Why guinea fowl farmers are excited about a new radio program
Theodora Kubaje keeps a brood of guinea fowl on her family farm to ensure her family of seven have a protein-rich diet. Occasionally, she will sell a guinea fowl for extra income to purchase seeds, fertilizer or food during the lean season.
Guinea fowl are an important element on family farms across in Kasena Nankana West District in the Upper East Region of Ghana. In northern Ghana, 90 per cent of farmers raise guinea fowl, which are native to the area.
Despite their popularity, many farmers in Upper East Region have questions on how to improve the health and quality of their guinea fowl broods. On average, 70 per cent of keets, baby guinea fowl, do not survive. This makes guinea fowl a risky investment for farmers, despite being an important source of protein for growing families.
Appialora Alagiwugay is hopeful a new radio program will answer his questions about the high mortality and low hatch rates. “A radio program that will address these challenges will go a long way to help not only me but all the people who rear guinea fowl in this region – and improve their lives,” he said.
URA Radio, located in Bolgatanga, Ghana, recently began broadcasting a radio program all about guinea fowl, including information on raising a healthy brood and earning a good profit from selling the birds. This program is supported by Farm Radio International, and guided by the information needs of local guinea fowl farmers.
Farmers have questions, and radio broadcasters can learn about these questions through interviews or phone-in segments. Broadcasters then take these questions to researchers or agricultural extension officers, and then share the best advice widely so that thousands of listeners can benefit.
Theodora says she needs more information on how to house guinea fowl, what feed to use at each stage of their life, and what drugs to use to keep them healthy. “A radio program that will educate us on these challenges will help solve food security and increase family income for me and my fellow farmers,” said Theodora.