Notes to broadcasters
This dialogue describes four different ways of storing cassava. It also explains why it is important for farmers to experiment with new systems and to adapt existing methods to fit their needs.
Suggestions : The characters can be played by male or female actors. The actor playing Sammi may want to use a funny voice or way of speaking to add comedy to the dialogue. Words or sentences that appear in (parentheses) at the beginning of a line of dialogue are suggestions for the actor as to how to deliver the line and should not be read out loud. “Off mic,” for example, means the actor reads his line loudly, but far away from his microphone. This way, his character sounds far away from the other character. Music is used to signal a change in time or narrative style. At the end of the program, you may want to encourage your listeners to send you stories about their own farm experiments.
Cassava is also known as manioc, manihot, or yuca. You may wish to substitute the appropriate term that is familiar to your audience throughout the script.
MUSIC (Bring up program theme music and play for 10 seconds. Fade out to Maria.).
Last year, though, I planted more cassava than usual. I hoped to store some for my family, then sell the rest at the market. So, I had a problem. I could not leave so much food for so long in the ground because I needed the land to grow other crops. What I needed was a way to harvest all of my cassava in its prime, and then store it safely and cleanly for a good, fresh taste. And you know what? I found it.
MUSIC(Fade up music. After a few seconds, fade out.).
MUSIC (Fade up to signal the end of that dialogue. Fade out to Maria.).
I looked up at the sun, which was slowly sinking in the sky. There were clouds on the horizon. Clouds! I groaned. Sammi’s plan would not work! My soil was wet, very wet. If I dug a hole and it rained, water would collect in it and my cassava would be spoiled.
I was starting to feel tired. It was nearly evening, and I had no way to store my cassava. I sat down outside of my house with my feet up on a box. The straw pile was a great idea, but I can not afford to lose my food. The hole was a good solution, but my soil is wetter than Sammi’s. Then I got an idea. I jumped to my feet, picking up the box as I stood. Why not make my pile inside the box?
I was so excited that I ran around gathering as many different containers as possible: boxes, baskets, even cartons. I needed a bottom layer for protection, just like the dirt or the straw. Luckily, I had a lot of sawdust, so I covered the bottom of each container with that.
I spread a layer of cassava in the sawdust, making sure that the roots did not touch each other. I covered them with another layer of sawdust. I continued this pattern until the boxes were full: sawdust, cassava, sawdust, cassava. Not one root touches another. I even spread an extra layer of sawdust on top for extra protection.
[NOTE:Sammi’s lines of dialogue from here to the end interrupt Maria’s story. She is still the narrator, re-telling her conversation with Sammi, rather than acting it out as in the previous dialogue.]
MUSIC (Fade up. Play for a few seconds. Fade out to Maria.).
This script is based on information provided by Mr. Vandi, Sierra Leone; Network member, Peter Afekoro, Nigeria; and Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, script 16-2, January 1990.
Additional research: Jennifer Pittet, Researcher/writer, Toronto, Canada.
Written by: Krystyn Tully, Writer, Toronto, Canada.
Reviewed by: Daniel Sonke, Director of Information Programs, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO), 17391 Durrance Road, N. Ft. Myers, FL 33917 USA.