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Radio as a tool for climate information dissemination

Throughout the world and for centuries, radio has emerged as a tried, tested and dependable powerful medium of communication for multiple audiences, stakeholders including the broad network and a wide cross-section of farmers. The popularity of the radio means that it is a highly effective tool of spreading information and agricultural advisory services, especially in a changing climate by connecting farmers to vital information banks designed to improve their livelihoods and resilience. In this regard, radio is there to close information gaps created by other forms of mass media and avoid dearth of information on climate change. In terms of climate change awareness and reaching out to marginal and remote communities, radio has proved to be the most powerful and trusted medium of choice. The unique feature of a radio is that it provides services designed to help farmers overcome illiteracy barriers through broadcasting in their own languages. As such, it empowers communities with information on how to mitigate climate change as well as information dissemination on the topic. Climate information services for farmers are paramount for food security, market opportunities, weather advisory services, agricultural diversification, environmental stewardship and interconnectedness. Radio is a powerful way to awaken communities that have been marginalised or excluded in critical farming discourses to find their own space to speak out and contribute to the ongoing climate agenda for sustainable development. In its true nature and fashion, radio leaves no one behind. Nearly all farmers listen to and use broadcasting services to enhance their capacities and coping strategies in a changing climate. The provision of climate knowledge and market information services enables farmers to realise sustainable agricultural production and negotiate on a position of relative strength. Besides being an empowering form of entertainment, radio communicates and educates multitudes of audiences in the comfort of their homes, cars, workplaces, mobile phones and shops, hence it is virtually everywhere all the time. Radio has never disappointed for as long as power is available. The portable nature of the radio allows farmers to take it to the fields where they can continue to receive agricultural advisory services, including weather forecasts and approaching natural disasters like cyclones, floods, strong winds, hail or locust invasion. In developing countries, radio has proved to be a powerful and effective medium to communicate agricultural and extension services including social, economic, political and environmental awareness. While it is difficult for newspapers to penetrate the rural markets in Zimbabwe, rural farmers and traders of horticultural commodities from Mutoko, Murewa, Honde Valley, Nyamadhlovu, Lower Gweru and many other areas get their market and pricing updates on the radio. In this regard, through the use of radios, rural farmers get up-to-date information about urban markets than the information from unscrupulous middlemen. F

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