Roderick St Clair, The Caribbean
“Farmers do not always have time to read booklets and guides, however useful they are. But they can listen to the radio while they work and hear from people just like them, experiencing, and solving, the same problems”.
Roderick St Clair is the host of the Eat Caribbean radio programme, part of a project of the same name, run by the Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN). Eat Caribbean is part of a larger FAO initiative to improve food security with specific aims to develop and strengthen food security and agricultural value chains throughout the region.
On the Eat Caribbean programme, St Clair talks to farmers, extension officers, exporters, buyers and financiers. The talks aim to show how value chains can meet the requirements of buyers (such as supermarkets, fast food chains, processors and exporters) and link these buyers to farmers, while also discussing challenges and success stories.
“We talk to anyone who is involved in agricultural value chains and who has some experience and advice they can pass on to others” he says. “We discuss the links between each business to give the others a better understanding of the challenges and options at each step along the chain. Farmers call in and speak directly to the guest advisers. They can ask the financiers questions about banking, get to know the problems transporters face, and discover the issues that concern the buyers”.
The programmes are broadcast on a local radio station in Grenada, and streamed live online every week. Anyone who misses the broadcast can visit the website to download and listen to a podcast. Its reach already goes far beyond the Caribbean. People from all round the world, particularly in Africa and South America, are downloading and subscribing to the podcast and sending comments and questions to the project website.