be a profitable career

It’s a worldwide challenge — convincing young people that farming can be a profitable and rewarding career. In Mali, a rural radio station is taking on the challenge through a contest developed along with Farm Radio International, a Canadian organization that works with more than 500 radio stations broadcasting to millions of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Young farmers were invited to submit ideas for an innovative new farm business idea for the FarmQuest project, and six finalists were chosen. For six months, each week journalists from Radio Fanaka visited the contestants to record their progress. Contestants had advice from government agronomists and assistance in developing a business plan for their farming venture. Local performers composed original songs for each contestant, and the music was used in a “radio reality” broadcast about each one.

The contestants are:

  • Kafuné Mariko, 20, a young mother whose project was to raise goats for milk and cheese production.
  • Fanto Samake, 18, who has one cow and submitted a project to increase his cattle production.
  • Awa Doumbia, 27, a mother of four who wants to grow peanuts.
  • Diakaridia Fomba, 35, who had left his village for a larger town but wants to return and start poultry and egg production.
  • Mamadou Diarra, 26, who has just returned to his region and wants to grow corn.
  • Salimata Traoré, 32. Her father-in- law has thwarted her efforts to farm but she wants to start a market garden.

The video below introduces the project and the contestants. Future videos will focus on each contestant.

 

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