The Scaling-up Pulse Innovations for Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Ethiopia project promotes improved haricot bean varieties, and has an emphasis on nutrition. The radio shows are intended to support and scale out on the ground activities, providing information on agronomy, from land preparation through to harvesting. The programs also discuss the role of beans in family nutrition.
Alemitu Biramo describes how she used to make only boiled beans, but now she inclines to prepare dishes of beans mixed with maize and ‘enset’. She notices that since eating beans in this way, children who were occasionally sick are now in better health. She says that listening in a group helps a lot because they listen together and then discuss what they have heard. She learned some information from development agents of their locality, but the radio programs go into much more detail, even about depth and spacing of planting, and how protein and vitamins from beans help keep you healthy. She agrees that it is because of the radio program that they now have in-depth knowledge of haricot beans. She says the most important thing about the radio program for her is that it is in Wolaytingna, her mother tongue. Previously any programs on farming that they heard were in Amharic, which they do not understand so well.
This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada (GAC), www.international.gc.ca