Farmers in Burkina Faso eager to learn about orange-fleshed sweet potato

Emeline Bembélé and her daughter in Orodara, Burkina Faso, where Farm Radio International’s latest campaign on the benefits of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes was launched. Emeline is eager to learn more about this nutritious crop in order to reduce the likelihood of her children being malnourished. 

Farmer Emeline Bembélé sits in a conference room at Hotel Prestige in Orodara, Burkina Faso, and listens intently. It’s stuffy, despite the air conditioning, because with her are dozens of other local farmers, here to have a say in the development of a new radio show.

The show, Denbay Dagamu (Health, Affluence and Happiness in the Family), outlines the many benefits farmers can expect by producing orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP), along with information about how to grow, sell and cook it. OFSP is rich in vitamin A, which is vitally important for pregnant women and children.

Local farmers, journalists and members of Farm Radio International’s team in Burkina Faso conduct a conference about Farm Radio International’s latest radio campaign on orange-fleshed sweet potato. 

For Emeline, this was a chance to learn more about OSFP and why it is important. “I didn’t know that the OSFP was important for nutrition. I’m very happy to receive this information because it will help us stop the malnutrition of our families,” she said.

The project was officially launched in Orodara, in the southwestern province of Kénédougou, Burkina Faso, on June 4, 2014. Farm Radio International broadcasting partner Voix du Verger began airing episodes the next week. “Radio Voix du Verger will play its role in ensuring that this campaign will be successful and I also hope that we will see the participation of the population,” said Lassina Kanoté, director of the station.

To learn more about the project described here, made possible with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners, please visit the project page.

About the author  
Emma Bider a Farm Radio International intern based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She is a fourth year student in the Journalism and African Studies programs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She has interned at the CBC bureau in London, UK, and traveled across Europe while on exchange in the Netherlands. Emma is taking part in the Centre for Media and Transitional Societies (CMTS) internship program.

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