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Script 81.1

Notes to broadcasters

The African Rice Centre (WARDA) recently coordinated a contest in which prizes were awarded to top local agricultural innovations from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea and Mali. On April 20, 2007, representatives from each of the countries involved in the competition took part in a one-day scriptwriting workshop at WARDA in Benin. In this workshop they learned how to share the winning agricultural innovations through radio scripts.

This script looks at an innovative solution for pest damage to stored seed. It is based on information about a method developed by farmer and village chief Mr. Mamadou Dembele from Mali.

Script


Theme music fades up then under host.

Host:
Dear listeners, welcome to today’s show.

Theme music fades up then under host.

Host:
Listeners, today we have great news! In today’s program we are going to tell you about a local plant which can prevent pest damage to stored seeds. Stay tuned and a local expert will tell you all about it.

Theme music fades up then under host and out.

Host:
Pests cause huge damage to stored seeds. When faced with the loss of seeds, farmers often use chemical controls. This can lead to health problems and to pollution of the environment. Fortunately, there are good local solutions against pest nuisances. (Pause) Today’s guest is Mr. Mamadou. He is a farmer and chief of Zeguesso village in Mali. Today, he will tell us about a plant which controls these kinds of pests. He will introduce us to this plant and tell us how it works. Welcome, Mr. Mamadou.

Mamadou:
Hello.

Host:
Please tell us about this plant and how it can be used for seed storage.

Mamadou:
The scientific name of the plant is Hyptis spicigera. It is known as abbah in the Minianka language, benefing in the Bambara language, and Dai fadama in the Hausa language. This plant has a repulsive smell and a bitter taste. The odor is what repels pests. To use it for protecting stored seeds, there are three simple steps. First, you pick the plant’s leaves; second, you make a powder out of them; and third, you mix the powder with your stored seeds.

Host:
Is it necessary to dry the leaves first, in order to make the powder?

Mamadou:
No, that is not necessary.

Host:
And how well does this method work?

Mamadou:
The results are very encouraging. The powder protects the seeds from attacks by termites and other harmful insects. The plant leaves can even be added to the subfoundation of attics when they are constructed. The technique is so efficient that all farmers in my village are adopting it.

Host:
Does it work better than the chemical products you used to use?

Mamadou:
Of course. Chemical products are expensive. Often we can’t afford them. Using them can cause serious health problems and environmental issues. On the contrary, the powder of Hyptis spicigera leaves costs nothing and causes no trouble.

Host:
Could you tell our listeners how to recognize the plant?

Mamadou:
The plant grows on the slopes of dregs. It has a long stalk with leaves exactly opposite each other on the stalk. The top of the plant is pointed. It has cob-shaped white or mauve flowers at the top of the stalk. It has a strong repulsive odor.

Theme music fades up, then under host.

Host:
When it is mixed with seeds, the powder protects them against pest attacks. Mamadou and his whole village tried it and found it very efficient. I encourage you to do the same.

Theme music fades up, holds, then out.

Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Felix Houinsou, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Cotonou, Benin.
Reviewed by: Paul Van Mele, Africa Rice Centre (WARDA), Cotonou, Benin.