By Gbenga Abulude
Sterling Bank Plc has extended its coverage of the Farmers’ Radio programme to cover the six geo-political zones in the country, following its wide acceptance and high success rate in the northern part of the country.
The Farmers’ Radio show since its debut in 2018, is the only agriculture-related radio show sponsored by a commercial bank in Nigeria.
It started with a pilot in three northern states.
Group head, Agric and Solid Minerals Finance, Sterling Bank, Mrs Bukola Awosanya said this year’s edition of the seasonal radio programme will air for 13 weeks in major languages across all geo-political zones of the federation.
Awosanya said each broadcast will last for about 30 minutes, with resource persons from research institutes and Development Financial Institutions (DFIs), among others being invited to discuss technicalities, innovations and available opportunities in agribusiness finance, as well as some dos and donts of modernised farming techniques.
She added that the radio programmes are structured like business rooms where needs-based discussions are held with the purpose of facilitating partnerships as well as drawing government and private investors’ attention to specific value-chain related interventions to enhance business opportunities across agricultural finance and the value chain.
According to the Group head, the programme will be broadcasted on local radio stations across key agribusiness hubs in Nigeria to conceptualise, produce and broadcast unique programmes aimed at identifying and resolving the constraints faced by farmer groups and processors alike.
On the choice of broadcast medium, Awosanya pointed that radio remains the most widely used media platform outside of major urban areas, and a key medium for reaching people in areas with limited media options and penetration.
The principal objective of this season’s schedule include increasing and maintaining awareness of financing opportunities available to smallholder farmers, aggregators, off-takers, stakeholders and observers across the agribusiness value-chain.
The programme will also serve as a platform for creating new commercial opportunities by driving market linkages, enabling multi-stakeholder interactions across the value chain with the goal to improving efficiency and output, especially among smallholder farmers.