Radio provides a helping hand in the tricky work of raising guinea fowl

Elizabeth Webonga, 38, has been raising guinea fowl in Manyoro, in Ghana’s Upper East Region, for 20 years. In the past, she would typically only raise between two and five birds into adulthood from a set of 25 eggs.

Guinea fowl keets can be very tricky to raise. They have high mortality rates and are extremely sensitive to changes in the weather.

Elizabeth used to raise her guinea fowl the way everyone in the area would, giving the keets water shortly after they hatched, keeping them outside, where they would stray into a variety of unhygienic places and catch a cold nesting in the rain. Roaming free, her keets were also indistinguishable from those of other guinea fowl farmers, which put women farmers at a disadvantage.

As Elizabeth explains, “Before, when we would let the guinea fowl roam, they would get mixed up with other guinea fowl. When we would say ‘This guinea fowl is mine,’ the people would side with the man, so I was left with nothing.”

Now, thanks to a local radio program, Elizabeth has learned to wait the required number of days before giving the keets water. She has also built a house for them so that she can keep them together,  clean, dry, and safe from claims from other farmers.

“I have learned a lot,” she says. “When hunger strikes we don’t have anything. Now with the program we know what to do so that now they can sell the fowl to take care of school fees and help with insurance.”

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.


Tara Sprickerhoff
About the author  
Tara Sprickerhoff is a recent graduate of Carleton University’s Bachelor of Journalism program. She spent the summer of 2015 working in Accra, Ghana, as a journalism intern with Farm Radio International, and recently returned to continue on. Tara aspires to one day work in radio herself, as she is happiest when she is able to give others a voice to share their own stories and passions.

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