Grow and Eat Nutritious Yams

Crop production


Program host:

Today our program is about a popular and important food.

The YAM!

Some of you probably eat yams every day.

Yams are often served on special occasions.

No matter how they are used, yams taste delicious and are good for you.

MUSICAL BREAK (five seconds).

Program host:

Why a program about yams?

Because yams are nutritious.

They are a good source of energy which you need to stay active.

And yams can be mixed with different foods to make several tasty dishes.

MUSICAL BREAK (five seconds).

Program host:

Today’s guest narrator, Regina Shandu, will tell us about an easy way to grow yams.

This is a method used by Shamela Rambadan, who is a teacher in Trinidad & Tobago, a country in the Caribbean.

Mrs. Shandu:

It is a simple way to plant yams.

The first thing is to dig a hole big enough to plant a yam tuber.

Then, place the yam in the hole.

Next, fill the hole with dried leaves or straw or grass, or even kitchen scraps — any organic materials you can find.

Now water the soil well.

As the yam plant grows, the organic materials — the dried leaves or straw or grass — will gradually break down.

And as they break down these same organic materials break into smaller and smaller pieces until they become food for the growing yam plant.

MUSICAL BREAK (five seconds).

Mrs. Shandu:

Now, if you’ve followed my suggestions, your yam plant will grow very well.

Let me repeat the instructions.

Place the yam in a hole and fill the hole with dried leaves or straw or grass.

As the yam grows you will see that the leaves and grass in the hole are decomposing and providing food for the yam.

Place more dead leaves, straw, and grass in the hole as the organic matter breaks down.

At some point it will be time to harvest the yams.

Harvesting is easy.

Cut the vines quite close to the tuber.

Hold the part of the vines that are still attached to the tuber and firmly tug on either side of the tuber.

In no time the tuber can be removed from the hole.

Use the vines for filling the hole when you plant the next yam crop!

Program host:

That’s all for our program about yams today.

I’d like to thank our guest, Regina Shandu, and of course Shamela Rambadan from Trinidad, for sharing with us her easy method of growing and harvesting yams!



Contributed by: Jennifer Pittet, Researcher/writer, Toronto, Canada.

Reviewed by: Vigneswaran Thievendaram, Agriculture specialist, Cambridge, Canada.

Information sources

Grow and eat nutritious yams, McRei Kei, Papua New Guinea, 1994, published as Developing Countries Farm Radio Network script 34-5.

An easy way to grow and harvest yams, Shamela Rambadan, Trinidad and Tobago, 1994, published as Developing Countries Farm Radio Network script 34-6.