Wednesday, 21 July 2010

[creative-radio] Farm Radio Weekly July 19, 2010 - Issue 120

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From: Farm Radio <>
Date: 19 Jul 2010 16:26
Subject: [Farm Radio Weekly] July 19, 2010 - Issue 120

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Our new subscribers this week come from far and wide. We would like to
welcome: Bernard Guioua, Radio Rurale, Central African Republic; Nassao
Salif and Gabriel Zopoula, FEPPASI, Burkina Faso; Leon Marcellin, Programme
de Promotion des Revenus Ruraux, Madagascar; Marie Jeanne Raharison,
Ministry of Agriculture, Madagascar; Esnart Hamiyanda, Sky FM Radio, Zambia;
Peters Olufemi, The Agricultural Voice, The Gambia; and Adella Mbabazi, UBC
Buruli FM, in Uganda.

Resourcefulness and creativity are key talents for any farmer or
entrepreneur. Our two main news items this week provide examples of these
talents and the innovations to which they lead. From Mozambique, we hear how
Gilberto Tethere adapted an efficient but costly grain store, reproducing it
with affordable local materials. Many farmers are now copying his idea.
Moving to the Congo, Josephine Bouanga has developed a method to make milk
from pumpkin seeds. She created her own business and is developing other
inventive food processing ideas.

Last week, we brought you a news brief about the launch of the East African
Community Common Market. This week we bring you a short follow-up, with some
reactions to the new regulations, and reflections on what they might mean
for small-scale farmers in Uganda. We also present a news brief on the new
International Cocoa Agreement. The accord contains provisions which should
ensure that small-scale farmers benefit from producing cocoa in an ethical
and environmental way.

Finally, the Radio Resource Action contains a link to the Farm Radio
International blog where you can watch a short video about Asio Koku's
experiences working with participatory radio campaigns in Ghana.

Happy reading!

*-The Farm Radio Weekly Team*


*In this week's Farm Radio Weekly:*

*African Farm News in Review*

1. Mozambique: A farmer builds a silo with local materials to reduce
post-harvest losses (Helvetas Mozambique, Farm Radio

2. Congo: Milk from pumpkin seeds (Spore, Syfia, La Semaine

3. Uganda: Reactions to the new East African Community Common Market (by
Sawa Pius, for Farm Radio Weekly, in Uganda) <#129ecd0acbe54ebc_article3>

4. Global: New international cocoa agreement signed (IPS,

*Upcoming Events*

-Deadline July 31, 2010: Africa Rural Connect essay contest with World
Policy Journal <#129ecd0acbe54ebc_article5>

*Radio Resource Bank*

-Total Recorder <#129ecd0acbe54ebc_article6>

*Farm Radio Action*

-From extension officer to farm radio broadcaster: Mr. Asio

*Farm Radio Script of the Week*

-Low-cost Food Processing: Preserving Foods as Jams or


*African Farm News in Review*


*You are welcome to use the news stories below in any way that suits your
radio organization. You may wish to read one or more of the news stories
directly onto the air, adapt them to be more relevant to your audience, or
simply use them as ideas for news stories to research locally. However you
use the African Farm News in Review, we would like to know! Please post a
comment on FRW's online site or e-mail<>

*1. Mozambique: A farmer builds a silo with local materials to reduce
post-harvest losses (Helvetas Mozambique, Farm Radio Weekly)*

Weevils used to nibble away at poorly stored seeds in the Cabo Delgado
Province of northern Mozambique. But now, farmers are busy weaving bamboo
strips together to form cylindrical storage silos coated with brown clay.
The structures are called Tethere silos. They have two openings: one at the
top to fill it with seeds, and one at the bottom, to empty the seeds.

In the Maririni village of Cabo Delgado province, Gilberto Tethere is
lovingly called "Velho Tethere" (old Tethere in Portuguese). Mr. Tethere
invented what is now being called the "Zero Emissions 'Fridge' for Rural
Africa" (ZEFRA) or *Tethere silo*. The idea came to him after attending a
workshop on using metal silos to store seeds. Finding the metal silo too
expensive, Mr. Tethere reconstructed the silo with local materials and
traditional building techniques.

The Swiss NGO Helvetas first introduced metal silos to farmers. "We tried to
introduce a metal silo in northern Mozambique which was quite successful in
Central America, but it proved to be too expensive because of the material
and transportation costs. Gilberto Tethere liked the design and decided to
rebuild the silo using local materials," explains Christian Steiner,
regional coordinator of Helvetas Mozambique.

The silo has many advantages. It can help subsistence farmers and their
families adapt to the extended "hunger period." This is caused by the
drought which usually lasts from October to January in northern Mozambique.
Mr. Tethere's silo has all the features of the original and more expensive
metal storage facility, but is affordable for poor farmers. On
average, a *Tethere
silo* that can store 250 kilograms costs about 430 Mozambican meticals
(about 10 Euros or 12 American dollars) for materials and labour. By
contrast, the materials for a metal silo that stores 200 kilograms cost
about 4800 meticals (about 106 Euros or 137 American dollars).

The clay frame of the *Tethere silo* creates an almost airtight seal. This
increases the effectiveness of the herbal repellents produced from ashes,
eucalyptus tree and other local plants. The repellents prevent rodents and
insects such as the granary weevil from consuming stored grains.

Mr. Steiner says that, because the silo is covered in clay and placed under
a grass roof, it keeps stored grains much cooler than the outside
temperature. The *Tethere silo* is used mainly to store beans, maize, ground
nuts and sesame, but can also be used for rice, millet and sorghum.

Ernesto Molid is a farmer who uses the silo. Mr. Molid says that, before
having a ZEFRA silo, he depended on other people for seeds. This dependence
was especially problematic when it was time to sow his field. Now that he
has his own silo, he depends on no one. The low-cost, improved silo allows
him to store his seeds properly and save them for the next planting season.

So far, more than 800 silos have been built and used, each of them
benefiting an average of 10 families. Currently, Helvetas is upscaling the
project to eight districts in the northern provinces of Nampula and Cabo
Delgado. Mr. Steiner says they hope to build 2000 silos for individual use
and 90 community seed banks.

Click here to see the notes to broadcasters on the *Tethere silo* and
preventing post-harvest losses <#129ecd0acbe54ebc_section1>

*2. Congo: Milk from pumpkin seeds (Spore, Syfia, La Semaine Africaine)*

Joséphine Enoce Bouanga walks around her two-room house in a suburb of
Pointe-Noire, in the Republic of the Congo. Cassava, sorrel and plantains
thrive outside in her garden. Her home is also the site of an innovative
small-scale business named Enoce Bio. Mrs. Bouanga, a rural development
engineer, set up her company in 2006.

Normally, people eat the flesh of pumpkins and squashes and throw away the
seeds. Mrs. Bouanga believes this is a waste. Squashes are commonly grown in
Congo. After studying the nutritional value of squashes, and taking a food
processing course, she experimented with making milk from pumpkin seeds. She
says the drink is full of nutrients. She also believes it tastes better than
soya milk.

In 2008, she exhibited her products at the national fair. The Pointe-Noire
Industrial Association donated space on their stand. This association
supports small and medium-sized enterprises. Didier Mavouenzela Sylvester is
president of the association. He says, "Josephine promotes local products
and creates opportunities for farmers who grow squash, a product linked to
our culture." She buys seeds from farmers in Bouenza and Lékoumou, in
southern Congo.

In 2008, Mrs. Bouanga obtained a patent from the African Intellectual
Property Organization for making milk from pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin seeds
are shelled by hand. Mrs. Bouanga then soaks and grinds the seeds. She
filters the juice and bottles it. Mrs. Bouanga avoids explaining the details
of the process to protect her patent.

Mrs. Bouanga employs a number of staff. The business also makes other
products, including nutritional flour made from soya bean and maize, and
garlic syrup. "My products do not contain chemical additives. They can be
stored between six and twelve months," she says.

In 2009, she met Rodolphe Adada, the Minister for Industry. He told her
"Madame, you are a gold mine without knowing it." These encouraging words
gave her the strength to continue developing her enterprise. There are few
agro-processing businesses in Congo. Mrs. Bouanga's production capacity is
limited. But she is full of ideas. She is already planning to produce a
flour made from plantain as an infant food.

Click here to see the notes to broadcasters on relief efforts and seed
distribution <#129ecd0acbe54ebc_section2>

*3. Uganda: Reactions to the new East African Community Common Market (by
Sawa Pius, for Farm Radio Weekly, in Uganda)*

The East African Community Common Market came into effect on July 1 this
year. It covers Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

The Common Market imposes high import taxes on key products. For example,
the import tax on maize brought in from outside the Common Market will be 50
percent. For milk it will be 60 percent, while sugar attracts a tax of 100
percent. This makes importing these products very costly. The measure aims
to protect small-scale farmers and ensure good prices for their produce.

Farmers are exempt from these taxes when trading within the five countries.
Yet they still need to be able to reach the markets in East Africa before
they can fully benefit from the new trading regulations.

Samuel Ojeku is a farmer and coordinator of the Soroti District Farmers
Association (SODIFA) in Eastern Uganda. He says farmers were losing money
and sales because imported produce was cheaper than local produce. The new
regulations will change this situation. SODIFA members live close enough to
western Kenya to enjoy good access to markets there. "Market access goes a
good long way to promote production, and as farmers we are very happy about
this," says Mr. Ojeku.

In Kibaale district, in the west of Uganda, the Kisita Area Cooperative
Society includes more than 4500 farmer members. Members store their maize
collectively. They wish to sell direct to the market, avoiding middlemen.
But the farmers cannot find a market and are stuck with over 500 metric
tonnes of maize.

Nathan Were, a market specialist from The Microfinance Support Center in
Uganda, worries that the Ugandan farmers are about to harvest another 650
tonnes of maize, but have no space to store it. He calls on the UN's World
Food Program to purchase the maize. He suggests that Kenya is a good place
to distribute Ugandan maize. Kenya needs maize, yet imports it from outside
the region.

The Uganda National Farmers Federation says the Common Market is a good idea
for the region. But improvements in infrastructure are needed. Charles
Ogang, the federation's vice-president, believes that railways and roads
need improving, to link poor farmers to the big markets in the region.

However, Mr. Ogang thinks that many farmers are not yet fully aware of how
the Common Market will operate. The federation is using regional
agricultural trade fairs to promote its benefits to farmers.

*Download the Common External Tariff Handbook as a pdf file from this page:

*4. Global: New international cocoa agreement signed (IPS, ICCO)*

The new International Cocoa Agreement was successfully negotiated in June.
Fifty-three countries attended this year's UN Cocoa Conference in Geneva.

The agreement takes effect in 2012, and will last for ten years. It is the
seventh International Cocoa Agreement. It will bring improvements to the
cocoa industry and ensure better prices for small-scale cocoa farmers.

According to the International Cocoa Organization, the official body that
administers the agreement, the accord introduces some major innovations. For
example, it recognizes the need to secure fair cocoa prices for both
producers and consumers. Data from private and public sources will be
collected, processed and shared to enhance market transparency. The
agreement will also strengthen cooperation between exporting and importing
countries, civil society and the private sector.

Guy-Alain Emmanuel Gauze is Ivory Coast's ambassador to the United Nations
(UN) in Geneva and president of the UN Cocoa Conference. He regards the new
agreement as "objective and balanced." He believes it puts measures in place
to achieve fair prices for all parties involved.

Ghanaian officials express similar sentiments: "I am happy and satisfied,"
said Anthony Nyame-Baafi, minister/counsellor at the permanent mission of
Ghana to the UN in Geneva. "The concerns of producing countries have been
taken into consideration. And, very importantly, it enhances market

*The final text of the International Cocoa Agreement 2010 can be downloaded
from this page in English, French, Spanish or Russian:*

Download the full press release from ICCO here:


*Notes to Broadcasters*


*Each week, we use the Notes to Broadcasters section of FRW to share
additional information and resources that we come across while researching
the African Farm News in Review. We will also pass along ideas on how you
could further explore issues from the news at your radio organization. If
you have an idea or resource related to any of this week's news stories, we
invite you to share it by posting a comment on FRW's website at:*.

*Notes to broadcasters on the Tethere silo and preventing post-harvest

Prolonged droughts are not uncommon in Mozambique. An estimated 500 000
people live in chronic food insecurity. Without access to quality seeds,
subsistence farmers recycle traditional seeds that produce poor yields, and
remain poor. With the climate changing, there will likely be an increase in
extreme weather events and even longer periods of drought. In response,
farmers in Mozambique and elsewhere are learning new and innovative ways to
store their seeds properly and ensure their food security.

Building metal silos can be costly. But Gilberto Tethere (the farmer who
invented the low-cost *Tethere silo*) has proven that silos don't have to be

To learn more about the *Tethere silo* and how to build your own, watch
these informative videos: (in Portuguese only).

You can see more pictures of the *Tethere silo* on Helvetas Mozambique's
flickr page:

The *Tethere silo* or "Zero Emissions 'Fridge' for Rural Africa" is an
adaptation of a metal silo that worked well in South and Central America for
seed conservation (see But the Mozambican context
proved different. Mozambican farmers were unable to afford the metal silos.
In comparison to Central and South America, not only is Mozambique poorer
but also geographically more isolated. Access to metal for construction is
too expensive. Christian Steiner of Helvetas Mozambique provides an example:
In Central America, small farmers use zinc metal roofs on their houses.
These farmers can afford to consider building metal storage facilities. In
Mozambique, most farmers do not have metal roofs on their houses. Metal
roofs are a higher priority for these farmers than metal silos.

Gilberto Tethere understood that farmers in northern Mozambique needed more
affordable, locally-adapted silos. And, out of necessity, innovation was

Maybe there are innovative farmers in your area. Why not interview them to
find out if there is another low-cost, innovative way to store seeds?

Here are some interesting Farm Radio International scripts about seed
storage and preventing post-harvest losses:
Innovative farmer uses pounded maize cobs to protect stored
Communities Revive a Traditional Method of Storing Grain in Times of
Storing cow-pea seeds for a season and a
Avoid Farm Losses by Improving Storage
Avoid Post-Harvest Losses with Proper Handling: Eight Radio

*Notes to broadcasters on pumpkin and squash:*

This story presents an example of innovative agricultural processing. As the
entrepreneur in the story demonstrates, processing foods can increase income
not only for the processor, but also for the farmers who can sell more of
their crops. Often, it means that perishable foods such as fruits and
vegetables are preserved and do not have to be eaten immediately. Or, as in
this case, a by-product is given a use and value.

Pumpkins, squashes, gourds, melons and cucumbers all belong to the
Cucurbitaceae family. There are many edible species in this family, and they
often have names which are local to an area. According to Josephine Bouanga,
four species are commonly grown in the Republic of the Congo: squash or
pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata and Cucurbita pepo), watermelon (Citrullus
lanatus), and bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria.

Most parts of a squash plant can be eaten, including the flowers. In some
parts of the world, roasted pumpkin seeds are commonly eaten as a snack.
Wikipedia has a short entry on squashes here:

If you are interested in further information on the nutritional benefits of
pumpkin seeds, you may visit this site:
The World's Healthiest Foods' article on pumpkin seeds:

Here is a previous Farm Radio Weekly story on pumpkin:
Pumpkin co-op offers growing
3rd, 2009, Issue #76)

There are many Farm Radio International Scripts on food processing and
storage at:

Two scripts which cover squash in particular:
-Farmers in Eastern Nigeria Grow the Fluted
71, Script 1
June 2004;
-The Three Sisters: Maize, Beans and
58, Script 6 January 2001.

You may wish to search for farmers and other entrepreneurs in your community
who have found innovative ways to process and market local foods:
-What sort of market research did the entrepreneurs conduct to ensure that
consumers, distributors, or retailers would be interested in purchasing
their new products?
-Were the entrepreneurs supported by local organizations such as farmers'
cooperatives or micro-credit institutions?
-How have farmers adapted to increased demand for the locally produced food?
-Have local consumers received any particular benefits from these activities
(such as improved access to nutritious foods)?


*Upcoming Events*


*This section is a place to share information about events and training
opportunities related to agriculture, rural development, radio broadcasting,
or other topics of interest. If you know of an event or training opportunity
that may interest other radio organizations, please post a comment on FRW's
website or e-mail the details<>

*Deadline July 31, 2010: Africa Rural Connect essay contest with World
Policy Journal*

What do you think about African food security policies? How would you deal
with the fundamental problems of agricultural development and rural poverty
in sub-Sahara Africa? What initiatives could improve food security in rural

The Africa Rural Connect essay contest is an opportunity to have your
responses to these questions published in a leading international relations
publication. The winning essay will be published in the Autumn/Fall 2010
issue of World Policy Journal.

The competition is open to anyone around the globe. You need only create a
profile on the Africa Rural Connect website. Then, you will be able to
connect with others, share ideas and receive comments on your story.

The essay should be between 800 and 1,200 words. Unfortunately, submissions
are accepted only in English. The deadline is July 31, 2010.

Africa Rural Connect is a program of the U.S. National Peace Corps
Association. It provides an online global network where well-informed people
work together to communicate and respond to the needs of African farmers.

To find more information and details on entering the contest, visit:


*Radio Resource Bank*


*When we hear about a resource that may help you in your radio work, we will
post it here in the Radio Resource Bank. This is a great place to share your
best tips and favourite online resources with the FRW community. Please post
a comment on the FRW website (, or e-mail <> and
we'll share it in the next Radio Resource Bank.*

*Total Recorder*

Total Recorder is a software program which records audio from your computer.

The program allows you to record sound from other computer programs such as
iTunes, Quick Time, Windows Media Player, and RealPlayer. You can also
record live internet broadcasts and internet-telephony programs such as
Skype. Total Recorder captures sounds from a microphone and other external
input lines such as a tape player, LP player, or MP3 player.

Total Recorder allows you to record streamed video and audio, internet
broadcasts or online television whenever you want, much like a regular video
recorder. With the program, you can cut, or join compressed audio files. You
can perform a variety of tasks such as splitting a long broadcast into
smaller pieces and tagging them.

Recordings can be made in the following formats: AVI, WMV, FLV, WAV, MP3,
WMA, Ogg Vorbis, APE, and FLAC. The program will convert between any of the
supported formats. Recorded files can be saved on your computer's hard drive
in WAVE or MP3 format and used as you desire.
The free version of Total Recorder can be downloaded at:

For more information on specifications, visit:


*Farm Radio Action*


*This section is devoted to news about Farm Radio International and the many
partners in our network. We look forward to hearing news about your radio
organization so that we can share it with the FRW community! If you would
like to tell us about a new program, successful event, or any other news
about your organization, please post a comment on the FRW website, or e-mail <> and we
will post your story in the next issue.*

*From extension officer to farm radio broadcaster: Mr. Asio Koku*

A few weeks ago (Issue 116), we brought you updates on a participatory radio
campaign on New Rice for Africa (NERICA) run by Volta Star Radio in Ghana.
This campaign is part of Farm Radio International's African Farm Radio
Research Initiative (AFRRI).

Farm Radio International recently posted a video of Mr. Asio Koku on the
Farm Radio Live blog. Mr. Koku is an agricultural extension officer in Ho
municipality, Ghana. In the video he talks about how he became involved with
the AFRRI project, and what he learned as a result. It is a very honest and
interesting account of his experiences. You can view the video via this

On the Farm Radio live blog, you can keep up with news from Farm Radio
International and all our partners. Occasionally, the blog features guest
posts, videos and features. The page provides links to other social media
such as Twitter and YouTube. There is also the opportunity to post comments.
Read every blog post easily by signing up to receive it in your email inbox,
or by RSS feed. Then you will never miss a post!

You can read the blog here:


*Farm Radio Script of the Week *


*While Farm Radio International's scripts are always available online at, we will use this section to
highlight some of our new scripts, as well as past favourites that are still
relevant today. If you would like to nominate a script for next week's Farm
Radio Script of the Week, please post a comment on the FRW website at:, or e-mail<>

*Low-cost Food Processing: Preserving Foods as Jams or Sauces*

This week's Farm Radio Weekly covers topics related to food processing and
storage – pumpkin processing, growing and selling cocoa, and preserving
grains in an innovative fridge. To complement these stories, the script of
the week is a short interview which describes a method for preserving food.
When perishable crops ripen, farmers may be left with a surplus. Making jams
and sauces from fruit and vegetables can easily be done in most households.
Nothing is wasted and the family can enjoy fruit and vegetable products for

The script is available at the following address:

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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