New Technique Reduces Work Needed to Thin Millet

Crop production

Notes to broadcasters

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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 thinning millet crops. It is based on a technique developed by a Gambian farmer. Researcher Mr. Sulayman Jallow from the national agricultural research centre in Gambia further conducted experiments to test the technique.

As rural migration increases and the availability of workers diminishes, farmers are faced with a lack of workers for agricultural activities. They try everything in vain to get the workers they need. This script presents a technique which reduces the labour involved in thinning millet. In the text below, the host describes this alternative method, which reduces the need for agricultural workers.


Here is a clever new tip for all farmers worried about the availability of labour for thinning millet: When you sow millet seeds with a 30-hole plate, add some millet bran to the seeds. When you add millet bran, fewer millet plants will germinate, and your millet crop will not need as much thinning. A Gambian farmer developed this method, and Mr. Sulayman Jallow from the Gambian Agriculture research national centre has conducted experiments which show the success of the technique. This successful innovation reduces the quantity of seeds per seed hole and thereby reduces the need for additional workers to thin the millet crop. Good news for millet farmers!


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