Uganda: access to agricultural information
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CTA. 2004. Uganda: access to agricultural information. ICT Update Issue 21. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57701
Akello Zerupa describes how he helped groups of women in eastern Uganda to access agricultural information.
In eastern Uganda, most rural households depend on subsistence agriculture, and much of the work is done by women. Yet, few women have access to relevant information that could help them to improve their agricultural production. Akello Zerupa of Makarere University set up a project to address this problem. The project first set out to identify the constraints on women´s access to media such as radio, the most important source of agricultural information in the region. One major finding was that about three-quarters of the women did not know how to operate a radio. It was also found that in households that possess a radio, the men considered it their exclusive property, restricting its use by other household members, women inclusive. The poor economic status of women was also found to be a hindrance. Most of the women were involved in some income-generating activity, such as growing and selling vegetables or brewing beer. However, some of them had to share the little money they earned with their husbands, and they usually spent the rest on basic household needs such as salt, food, and clothes for the children. As a result, they were unable to save enough money to buy their own radio. The project acquired 40 radio cassettes and distributed them to 40 women groups in the Tororo district. The women were taught how to operate the equipment, including how to switch from radio to tape, and how to tune in to radio programmes that provide useful agricultural information. The project also distributed audio tapes with recordings of programmes on agricultural production methods, including how to prepare the ground for planting, harvesting and storage, as well as on compost making and nutrition. The project also showed the women several videos demonstrating various agricultural activities, including compost making and vegetable growing. For some of the women it was the first time they had watched a video, and they were excited to see what other farmers are doing. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Akello Zerupa is a part-time lecturer at Makerere University, Uganda.