Introduction & Background

GARDJASeveral of us in the processes leading up to this association have been concerned, involved in, discussed and reported on the agricultural, environmental and rural development sectors of Ghana, and felt the need for such an organization to promote our work further.

This led to further meetings and consultation with interested media people in media organizations, leading to an informal Network of Journalists involved in/or interested in prioritizing agricultural, environmental and rural development emphasis in their media activities.

For two years of deliberations and contacts we came to emphasize the fact that Agricultural, Environmental and rural development reporting in Ghanaian media was very scanty. Also those in these areas were not having any special training in that field; we needed more information on agricultural policies, programmes and activities, interaction with stakeholders in the agricultural and rural development sectors, appreciation of the difficulties facing agricultural and rural development stakeholders and rural people, and rural development efforts and challenges generally.

There is also no interaction or forum for Agricultural, environmental and rural development Journalists to meet and interact, share ideas, challenges and opportunities, and develop their capacities to do their work better.

Early to mid 2014, it was decided to formalize the Network by registration into an Association, with its objects, activities, Governance Structures and rules of operation. Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association-GARDJA was thus set up, with the overarching purpose of mobilizing and organizing Journalists and Media Organizations involved/or interested in agricultural, environmental and rural development media reporting and activities to come together share perspectives, help themselves sharpen their skills for this kind of speciality in media work to professionally inform the various publics to improve public opinion towards favourable policies, programmes and practices for agricultural and rural development efforts in this Country.

In order to make our work with publics and agricultural, environmental and rural development stakeholders easier we decided to involve them in our governance structures at the board level.