Building awareness of agroecology
Ahmad Salahuddin from Access Agriculture and Tamanna Rahman from BNNRC at the radio communication workshop in Dhaka
As part of Access Agriculture’s strategy in support of agroecology and organic agriculture in Bangladesh and South Asia, two workshops have just been held with service providers in Dhaka and Rangpur.
In the first, Community Radio Stations in Bangladesh have been learning new skills in using video soundtracks in their programmes and how to include videos at radio centres and clubs. During a workshop in Dhaka, the broadcasters learned about the style of Access Agriculture “farmer to farmer” videos in the Bangla language, the importance of agroecology and the need to learn from farmers.
After watching Access Agriculture videos Mehedi Hasan, one of the young trainees from coastal Bangladesh said: “in the past we thought farmers knew nothing, only agricultural officers did, but we should show our respect to farmers and their traditional knowledge.”
Partnerships are being established with the Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), which supports 18 community radio stations across the country. Tamanna Rahman from BNNRC insists that agroecology is the way forward and that the media is vital to show what is possible. By working through mass media and community radio stations, she believes firmly that that the mind sets of society can be changed to demand healthy food.
Through its network of video partners, Access Agriculture has a steadily growing collection of videos on organic agriculture. Over 70 are currently available in Bangla on the Access Agriculture video platform, for free download and use by any organisation that provides services to farmers. The Bangla videos can be found here: www.accessagriculture.org/search/all/bgl
In the second workshop in Rangpur, Access Agriculture trained over 30 people from across northwest Bangladesh. All are young entrepreneurs managing Union Digital Centres (UDC). A Union groups 10 to 30 villages. The UDCs is an initiative of the government of Bangladesh to digitalise rural services. After watching the video Killing fall armyworms naturally, which was made in Kenya, trainees said that all what was shown is perfectly applicable in Bangladesh and they were thrilled to have learned about natural enemies.
Building ecological literacy among service providers and society at large is key to building healthy food systems.