Notes to broadcasters
In Togo, agriculture employs 80% of the population and accounts for 40% of the country’s gross domestic product. Cash crops such as coffee, cocoa, cotton, and soybeans, as well as food crops such as maize, rice, millet, sorghum, and groundnuts, are grown by farmers throughout the country. The groundnut sector plays an important role in national agricultural production. Northern Togo is the most significant production area for this crop.
But groundnuts present a great risk of contamination. Groundnut crops are often exposed to contamination by aflatoxins, which are a group of toxins produced by certain fungi, the most important of which for agriculture is Aspergillus flavus. Aspergillus flavus is present in soils and can be a potential source of danger for groundnut producers. How do groundnut farmers manage aflatoxin contamination? This is the question we will answer in this program.
This radio script will hear from three actors in the groundnut sector: two farmers who will talk about how to prevent aflatoxin contamination, and an aflatoxin specialist who will tell us about initiatives taken in Togo to combat this toxic substance.
To produce a similar program on managing aflatoxin contamination throughout the groundnut value chain, you may find inspiration in this script. If you decide to present it as part of your farming program, you could have journalists and voice actors interpret it instead of the people originally interviewed for the script. In this case, please inform your audience at the beginning of the program that these are the voices of journalists or radio hosts and not the actual participants.
If you intend to broadcast a program about managing aflatoxin contamination throughout the groundnut value chain, talk to farmers who produce agricultural crops, toxic substance specialists, and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain.
You could ask them the following questions:
- What are the most important crop diseases in this region?
- What preventive and curative crop disease and pest control measures are available? How can farmers access these control methods? What are the details on costs, frequency of administration, etc.?
Estimated duration of the radio script with music, intro, and extro: 20 minutes.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), aflatoxins contaminate up to 65% of groundnut crops; and an estimated 95% of children in Africa are affected by this toxin.
This radio program features three actors in the groundnut value chain. There are two farmers with whom we will discuss managing aflatoxin contamination. We will also interview a specialist on aflatoxins who will talk about how to prevent this dangerous substance.
What are aflatoxins? How do they contaminate crops? How can aflatoxins be controlled? Do producers know how to control these toxins? Is there a product or method used to control aflatoxins? Is this product or method effective? Is it accessible to producers? What is the impact of aflatoxins on human health?
In this program, we are pleased to welcome Mr. Compara Karsongue, a groundnut producer based in the Savanes region of northern Togo, in the Prefecture of Tandjouaré.
The use of Aflasafe is one of many methods. If we want to fight against aflatoxin, we need to combine measures, including the application of a good cultivation method and the proper use of Aflasafe.
To you dear guests, thank you for your presence and participation despite your busy schedules.
Let’s remember that aflatoxins do not only have a negative impact on the farmers’ yield per hectare, but it are also dangerous for human health.
However, measures are being taken in Togo to sensitize producers on respecting good agricultural production practices. It is also worth mentioning that the results of the Aflasafe tests are expected to be used for a massive dissemination of control methods to producers.
This program was presented with the participation of Saya Donzo and Compara Karsongue, both of whom are agricultural producers in the north of Togo. We must also mention the specialist in aflatoxin issues, Dr. Ekanao Tedihou of the Togolese Institute of Agricultural Research, who explained the topic to us.
Thank you and see you soon for another edition.
Contributed by: Simon Akpagana, journalist at Agridigitale, Avépozo, Lomé, Togo
Reviewed by: Ekanao Tedihou, Aflatoxin specialist at the Togolese Institute of Agricultural Research (ITRA)
Saya Donzo, groundnut farmer in Dapaong, Savanes Region (North Togo), May 3, 2021.
Compara Karsongue, groundnut farmer in Tandjouaré, Savanes region (North Togo), May 4 and 18, 2021.
Ekanao Tedihou, aflatoxin specialist at the Togolese Institute for Agricultural Research ITRA, May 6, 2021.