When Sewura Ebenezer Ayibabu, 35, was given 15 guinea fowl eggs by a friend one day, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.
He took them to his home in Manyoro, in the Upper East Region of Ghana. As he was debating whether to cook and eat the eggs or try his hand at raising birds, he turned on the radio on his mobile phone. As chance would have it, he happened to tune into Radio URA as it was airing the Farm Radio International program on guinea fowl.
As Sewura listened and learned about how to raise the birds successfully, he decided to give it a try. He quickly brought in a mother hen to serve as an incubator and placed the eggs under her.
Soon after, 12 of the 15 eggs hatched. “At that time, because I didn’t plan on rearing the guinea fowl, I didn’t actually have housing for them,” he says. “So I separated and placed the keets in one part of my room using blocks to separate them.”
Sewura followed the instructions from the program closely. He waited the necessary days before giving the keets water, and then made sure to mix medicine into the birds’ feed.
When all was said and done, all 12 survived to adulthood— a rarity among guinea fowl populations, in which it is not uncommon to lose up to 70 percent of keets.
Now, Sewura sells his guinea fowl for 15 Ghana cedis each whenever he needs something. At Christmas, he and his wife enjoyed guinea fowl for dinner.
Listening to the radio used to be a simple pastime for Sewura. He would tune in when he wasn’t doing anything — and when his phone had plenty of batteries. He never imagined that a radio program could change his life.
“I became a guinea fowl farmer because of the program,” says Sewura. “Now the program has helped me and my friends make a lot of profit. I urge all farmers out there to listen.”
This radio campaign on raising guinea fowl is part of our “Radio for farmer value chain development” project. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the project was awarded the 2015 WSIS Project Prize for its use of innovative information and communication technologies to support development. So far, it has reached more than four million farmers.