RURAL RADIO BOOSTS AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH

on Monday, 09 July 2012 16:00. Posted in News from the region

Radio Krishi was the first community rural radio initiated by the Government of Bangladesh with FAO support to focus mainly on agricultural development. Established in December 2011, the station airs 9-11 a.m, and 3-5 p.m. daily with news as a regular program. It is being managed by the Agricultural Information Service of the Ministry of Agriculture of Bangladesh.

See a photo set of Krishi Radio here

Unique to the operation of the radio station is the involvement of a number of community volunteers trained in various aspects of radio program production. Teachers, college students, agricultural extension workers, rural women and youth are actively doing field interviews, script writing, radio program production, equipment maintenance and listenership campaign.

Radio Krishi aims to cater to information needs of small farmers in Amtali, Barguna in Bangladesh. It is gaining headway, with requests from local people flooding the radio station daily. The requests are usually sent through mobile phones and focus on agricultural concerns pertaining to sources of quality seeds, livestock, poultry, fishery and others pertaining to health, nutrition, youth, science and education.

Read more about Krishi Radio here or contact Mario Acunzo, FAO Communication for Development Officer at mario.acunzo@fao.org.


SOCMOB FOR MITIGATING DROUGHT IN SRI LANKAN COMMUNITIES

on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 06:51. Posted in News from the region

As part of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction undertaken in 2007 by the University of Peradeniya, communities in Sri Lanka have been involved in a social mobilization program through comprehensive participatory needs assessment with a strong gender perspective.

The program implements a range of measures to support villagers livelihood while pursuing conservation goals. Through community-based participatory risk assessment, the men and women of the villages are able to agree on shared responsibilities to reduce risk, and they agreed to focus on water conservation. 

The participatory process for social mobilization is based on:

a. sharing experiences and reaching consensus
b. mapping out their own terrain and resources
c. working out their capabilities to respond
d. implement solutions with attention to gender capacities and roles

Their livelihood have been improved and diversified using home gardens both for sustainable livelihood and for conservation.   

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) was adopted by United Nations Member States in 2000 and is owned by local, national, regional and international organizations. This initiative is part of the ISDR program undertaken in 2007 by the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, with support from Darwing Initiatives - UP Aberdeen Link.

For more information, please contact Anoja Wickramasinghe, Professor of Geography at iniluwick@slt.lk.  

SPECTRUM FEE ROLL BACK URGED IN INDIA

on Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:14. Posted in News from the region

The Asia Pacific Board of AMARC urges the Government of India to enable an inclusive and truly participative community climate by taking steps that will revoke the spectrum fee hike recently imposed. Thanks to the Community Radio Guidelines of 2006, India was the first country in South Asia to have a distinct three-tiered policy for public, private and community radio which took sides with the excluded and marginalized based on the promise of inclusiveness and equity. But this is now defeated by the rise of spectrum fee from Rs 19,700/- to Rs 91,000/- per annum (USD 1 690).

As a global network committed to media democratization and strengthening the voices of the excluded through community radio, AMARC supports the Community Radio Forum of India's (CRF) stand that the hike will "choke the rights of communities to voice." Further, it goes against the spirit of the citizens' fundamental right to speech and expression as enshrined in Article 19 Clause 1 Sub Clause A of the Indian Constitution. As a result, "genuine and grassroots communities will be excluded and community radio will be a mockery of the stated policy objectives of the government of India."

A survey conducted by AMARC indicates that the movement towards reducing spectrum fees is gaining ground across the world. Countries like Australia, Canada, Denmark, South Africa, and Uruguay do not levy a spectrum fee, while in Bangladesh, Colombia or Nicaragua the amount ranges from USD 150 to 480.

For more information visit AMARC Asia Pacific or contact the regional coordinator at suman_basnet@asiapacific.amarc.org

Call for reform of community radio policy in Indonesia

on Monday, 18 June 2012 07:32. Posted in News from the region

 
AMARC has called for legislative reform and equitable distribution of spectrum for the growth of community radio in Indonesia and the Asia Pacific region. Presenting a paper on sustainability challenges for community radios at the Radio Asia Conference 2012 (Jakarta, 7-9 May 2012) Suman Basnet, Regional Coordinator of AMARC Asia Pacific, mentioned the lack of proper enabling legislation as the main barrier to community radio sustainability. He called for a fair, open, transparent, and efficient process of awarding and regulating broadcasting licenses for community radios.
 
The slow process of licensing has seriously hindered the sustainability and development of community radio stations in Indonesia. AMARC advocates for recognition of community broadcasting in law and regulation, and reservation of radio frequencies for the sector without excessive limitations placed on transmission power, content format and design, or other technical parameters.
 
For more information contact Suman Basnet, AMARC regional coordinator for Asia Pacific at suman_basnet@asiapacific.amarc.org

AMARC was born in 1983 to accompany and support the establishment of a worldwide community radio sector to democratize the media. AMARC advocates for the right to communicate at the international, national, local and neighborhood levels.