Notes to broadcasters
The livestock industry in the Northern region of Ghana has been struggling to survive for the past 10 years because there are inadequate resources and services in the area. Information on animal health, and on the nutritional needs of small ruminants such as goats and sheep, as well as supplements and veterinary services for many rural farmers, are inadequate or do not exist at all. In this script, Lydia Ajono, a community radio producer, talks to livestock owners in the Bukurugu Yoyoo and Savelugu/Nanton districts of the Northern Region of Ghana about livestock nutrition.
This script is based on actual interviews. You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on a similar topic in your area. Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.
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The climate in the district is similar to other areas in northern Ghana. Farmers here experience one rainy and one dry season. The rains start in April and last until August, or sometimes as late as mid-October. Sheep, goats and cattle are the main livestock raised by rural farmers.
Binde has a population of 800 to 1000 people, mostly smallholder farmers who combine livestock rearing and growing crops. Most of the farmers have no formal education, but are very rich in indigenous knowledge about their farming needs, especially about feeding their animals and taking care of their general health. The farmers practice what they call free-range feeding of their animals. During the dry season, the animals are allowed to go out into the farmlands and forest to feed during the day and return in the evening. In the rainy period, small ruminants such as goats and sheep are penned in a particular pasture to graze, while cattle are taken to the fields or forest to graze.
Before we talk to the farmers, let’s enjoy some songs from the area. This song is about good harvests.
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I collect the animal droppings for my farm. Last year, I did not use chemical fertilizers, but my maize had the best harvest due to the animal droppings that my wife and I applied. So I urge other farmers to start raising small ruminants to support the family income.
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Contributed by: Lydia Ajono, Program Manager, Simli Radio, Tamale, Ghana, a Farm Radio International broadcasting partner.
Reviewed by: Dilip Bhandari, veterinarian, Heifer International.
Local names for ruminant feed plants:
Arabic: daqn el-Basha, dign el basha, labakh, laebach, lebbek
English: East Indian walnut, frywood, Indian siris, koko, lebbek, lebbek tree, rain tree, raom tree, silver raintree, siris rain tree, siris tree, soros-tree, woman’s tongue, fry wood
French: bois noir, bois savane, tcha tcha
Madagascar: bonara, fany, faux mendoravina
Swahili: mkingu, mkungu
English: quickstick, mother of cacao, gliricidia
French: gliricidia, le noir Madero
Spanish: mata raton, madre cacao
English: Graham stylo, common stylo
French: stylo, luzerne tropicale, luzerne du Brésil
English: Verano stylo
French: luzerne des Caraïbes
English: Seco stylo, shrubby stylo
French: no known common name
English: thorn tree, coffee bush, false koa, hedge acacia, horse tamarind, jumbie bean, lead tree, leucaena, white popinac, wild tamarind, white lead-tree
French: delin étranger, graines de lin, faux mimosa, bois bourro, makata bourse, tamarin bâtard, Leucaene, Leucaene à têtes blanches, cassie blanc
Swahili: lusina, mlusina
Amharic: yergib ater, yewof ater
English: Angolan pea, Congo pea, no-eye pea, pigeon pea, red gram, yellow dhal
French: ambrévade, pois cajan, pois d’Angole, pois pigeon, pois de bois, pois-lisière, pois chiche rouge, cytise cajan, cytise des Indes
Portuguese: feijão boere
English: butterfly pea, clitoria, tropical alfalfa, blue pea
French: clitorie de Ternate, liane de Ternate, pois bleu, liane Madame, ki-poule
Portuguese: fula criqua
English: elephant grass, napier grass, merker grass
French: fausse canne à sucre, napier, herbe à éléphant
English: Guinea grass, common buffalo grass
French: guinée, herbe de Guinée, mil de Guinée, canne fourragère, faux kikuyu, herbe des Bermudes
Interviews conducted at Binde community in Bumkurugu-Yoyoo district, April 17, 2009; Pong-Tamale, April 18, 2009; and Libga community in Savelugu/Nanton district, April 21, 2009.