Powder of Little Pepper Protects Stored Rice

AgriculturePost-harvest activities

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 controlling pest damage in stored rice seed. It is based on a technique used by Mr. Bamba, a rice farmer from Guinea. Mr. Alhassane Pendessa, a researcher from Mali, brought this technique to the WARDA contest.


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Welcome to the programme. You may know that insect and microbe pests cause serious damage to rice crops in West Africa. But did you know that there are local solutions? Today, we will listen to Mr. Bamba, a rice farmer from Guinea. Mr. Bamba uses pepper powder to preserve rice crops. Stay tuned to hear him explain his recipe for protecting stored rice.

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Unfortunately, the quality of rice crops in Guinea is worsening because of insects and microbes. If we farmers are to make a living growing rice, we need new ideas. Fortunately, we have a new technique for protecting stored rice crops: the powder of little pepper (Broadcasters: use common local name for “little pepper” throughout the script). A powder made from this plant produces a repulsive smell that stops insects from attacking crops.

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It is very simple to make the powder. First, you harvest ripe little peppers from the fields. Then you sun-dry the peppers. Once they are dry, you crush them completely. Remember to completely dry the rice before you treat it. To treat stored rice, add one tablespoon of pepper powder to a 50 kilogram sack of rice and mix it well. It is recommended that you protect your whole body during the treatment. And don’t forget that, to keep treated rice safe from disease and insects, you should store it in a dry place, on a wooden pallet, and check it regularly for pest damage.

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Stored rice which is treated with pepper powder will repel pests for four to five months. This technique is very popular in the area where I farm, and all over Guinea.

Theme music up, then fade under speaker.

Thanks to our guest today. I will summarize what Mr. Bamba has told us: harvest ripe little peppers, then sun-dry them and crush them to powder. Add one tablespoon of pepper powder to a 50 kilogram sack of completely dry rice. This should give you protection from insects for four to five months.

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(Pause) Thank you for listening to today’s show about using pepper powder to preserve stored rice. Goodbye and talk to you soon.

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

Examples of local names for little pepper or Capsicum frutescens:

  • Igbo: Ose-oyibo, Ose nukwu
  • Yoruba: ata-jije
  • Nkula (Malawi): Tsabola
  • Bini: isie
  • Efik/Ibibio: ntokon