Script 14.6


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Presenter: George Atkins

Interviewee: Wilfrid Ntiamoah, Ghana, West Africa

Special note

In this item we use the word “ear” of maize (corn) to refer to the part of the maize plant consisting of the cob (inner core), the grains on the cob, and the outside covering or husk
(sheath). After the husk has been pulled back or removed, we continue to refer to the cob with the grains still attached as the “ear” of maize. Please use whatever words your farmers
are familiar with.

Suggested introduction

From all over the world, the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network collects ideas that you may be able to use. They’ve all been used successfully by farmers in their own areas—and they can also be used just as successfully by farmers in other areas and countries who are working under similar conditions. Here’s George Atkins.

This farming hint comes from West Africa. It’s about a good way to store maize (corn) that you keep for seed from one season to the next. This is a method that’s used in quite a few countries, but it was Wilfrid Ntiamoah in Ghana who told me about it.

As we stood in the kitchen, close to his house, I could see that a piece of rope was stretched from one wall to another. It was 60 centimetres (2 feet) above our heads. On it, ears of maize were hanging in pairs. The husks had been pulled back but they were still attached to the ears. Wilfrid had then tied the ends of the husks of two of the ears together. Then the husks, with ears attached, had been hung over the rope, with one on each side of the rope. Altogether, there were 20 or 30 ears of maize hanging up like this—and why did Wilfrid have these ears of maize hanging up in his kitchen this way? Because heat and smoke from the cooking fire dries out the maize and prevents insects from getting into it.

Here’s what he told me about this maize that was hanging in the kitchen.

If you would like to store some for the next planting season, then make a knot at the end and you can hang two of the shells (ears) from the maize. Then you hang it from a tight rope in the kitchen where you use firewood in cooking.

Thank you very much Wilfrid Ntiamoah, here in Ghana, West Africa. Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is George Atkins.

Information Sources

1. DCFRN participant Wilfrid Ntiamoah, Ghana, West Africa.

2. DCFRN participant Thomas O. Agada, Nigeria, West Africa.