Over 80% of people in Nepal listen to radio, out of which almost 40% - who fall in the poorest category - listen to it on daily basis. Therefore, improving the functioning of the media market in Nepal, particularly the radio targeted to rural populations, has the potential to contribute to pro-poor changes in agricultural practice and productivity.

However, despite the growth in the number of radio stations in Nepal, the sector is struggling for sustainability due to a lack of stable revenue from advertisement; variable quality of programme content; and reliance on donor support - all of which contribute to a cycle of low profitability and low performance.

Samarth-NMDP is working to catalyze changes in the media market system to improve the commercial viability of local radio stations. The interventions focus on improving the content of local radio programs to have a stronger focus on agriculture; and addressing constraints in the key supporting functions  such as a system for carrying out audience ratings, which is critical to building  a sustainable advertising revenue base.

Current Interventions

1. Improve Rural Radio Programming

Working Districts: 

Related Resources

March 23, 2018

A brief overview of Samarth's Media sector as a whole, as at 2018.


February 16, 2018

This case study explores the impact of the efforts of policymakers and practitioners from private sectors who have been pushing the media industry forward over the past decade. 

November 07, 2017

During Programme Year Five, from April 2016 to end March 2017, Samarth-NMDP has solidified its interventions and has been able to record some impressive results at all levels of the log frame. At the impact level, the programme has made significant progress since year 4, reporting a total of 183,463 beneficiaries to date, nearly doubling the programme results to date. One-fourth of the results reported to date come from the Crop Protection Inputs sector, and Pigs, Vegetables, and Fish sectors have all reached between 20-30,000 beneficiaries each.

July 01, 2016
Media will not be pro-poor unless they prioritise local poverty reduction issues and take ownership of the programmes
Jun 28, 2016: Investigative journalism can be an effective means to reduce poverty if it is embedded as an integral part of the media industry. Yet, the woes of  the marginalised are often sidelined in favour of more-striking political news—intense competition and pressure to perform well financially pushes media companies to prioritise attention-grabbing news like politics.
May 24, 2016

Kanchanjunga Radio, one of the media partners of Samarth-NMDP, started to air interactive agriculture programmes to bring the woes of the farmers of Gaurigunj to the fore. Samarth had provided the station with training and mentoring support as well as partial programme start-up cost to make the programmes audience driven, participative and field based, following the principles of ethical journalism.