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Script 68.4

Notes to broadcasters

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Radio programs can encourage farmers to explore new business ideas. You could broadcast interviews or stories about local farmers who are growing new crops, raising new types of livestock, keeping bees, cultivating medicinal plants, or adding value to farm produce through food processing. You could even set up a special series of interviews with innovative local farmers who are experimenting with new enterprises.

The following script is adapted from a radio interview broadcast by Developing Countries Farm Radio Network partner, Classic FM Radio, in Ghana. During the interview the guest discusses his experience with a new business – mushroom growing. Mushroom growing is a good example of a less capital-intensive agricultural practice that provides extra income. The script can be adapted to better suit the needs of your listeners or used as is. Alternatively, you can use it as a model for your own interviews with local farmers.

Script

Characters

Kwabena Agyei:
radio host
Owusu Bempa:
Director of Bempah Mushroom Complex

MR. KWABENA AGYEI
-Welcome back to our series on farmer innovation and success stories. In our recent programs, we’ve heard about experimenting with test plots, sharing innovations, and a method from Africa for putting the nutrients back into the soil. Today’s program is about exploring new ideas for earning extra income. Many farmers are developing interests in new crops that give unexpected profits. An example of one of these new crops is mushrooms. To help us learn something about growing mushrooms, we have a special guest with us today. Mr. Bempa is the Director of the Bempa Mushroom Complex. Mr. Bempa, welcome to the show.

MR. OWUSU BEMPA
-Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.

AGYEI
-Mr. Bempa, perhaps you could tell us why you first started growing mushrooms.

BEMPA
– Yes indeed. It all started several years ago when I was chosen to attend a workshop for youth. The theme of the workshop was empowering young people to be self reliant and to learn vocations. We were taught about all sorts of things – like dressmaking, soap making and beekeeping. But what really interested me was mushroom growing.

AGYEI
-And your interest grew into a business.

BEMPA
-Yes. I started a small project growing mushrooms in my house. And this grew to be the Bempa Mushroom Complex.

AGYEI
-Wow! It started in your house and now it’s a whole complex. That’s great! But how did you do it? I mean, is it expensive? What do you need to start?

BEMPA
-The things you need to grow mushrooms are easy to get…and cheap. You need sawdust, water and firewood. You also need mushroom spores – the spores are like seeds.

AGYEI
-Well it’s easy to get sawdust, water and firewood. But where would I get mushroom spores?

BEMPA
-When you first start you have to buy spores. But after that, you get the spores from the mushrooms on your farm.

AGYEI
-Okay. Now I have sawdust, water, firewood, and spores. What do you do with all these things?

BEMPA
-Well, I won’t go into all the details now. But to give you a bit of an idea – you first mix the sawdust and water together, and heat the mixture over the stove. When the mixture reaches the right texture, you take it off the stove and let it cool. Then you treat the sawdust with the spores and put it into a bag. Then you wait.

AGYEI
-How long do you have to wait before the mushrooms are ready?

BEMPA
-You have to wait for several months for your mushrooms to grow. As I said, there are a few more details you’ll need to learn – but if your listeners are interested, I suggest they get more information from an experienced mushroom grower. But, I can tell you that once they’re ready, you’ll be eating mushrooms for three or four months.

AGYEI
-And do people buy mushrooms?

BEMPA
-oh yes. These days some people use mushrooms as a meat supplement. So mushroom sales are fantastic!

AGYEI
-So that means you are rich!

BEMPA
-Well, not really, but I am making more money than I used to!

AGYEI
-This is all the time we have for now. Mr. Bempa, thank you for spending time with us. We shall meet again.

BEMPA
-It’s a pleasure.

MUSICAL BREAK (5 seconds).

AGYEI
-You’ve heard how an interest in mushrooms grew into a profitable business for our guest, Mr. Bempa. Do you have an idea that could grow into a business? If so, what would you need to do to make it happen? Next time on this show we’ll talk to a farmer who is experimenting with another new farming enterprise: _________ [name of new enterprise]. Thanks for listening today.

Acknowledgements

Contributed by Developing Countries Farm Radio Network partner, Kwabena Agyei, Program Director, Classic FM Radio, PO Box 28, Techiman, Brong Ahafo, Ghana.

Reviewed by Chris Reij, International Cooperation Center, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.