Notes to broadcasters
To celebrate our 100th Resource Pack, we are reproducing one of the scripts from Script Package #1, which was distributed to 34 broadcasters in 26 countries in May 1979. The following item was Script #6 of that first package. We are distributing it exactly as it was written in 1979.
Over the next months, FRI will update many of our earlier scripts and post them on our website. We will ensure that the information is up-to-date and accurate, and reformat the scripts to make them as useful as possible.
So … Welcome to one of Farm Radio International’s earliest scripts! The following item is presented word-for-word, exactly as printed and distributed in 1979 by FRI’s founder, George Atkins.
George Atkins, a farmer for many years, has travelled around the world for Massey-Ferguson, the University of Guelph and the Canadian International Development Agency, looking for ways to help farmers increase food supplies. In Africa, he found a scientist who has been studying what to do with the traditional maize crib so maize will dry more quickly and thoroughly, especially in the humid tropics.
Dr. W. H. Boshoff, Project Manager, FAO African Rural Storage Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria, West Africa
As we talked about these cribs in which the maize dries better than in most, Dr. Boshoff told me this.
It’s a ventilated structure that allows the air to pass through and inhibits molding in the cobs.
So what we’ve established, in fact, is that, depending on your climatic conditions, the more humid it is where you are, the more narrow they should be. In very humid climates they should be only two feet or 60 centimetres in width. In less humid climates, you can go up to 150 centimetres, about 5 feet.
This allows for the air to pass through easily. It will inhibit fungal infection, and provided you apply in insecticide to prevent insect damage the crop will be perfectly safe. It’ll dry very slowly. Then with the onset of the dry weather, it will reach a moisture content of below 15%. It will then be suitable for threshing and storage conventionally in sacks; — that’s in the humid parts.
If the climate was good enough to bring the moisture down to less than 12%, one could store it in more solid walled structures. But this isn’t recommendable in the humid tropics.
The actual drying by the sun is only the first few cobs that are exposed; beyond that, they’re shaded from the first layer or so.
You do get the dry breezes of the afternoon blowing from the west here in this part of Nigeria.
Serving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry,” this is George Atkins.