Radio campaigns for good food

Radio campaigns for good food

in News
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A remarkable campaign was launched on Saturday 16 January in the Tanzanian city of Arusha…

Namely, an interactive radio campaign to make the inhabitants of Arusha and its surroundings aware of the importance of safe and healthy food for everyone. It is no coincidence that this launch took place at the famous Kilembero market, the place where food products find their way to the consumers of Arusha.

In the following weeks, 12 radio sessions will be broadcasted on different topics related to local, safe and healthy food. Technical experts, farmers and consumers will grab the microphone to set out several aspects as to why safe and healthy food is so important and how the local food system can be improved to make healthy food more affordable and accessible to all.

Consumers can tune into Sunrise RadioTz and Redio Habari Njema 87.5 Fm to listen to the sessions in Swahili. They are also available online for those who missed them.

For this campaign, Rikolto partners with Iles de Paix, Farm Radio International and the Arusha City Council.

Why is a radio campaign on good food important?

Arusha is located in north-eastern Tanzania, at the foot of Mount Meru. It is the base camp for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and safaris to the Serengeti or one of the other numerous nature reserves in the area. In recent decades, it has grown into a medium-sized city with more than 400,000 inhabitants, a number that continues to increase every year.

Our Rikolto colleagues know from daily experience that, when it comes to agriculture and horticulture in the city-region of Arusha, a lot remains to be done in the field of sustainability and public health. There is a lack of effective spatial planning, few incentives for farmers to work in a more sustainable and healthy way and too few resources for developing and applying adequate regulations.

The challenges

According to World Food Programme reports, Tanzania scores well in terms of food security. The city of Arusha also has relatively good food security compared to other parts of Tanzania. But this might change soon, for a number of reasons.

  • Urbanisation is quickly gaining pace - According to the Arusha City Master Plan, the population will grow from 416,000 in 2012 to 1.5 million in 2035 and 2 million in 2050.
  • Water scarcity - The Arusha basin is part of the Pangani watershed, which has a renewable water resource of 1,200 m3 per capita, whereas 1,700 m3 is considered the lower limit worldwide. Moreover, water scarcity is expected to become more severe due to growing commercial demand for water, growth in demand in urban areas, expansion of irrigation and climate change.
  • The effects of climate change - The rapidly changing climate will most likely lead to a reduction in yield and much-needed adjustments in crop choices (e.g. maize, coffee).
  • The political climate - The political framework is fragile and farmers often have to cope with market shocks due to rapid, unexpected regulatory changes (e.g. bans on exports or imports).
  • Poor food safety - About 80 per cent of Tanzania's population is engaged in agriculture. Farms are small - an average of a few hectares - and yields are low. Many farmers do not have access to machinery, irrigation, quality seeds, fertilisers or appropriate pesticides. Moreover, pesticides are too often used excessively, with serious consequences for food safety.

We want to make sure that all the food produced in and around Arusha, especially fruit and vegetables, is really safe.

Hilda Okoth Food Smart Cities project coordinator, Rikolto in Tanzania