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Belgian reporters share expertise with Congolese colleagues
Trias commissioned former VRT reporter Guy Janssens and Michiel Van Meervenne to travel to Congo to support their local colleagues with the production of pre-elecion videos.
Janssens and Van Meervenne spent one week in Kinshasa with the support of the Belgian Federation for Agricultural Press (BVLJ). They provided training for the employees of Conapac, a national agricultural organisation co-founded a few years ago with Trias’ support.
'We were positively surprised by the motivation of the Congolese agricultural leaders,’ said VILT-reporter Michiel Van Meervenne. ‘Despite the insufficient infrastructure in this vast country, they’re involving their members as much as possible in agricultural policy.'
Congo should hold national elections this autumn. In the run-up to the polls, Conapac drew up a set of requirements. Representatives from the six counties each examined an election issue, ranging from agricultural infrastructure to microfinance and land access.
An impressive result
After months of preparation, the key message for each of the six lobbying actions was determined during a meeting of agricultural leaders in Kinshasa. To ensure these viewpoints were communicated to participants from across the whole country, Trias brought in the know-how of Janssens and Van Meervenne.
‘Firstly, we drew up surveys with our Congolese colleagues. Then we recorded interviews with provincial agricultural leaders. Our colleagues did an excellent job with limited resources. The result is impressive,’ stated Van Meervenne.
The aim is to produce a DVD with half an hour of footage which will be distributed in provincial departments to Congolese farmers. They opted for a DVD because of the limited accessibility of internet and television in the countryside.