When Issah Naabunu, 45, heard about composting on the radio, he didn’t immediately make the switch. With everything depending on the productivity of the ground beneath his feet, adopting new farming practices can be risky business. Being a seasoned farmer, he decided to test the difference himself.
“I farmed half an acre of fertilizer and half an acre of compost,” Isaah says. “I realized the yield was much better with compost.” Issah also reports that the crops he grew with compost looked healthier and produced better seeds.
Listening to all of the farm radio broadcasts on his local radio station, Radford FM, has helped him with his maize, cowpea, and groundnut production. Alongside learning how to build pits for composting, he learned how to organize people to build fire belts to protect the soil from fires and infertility. In the past, Issah would burn his fields after harvest in order to prevent animals and overuse fertilizers and chemicals. He credits the radio program on Radford FM for this change.
“After I harvested, I used to do nothing until the next rainy season,” he says. “Now I have seen that the harvest is not the end of farming.”
Issah particularly likes the radio drama segments of the show and the way that they present farming information in an entertaining way. He also appreciates that indigenous Sissila names are used for the different characters.
Although Issah enjoys the radio show, he wishes he would be able to contribute more. In Jawie, where he lives in northern Ghana, there is little to no network for his mobile phone, which prevents him from calling into the station. Despite this, Issah plans to keep on listening. “It’s changed my life,” he says.
The radio program that Issah is listening to is part of the Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer project, made possible with the support of Feed the Future, the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative.