Notes to broadcasters
This script captures the experiences of farmers who are growing and selling quality protein maize, also called QPM, in the midwestern district of Kibaale, in Uganda. The variety of maize they are growing is called Nalongo in Kibaale, which means “Mother of twins.”
The script shows how farmers can grow this variety of maize to improve their income and food security. QPM matures more quickly (in a little more than three months) than other varieties, and when harvested, it’s heavier, making it successful as a commercial food crop. Also, it has much more protein than traditional varieties, and can help address malnutrition in children and adults, especially protein-deprived sick and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on improved varieties of maize or other crops in your area, and how farmers are improving their family’s nutrition or earning a greater income from these varieties.
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.
If you choose to use this script as background material or as inspiration for creating your own program, you might consider the following questions:
• If maize is a major crop in your area, are there varieties which are better suited for the current climate? Are there varieties with better nutrition? Have farmers been planting these new varieties? If so, what were their results? Are there any barriers which stop farmers from planting the new varieties?
• Have government extension services been promoting any new varieties of staple crops? Why are they promoting them and what have been the results for farmers? (Talk to both men and women farmers)
• What problems are local farmers having with local staple crops? Are these problems being addressed by extension workers or perhaps by NGOs and other organizations?
Apart from speaking directly to farmers and other key players in the local agriculture sector, you could also use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in segment in your regular farmer program. You could also invite farmers and others to the studio for a discussion panel. The panel could also take place on location in a village or on a farm.
Estimated running time for this script, with intro and outro, is about 20 minutes.
This variety yields about one tonne per hectare and is extra nutritious! Stay tuned to hear about a variety of maize that families say is making them ready to kick poverty out of their life forever!
We Ugandans love maize, and that’s why we consume it more than all the other crops we grow. For breakfast, lunch and supper, our children consume it every day in primary and secondary school. When they reach university, they find it there too. If they graduate and join the police or the military, our sons and daughters enjoy delicious maize every day. Those who don’t join the armed forces find it at their workplaces; many Ugandans believe that a plate of food without posho is incomplete and “shy.” The machine called Uganda doesn’t run on petrol. It runs on maize.
But climate change happened and maize has been producing less and less because of too much heat and not enough rain. A need arose for a variety of maize that was climate-smart, one that was moderately drought-tolerant, a variety that could perform relatively well under low rainfall compared to other varieties.
The National Agricultural Research Center went to work. Not only did they aim for a variety of maize that would do well in droughts, they also wanted it to be a lot more nutritious than traditional varieties. In that way, the many people who eat maize on a daily basis, especially children in the resource-poor communities, would get more protein and other nutritious health benefits.
And that is how Quality Protein Maize or QPM was born. It has a lot of protein unlike other varieties, and eating QPM has been proven to lead to better health. That’s why mothers of little children have shown great interest in growing QPM.
I visited a few farmers in Buyaga County, Kibaale district. First we will hear from Mrs. Bandahura Topista and her husband from Maberenga village, in Bwikara sub-county. This couple can’t believe their luck that they landed on this variety.SIGNATURE TUNE UP AND OUT
Here, I met Bakeine Mary, a woman in her late 50s. She is the secretary of the 21-member farmers’ group in Nyabugando village.
Back at the local radio station, Kagadi-Kibaale Community Radio, I talked to Mr. Kasooha Ismael, the man in charge of agricultural programming at the station.
It looks like word of mouth is having an effect – many new farmers are asking about seeds. It looks like many more will be taking up QPM this season. By the way, the agro-input dealers sold out all the maize seed they had stocked and even stocked more and more. The sales were extraordinary.
SIGNATURE TUNE UP AND UNDER HOST, THEN UP FOR 10 SECONDS AND FADE OUT.
On the farmers’ side, we talked to Topista and her husband, Yusufu, who wish they had a tractor so that they could plant Mother of twins on more acres of land and say goodbye to poverty forever.
We also talked to Mary Bakeine, who belongs to a farmers’ group that decided, after being introduced to QPM, to start growing maize for the first time.
Dear listeners, my name is________, saying goodbye for now. Catch me again next week, same time, same station, for the agricultural program. Goodbye.
Contributed by: Tony Mushoborozi, Scrypta Pro Uganda Ltd.
Reviewed by: Kasooha Ismael, news editor, Kagadi-Kibaale Community Radio, Uganda; and Mr. Bahindura John, African Rural University, Kagadi-Kibaale, Uganda.
Mr. and Mrs. Topista Bandahura, February 27, 2014
Mrs. Mary Bakeine, February 28, 2014
Mr. Kasooha Ismael, February 29, 2014
This script was written with the support of Irish Aid.
Project undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD)