The Speaking Scarecrows


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 birds. It is based on information about an innovation developed by community educator Mr. Adam Abubakari from Ghana.

For the farmer, happiness is being able to fully benefit from one’s farming efforts despite thieves and bird pests. This script looks at an innovative solution for chasing away bird pests.


Introductory theme music to open the show, then fade out.

Dear listeners, hello and welcome to our programme. Today, we will talk about a simple way to chase pest birds away from your cereal fields. Stay tuned to find out all about it.

Farm field noises – voices and occasional bird song. Fade under speaker.

To scare pest birds and make them fly away, farmers usually set up scarecrows in their fields. But this technique doesn’t work! Birds come back all the time. Here’s a new idea! Do you know about audio tape? I’m talking about the black shiny tape that is inside cassette tapes. This tape makes a whistling sound every time the wind blows. To a bird, it sounds like humans! The combined effect of the scarecrows, of the tape shining in the sun, and of the whistling scares the birds away. All you have to do is tie the audio tape between the scarecrows.

Fade up bird song, then fade out.

In Ghana, farmers are using this new technique. And it’s working! Birds are flying away from their cereal fields.

Thank you for listening to the show. I hope it gave you one good idea for chasing away pest birds. (Pause) This was (host’s name). Goodbye and don’t forget to tune in next week!

Closing theme music, then fade out


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