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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: Choosing to grow a greater range of crops

In this week’s story from Uganda, Ms. Acen decided to grow a wider range of crops. She is earning more income because she now produces goods for the market at different times of the year.

The following stories from previous editions of FRW also deal with crop choice:

-“Comoros: Farmer switches from growing luxury good to staple crops (FRW #238, March 2013) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2013/03/11/comoros-farmer-switches-from-growing-luxury-good-to-staple-crops-by-ahmed-bacar-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-comoros/

-“Congo-Brazzaville: Cassava scarce as farmers turn to growing pineapple” (FRW #219, October 2012) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2012/10/09/congo-brazzaville-cassava-scarce-as-farmers-turn-to-growing-pineapple-by-john-ndinga-ngoma-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-congo-brazzaville/

-“Niger: Onion producers suffer from market glut” (FRW #202, May 2012) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2012/05/28/niger-onion-producers-suffer-from-market-glut-ips/

-“Uganda: Organic certification allows farmers to tap export market” (FRW #68, June 2009) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/06/01/2-uganda-organic-certification-allows-farmers-to-tap-export-market-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-kampala-uganda/

-“Nigeria: Cassava waste is good food for goats” (FRW #54, February 2009) http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/02/02/nigeria-cassava-%E2%80%9Cwaste%E2%80%9D-is-good-food-for-goats-voa-news/

Issue #239 (March 2013) contained three stories about how farmers adapted their crops or their marketing in order to supply the market. You can find that issue here: http://weekly.farmradio.org/topic/issue-239/

Many farmers frequently rethink the mix of crops they grow for reasons such as market changes, climate change, or promotion by NGOs. What sorts of choices and changes are farmers in your listening area making? Here are a couple of program ideas on the topic:

1) Host a call-in/text-in program inviting farmers to discuss their crop choices. If they’ve switched or introduced new crops in the past, what were their reasons and what were their results? If they have maintained the same crops while nearby farmers have made changes, what were their reasons and are they happy with their decision?

2) If you see a trend of farmers increasingly growing a new crop, interview some of the farmers about their decision. What do their farms look like now (for example, have they devoted some or all of their farms to the new crop or crops)? What have been the benefits and challenges of making the change? If some or all of their crops are non-food crops (such as coffee or cotton) what steps are they taking to ensure their family’s food security? While visiting areas where many farmers have made a change, see if you can find some farmers who have opted against change, and add their voices to the program.

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