Notes to broadcasters
In northern Ghana, nine of ten households raise guinea fowl, and the birds play a significant role in ensuring that households have enough to eat, and earn a little income. Most farmers let guinea fowl forage freely. The birds forage for their own food and sleep in trees around houses.
There is high demand for both guinea fowl meat and eggs. For families in northern Ghana, guinea fowl are the first item to be sold to meet immediate needs such as farm inputs, or food during the June to August lean season.
Rural and suburban households in northern Ghana typically raise five guinea fowl and one guinea cock. Poor households sell their stock early, while better-off households retain their birds longer, then harvest eggs until October or November and replace their birds with new stock.
In most of northern Ghana, both men and women can own guinea fowl.
There are a number or challenges to raising guinea fowl, including: high keet mortality, lack of supplementary feeding, and differentiating between male and female keets. The following four-episode drama deals with the challenges of feeding guinea fowl.
You might choose to present this drama as part of your regular farming program, using voice actors to represent the speakers. You could also use this drama as inspiration to research and develop a radio program on guinea fowls in your own country.
If you choose to use this item as inspiration for creating your own program about guinea fowls, you could talk to extension agents and farmers in your area, and ask the following questions:
- Are guinea fowl raised in your area?
- Do farmers use free-range systems, or do they confine their birds for part or all of their lives?
- What are the major challenges to raising guinea fowl in your area? What solutions have been found for these challenges?
- What feeds are given to guinea fowl in your area?
Apart from speaking directly to farmers and other key players in the local agriculture sector, you could use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in program.
Estimated running time for this item is 20-25 minutes, including intro and outro.
Because raising guinea fowls is so important to Vakpahi, the community celebrates an annual festival to crown the farmer with the most keets and the fattest guinea fowls in town.
Kisha and Abu are farmers and both raise chickens and guinea fowl for a living. Kisha is the reigning champion at raising guinea fowl. Everyone in the village knows that this is a family heritage that he intends to keep and pass on to his children. Abu is a big talker and a braggart, which makes people a little sceptical of him. But he has discovered a secret that will improve his life as a farmer and his chances of winning the crown. His secret will also bring a change to the townfolk, who have been suffering because so many of their keets have been dying.
Who will win the crown this year? And will the winner’s knowledge help farmers in his community? Stay tuned to find out!
My ancestors will be very disappointed in me if I lose the crown. It is my responsibility to pass on this family heritage to my son Abdul when I am no more.
(SHREWDLY) I will do my best to ask around. I might be able to help you with a solution.
Contributed by: Abena Dansoa Danso, Farm Radio International, Ghana office
Reviewed by: Zimi Alhassan, Regional Agricultural Extension Officer, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana.
Animal Production Directorate, Ghana Ministry of Food and Agriculture, 2012. The Training Manual for Guinea Fowl Production.
Theodora Kubaje, farmer, Paga, Upper East Region, Ghana,
Appialora Alawuga, farmer, Banyoro, Upper East Region, Ghana
Albert Asorega, Vice-Chairman, Guinea Fowl Farmers Association (GUIFFA), Mirigu, Upper East Region, Ghana
Al Hassan, Program Office, GUIFFA, Bolgatanga, Upper East Region, Ghana