A radio based training course to support dairy farmers in Kenya - CASE STUDY
Based on a study which showed that 70% of dairy farmers in the high potential areas of Kenya had no access to education or extension messages on dairy production, an existing training course (run by the Dairy Training Institute (DTI) in Naivasha) was adapted for national radio.
The course was aired on national radio through daily three minute sound bites and a one hour interactive session every week for four months. Course participants paid Ksh 100 (EURO 0.8) to register for the course via MPESA. Continuous assessment was conducted through SMS answers to multiple choice questions aired weekly over radio.
In total 6 325 people registered for the course and each week (for a period of 4 months) over 1.2 million people listened to the one hour interactive session. In order to provide practical examples for the radio based training, district livestock production officers in the 14 target districts in the Rift Valley were facilitated to provide practical training sessions based on each weeks radio topic to registered groups of farmers.
This activity is part of a global food facility project called "Enhancing livestock production to support vulnerable populations in Kenya affected by volatile food prices" funded by the European Union in response to the soaring food prices of 2008-09. The ELP project was designed to support livestock derived food production in both the dry lands (which constitute 80% of the country) and the higher rainfall areas of the Rift Valley.
The predominant form of livestock production in the Rift Valley is small holder dairy production which, despite high rainfall averages is plagued by increasing levels of poverty. The primary reasons for this are a) decreasing parcels of land for dairy production (as land is increasingly subdivided) and b) poor access to education and extension services which would enable adaptation to decreasing land sizes.