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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on crop choice:

Many factors influence a farmer’s choice of crops to grow, including the farmer’s knowledge, local climate, and local market. In recent years, climate change and concerns that the world is facing a “food crisis” have become important factors to consider.

You may wish to host a call in show and invite farmers to explain which crops they grow and why. Or you could research a news story on crop choice during the planting season. Some questions to ask include:
-Which crops are traditionally planted in your area? Are these crops favoured because of their suitability to the local climate, because they earn good prices at market, or for other reasons? What are the most important considerations? Do women and men grow different crops? Why?
-What new crops have farmers tried in recent years? What reasons do farmers give for trying them? Do these new crops produce good yields? Are they difficult to manage? If they are grown for sale, do they fetch a good price at market?
-Have farmers made different crop choices this year based on concerns or experiences with climate change or food shortages?

The following Farm Radio International scripts look at the subject of crop choice:
Choosing crops for drought-prone areas (Package 73, Script 3, January 2005)
Comparing crop varieties: Start small, go slowly (Package 68, Script 8, September 2003)
Which farmer would you rather be? A story about diversification (Package 65, Script 8, October 2002)

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