Notes to broadcasters
To ensure that food is safe, to help farmers and processors, and to improve value chains, governments help create and enforce standards for growing and processing foods such as potatoes. Standards are detailed guidelines for producing safe, high quality produce. They cover all aspects of production, processing, labelling and transportation. The National Bureau of Standards in each country collaborates with other stakeholders to create and enforce these standards.
When producers and processors follow standards, product quality improves, producers and processors can expect increased income, and consumers are assured of safe, high quality products. In addition, trade and marketing across national borders is possible, as is the case with the East and Central African harmonized standards for fresh potatoes.
This script is a six-scene drama which shows how small-scale potato growers can grow fresh potatoesto the standards of the market. The script talks about standards for seeds, cultural practices, harvesting, storage, and transport.
You could use this drama as inspiration to produce a similar program on standards for potatoes or other crops in your area. Or you might choose to present this drama as part of your regular farmer program, using voice actors to represent the speakers.
Choose a unique signature tune for the beginning and end of each episode so your audience will instantly recognize that an episode of the drama is about to begin. Create a promo for the drama and broadcast the promo frequently – during your regular farmer program and at other times when farmers are likely to be listening.
Follow episodes of the drama by interviewing a potato farmer or an expert on the potato value chain. Invite listeners to call or text in with questions and comments. Topics for discussion might include:
• What are the recommended standards for growing fresh potatoes for the market?
• What are the biggest challenges to meeting those standards, and how can those challenges be successfully addressed?
Estimated running time for this item is 15-20 minutes, including intro and outro.
In today’s drama, we meet two farmers who grew potatoes at the same time. One got a very good crop and sold his potatoes at a very high price. The other did not pay attention to detail when planting, harvesting and storing his potatoes. And so he had a poor harvest and lost money. In fact, nobody wanted to buy his potatoes! In today’s program, you will learn how to grow, store and transport potatoes according to the harmonized standards for roots and tubers in East and Central Africa. Growing to these standards will ensure you get a better market and a higher income. Stay tuned.
Okay, that brings us to the end of our meeting. All the best in growing your potatoes!
AT GITONGA’S FARM
This program has been produced by the Enhancing adoption of HarmonizedStandards for Roots and Tubers in East and Central Africa project whose goal is to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through commercialization and increased regional trade of roots and tubers in East and Central Africa.
The project was funded by USAID through the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, or ASARECA.
The project partners are the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture or IITA, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards, the Rwanda Bureau of Standards, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards and the University of Nairobi.
For more information on harmonized standards for roots and tubers, please contact the Bureau of Standards in your country.
Contributed by: Winnie Onyimbo, Trans World Radio, Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewed by:Dr. Abass Adebayo, value addition specialist, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and Dr. Gabriel Ndunguru, consultant to IITA.
This script was written with the support of the Tanzanian office of the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture.