Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

New rural radio services launched in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, 25 Apr 2010 -- Dhaka - The Government of Bangladesh and FAO have signed today a new project 'Enhancing Rural Communication Services for Agricultural Development through Community Rural Radio', the first of 12 rural radio initiatives cleared recently by the government under the Right to Information Act 2009.

FAO, in collaboration with the Agricultural Information Services (AIS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, will set-up the first Community Rural Radio in Amtoli upazila in the Borguna district. The community rural radio will play a key role for knowledge and information sharing on food security and climate change adaptation issues at the community level. The community radio also encourages participation and harnessing of locally available indigenous knowledge and socially validated innovations.

" We are very happy to initiate the Community Rural Radio with AIS as it will further strengthen rural communication services for agriculture and food security", Ad Spijkers, the FAO Representative told the media during the signing ceremony of the project.

The Community Rural Radio will help the existing information and communication services by upgrading, integrating and coordinating through the joint adaptation of a communication for development approach. This will assist the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and the Agricultural Information Service (AIS) to better plan and implement activities at national and field levels, and provide efficient and effective agricultural advisory and other communication services to farmers and local communities.

"The Government has the highest commitment for the south and south west, and high aspirations to exploit the immense potentials to attain sustainable food security for the country", Ad Spijkers said during the signing ceremony.

"An integrated master plan and robust investments for agricultural development in that area is key to bring back southern Bangladesh as the food basket".

We have to explore the synergies of water, seeds and technologies, commented FAO Bangladesh. The Community Rural Radio will be an important means for better communication, technology development, adaptation and boosting agricultural production.

The project signing ceremony was held at the Economic Relations Division (ERD). Dileep Kumar Das, Joint Secretary and Ad Spijkers were the signatories with Nazrul Islam, Director, AIS, in attendance.

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Press release issued by the office of the FAO Representative in Bangladesh