Date Posted: April 29th, 2013
Since 2008, there has been increasing interest in developing baobab seeds, leaves or dried fruit powder for consumer products. In 2010, the potential international market was estimated at $1 billion per year. The leaves, eaten fresh or as a powder, are commonly used as a vegetable or a soup ingredient in Africa. For more information, visit the Wikipedia site at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adansonia
In 2011, Farm Radio Weekly published a story about baobab and its benefits to human nutrition. In this story, those who use it are also investing in safeguarding the forest environment. You can find the story here: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/06/27/malawi-how-making-juice-can-save-a-forest-ips/. There are also Notes to broadcasters available through this link: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/09/29/notes-to-broadcasters-on-baobab/
In 2012, in partnership with UNEP/CMS, Farm Radio International celebrated The Year of the Bat. Bats are important pollinators of tropical forest plants, some of which flower only at night to attract the flying mammals. Without bats as their main pollinators, the baobab and many other species of trees and plants would cease to exist. Help us spread the word about Africa’s crucial, yet misunderstood, friend of the environment. You can find out more here: http://donate.farmradio.org/. The next issue of Farm Radio Weekly will feature a story about bats in Ghana. You will be able to read it at: http://weekly.farmradio.org
The National Academies Press has published several pages of information about the baobab and other “lost” African vegetables. The baobab pages are accessible through this link: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11763&page=74. Why not read through the document and see if any of the vegetables included are relevant to the country in which you broadcast?
A script from Farm Radio Resource Package 95 (Researching and producing farmer-focused programs) shows how harvestable commodities can be turned into products which the market desires: http://www.farmradio.org/radio-resource-packs/package-95-researching-and-producing-farmer-focused-programs/processing-cereals-into-local-beer-an-income-generating-activity-for-women/