Voices of farmers facing the Fall armyworm

Deo Mutekanyiza beside his maize field (Photo: Farm Radio International)

Masindi and Kiryandongo are the maize-growing regions of Uganda, and maize – or corn – is a staple crop, cooked into a porridge for breakfast or into ugali for dinner.

The Fall armyworm is threatening maize crops in Uganda – and by extension the food security of Ugandans. It’s expected to damage up to 1.39 million tonnes of maize.

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Changing farmer perceptions using radio campaigns in Malawi

Cyrial Mangochi, Brighton Mzama, Isaac Banda and Everess Mzama from Choma radio listening group.

In Kalilangwe village in the Nkhotankota district of Malawi we meet Everess Chilchungu, Cyrial Mangochi, Brighton and Agness Mzama – farmers from the Choma radio group who have been listening to the ‘Cassava Plant doctor on air’ show. After a warm reception they share their experiences from listening to the Cassava radio programmes, highlighting challenges from pests and diseases, what they’ve learned and suggestions for improving the show. The meeting is part of an evaluation to understand farmers’ experiences and the impact of the radio show.  Continue reading

Calibration is the key

A farmer spraying his crops in Uganda. Awareness of how to use chemicals safely is limited and this farmer isn’t wearing the right protective clothing for spraying.

Do farmers know how to calibrate their sprayer so they are mixing the right amount of pesticide with water to spray their crops?

When we asked the Basooka Kwavula farmer group from Wakiso district in Central Uganda, we found that not many of them do. They all saw the process as complicated and even if they attempted to do it accurately once, they would use those settings for a season or more rather than repeating each time they needed to spray.

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Tune in to the Cassava show

Farmer listening group; photo David Onyango, CABI

Last week in the Nkhotakota region of Malawi a new radio show went on air. Not a news programme or a music show, but a show devoted to Cassava. Sounds pretty specific? Well, it’s even more focussed than that. The weekly 30 minute programme is actually focussed on managing one of Cassava’s most damaging diseases – Cassava mosaic disease.

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