Barzaradio.com helps farmers increase crop yields through connecting radio broadcasters to each other.
We’re very proud and excited to share the news that Digital4Good and our client, Farm Radio International have launched the first social network especially for African radio broadcasters.
After winning the pitch earlier this year, we’ve worked with the Farm Radio team in Canada and Tanzania to create the platform that is Barza. The name was created through a competition with the African radio broadcasting community, who submitted suggestions and subsequently voted for the name Barza. It is a French Congolese word (with Swahili roots) meaning “the place where eminent people in a village meet under a tree to talk and sort out questions concerning the community.”
Growth in Africa’s internet and broadband sector has accelerated in recent years due to improvements in infrastructure, the arrival of wireless access technologies and lower tariffs. Broadband is rapidly replacing dial-up as the preferred access method. This process is already virtually completed in Africa’s more developed markets. The project came at an ideal time allowing us to work with Farm Radio International to help connect radio broadcasters together, for them to share their content, resources and expertise and co-develop programmes.
The idea was to create a niche environment where users could connect and share farming and broadcasting related content, ultimately making a difference to African farmers crop yields, through exposure to new ideas and information. FarmRadio.org and Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) already produce great content that feeds into this community website making it a useful and comprehensive resource.
We worked with the Farm Radio team to create personas of their diverse audience members, wireframes of the site, design as well as extensive development using Drupal. FarmRadio used a panel of testers to test all functionality thoroughly before it was launched to the key audiences this week.
This interactive site includes news, blogs, a sophisticated search, comments, discussion forums as well as a restricted area for broadcasters to create their own profile, choose their subject interests and meet like minded individuals in broadcasting and agriculture. Radio stations can also create their own radio station pages, advertising their programming and content to wider audiences.
The real gem of the site is that users can upload their own radio and farming related content, specifically radio scripts, events, photos, video and audio. The resources section has a host of content categorised into broad topics (broadcasting, agriculture and miscellaneous) making it easy to find content around specific subject areas (e.g. climate change).
The project was also unique because all parties were situated in different countries, which saw a significant use of Skype and collaborative web based project management tools to run the project and keep everyone up to date.
We’re extremely proud of the effort and vision that has gone into the site from both our clients and our team. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have such a great client who cares so deeply about the people they work with and the audiences they touch.
For more information go to Barzaradio.com