Radio means life for this seasoned farmer

Radio is reviving forgotten farming techniques like composting — and teaching an older farmer some new tricks.

Nabugu Havenu is 92 years old. A seasoned farmer in the Upper West Region of Ghana, she has accumulated a lot of farming expertise over the years. And she’s seen a lot of farming practices come and go.

Recently, she’s noticed a lot of farmers applying expensive chemicals and fertilizers to their fields to try to make their crops grow. But, she’s thankfully witnessing a change back to more natural and traditional ways of farming.

“When I started farming, we would put manure in the sun and make a mound so that we could sow it later. But then we started to ignore these ways […]. Now we are going back to the first ways.”

Nabugu credits a program on her local Radford FM for this positive change. The program is also helping Nabugu refine some of her composting techniques, such as filling a hole rather than building a mound. She hopes to learn more about composting as the program continues.

“The program is life because everything comes from the earth. If you don’t eat you can’t live, so the program is bringing life to the farmers.”

Nabugu asks her many children and grandchildren to collect compost for her and bring it to the farm to enrich her fields. Because of drought, Nabugu’s harvests were not large this year, but she hopes things will look up during the next season as she continues to tune in.

The radio program that Nabugu 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.  

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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