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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 supplementing incomes through farming

Teacher’s salaries are low in many countries. Growing your own food is one way to supplement income when a salaried job is not making ends meet. This is true not just in Africa. Yet finding time to grow food can be difficult, as the teachers in this story discovered. Some teachers try to survive by compelling pupils to work on their fields instead of studying. While this is not the best use of a pupil’s time, it is a reflection of the difficult situation in which teachers find themselves. Urban agriculture and gardening are becoming popular as a way of supplementing incomes, and in response to rising food prices, and the need to feed growing urban populations.

Here is some further reading on urban agriculture:

The RUAF Foundation is a network of resource centres on urban agriculture and food security. They also publish a magazine on urban agriculture. Read more here: http://www.ruaf.org/node/512.

Here you can download a pdf of a technical document on growing vegetables in cities: www.agromisa.org/displayblob.php?ForeignKey=274&Id=115

You can read more about the growing trend of urban agriculture in these past Farm Radio Weekly news stories:
-Kenya: Urban agriculture greens metropolis (Issue 40, October 2008). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/10/13/2-kenya-urban-agriculture-greens-metropolis-the-east-african-un-integrated-regional-information-network/
-Africa: Wastewater in urban agriculture is harmful to health, but it also ensures subsistence for urban poor (Issue 34, August 2008). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/08/25/2-africa-wastewater-in-urban-agriculture-is-harmful-to-health-but-it-also-ensures-subsistence-for-urban-poor-iwmi-cbc-dispatches-le-monde-one-world/
-Africa: Urban agriculture provides relief from high food prices (Issue 23, June 2008). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/06/02/1-africa-urban-agriculture-provides-relief-from-high-food-prices-canadian-broadcasting-corporation-the-herald-new-era/

Uganda: Urban farmers fight eviction (Issue 72, June 2009). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/29/1-uganda-urban-farmers-fight-eviction-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala-uganda/

Farm Radio International has also produced a number of scripts on urban agriculture, many of which offer suggestions for growing food in small spaces: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/urban.asp.

Finally, here are some ideas for a call-in/text-in show to further explore this issue:
-Have members of your audience grown food in an urban area?

-How much food do they produce and what impact does this have on their family’s food security?

-What materials (such as organic fertilizer or planters) do they use to make food production possible in very small spaces?

-Which crops grow best with the limited space and resources they have available? What tips or innovations can they share?

-How much time do they devote to their urban gardens?

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