The Kilimo Kwanza supplement, which appears in The Guardian/Nipashe newspapers in Tanzania, has been selected as a case study at the ongoing media training on urbanization which has been organized by African Media Initiative and World Bank.
The monthly supplement, which deals with agriculture and other development related issues, had been picked as a case study at the training, which brought on board 75 journalists from sub- Saharan countries.
Chief executive officer of AMI, Erick Chinje said the selection was made looking at media companies in sub –Saharan countries that focus on agriculture and development issues and assessing impacts and sustainability of such projects.
He said the case study was selected looking at the ways it had delivered systematic content through radio and supplementary communication channels.
The official said media in the region were covering agriculture stories but they had not given it enough space like the selected case studies had been performing.
Chinje said that it was high time for media companies across the region to emulate them.
He said training journalists alone is not enough if coverage on agriculture stories is not improved.
Chinje added that the view of media professionals trend to have everything to do with development is that, this is the exclusive preserve of governments hence, they must take responsibility for the failures and success of the policies that drive progress.
He added that print journalism would give as a reason for their lack of interest the argument that urbanisation and agriculture issues do not sell papers and above all they are too complex to be understood by ordinary citizens. This would apply in their view to everything to do with development, energy and infrastructure, climate change and environment, business and finance.
According to Chinje the poor knowledge of these subject is responsible for the poor coverage and therefore the most important instrument of social transformation, media, is not recognised as such and generally ignored by the same policy makers who expect citizens to understand, internalise and contribute to success of development polices.
World Bank Country Director, Bella Bird, said media content across Africa tends to be limited in scope and does not, as it should be adequately inform social, political and economic conversations on the continent coverage of the urbanisation sector by mainstream media is generally uniformed and skimpy. She said media should be involved in policy issues since they are the ones that communicate to a language that can be understood by the public.
For her part, Angel Navuri, The Guardian Head of Supplements said the project aimed at bridging the communication gap that exists amongst various agricultural stakeholders, from policy makers to small scale farmers who constitute majority of the farming population.
Kilimo Kwanza performs its role by facilitating the creation of awareness and feedback linkages amongst various stakeholders such as communication of policies to stakeholders and increasing awareness on issues and new opportunities such as product market, financing, agri-machinery and agri-chemicals among others.
The Supplements works together with Private companies and organisations such as Best Dialogue, Agriculture Council of Tanzania, Tanzania Milk Processors Association, Tanzania Horticulture Association and Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture(TCCIA, Zanzibar. Nat. Chamber of Comm., Industry and Agriculture (ZNCCIA)
Launched in 2009 as a partnership between ICFJ (through its Knight International Journalism Fellowships programme) and The Guardian (the print media arm of the IPP Media Group), Kilimo Kwanza Supplement mirrors the government’s ambition to achieve a green revolution in Tanzania.