Farmer listening groups and radio outreach programmes have been used in Ghana and Burkina Faso to provide up-to-date information and guidance on groundwater use, water harvesting, and sustainable land management practices to farmers. The radio programmes combine a detailed understanding of the hydrogeological response of an aquifer informed by groundwater monitoring and modelling, with a detailed understanding of the challenges facing rural farmers informed by the farmer listening groups. The programmes, which are aligned to the agricultural calendar, can and have influenced practices at a very local-scale to increase the resilience of farming communities, particularly in drought-prone areas. Initial findings indicate that the availability of contextually relevant information has been seen to be a large contributing factor towards improved livelihood resilience through individual behaviour change.
The use of messages by farmers requires further monitoring to understand how the advice is implemented and what impact this has on farmers’ lives and livelihoods. Further integration of water information in farming outreach platforms, such as RAINWATCH, may also be a worthwhile avenue of exploration given the effectiveness of the Farmer Voice Radio model.
- publications forthcoming from BRAVE later in 2020/21