Nelly Bassily | May 16, 2011
The Nguni breed of cattle is indigenous to South Africa. It forms part of South Africa’s wealth of biodiversity. The breed is now part of government efforts to support small-scale farmers. Here is a recent news item from South Africa: http://www.thenewage.co.za/17048-1017-53-Cattle_handouts_in_job_creation_plans
For background information on Nguni cattle, visit:
Farm Radio International has produced many scripts which touch on biodiversity issues in agriculture, or agrobiodiversity. Browse scripts here: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/biodiversity.asp
Find links to selected Farm Radio Weekly stories on biodiversity of crops and livestock here:
Rwanda: Local cattle breeds still preferred (FRW 54, February 2009). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/02/02/rwanda-local-cattle-breeds-still-preferred-syfia-grands-lacs/
South Africa: Traditional seeds help Sekhukhune District fight hunger (FRW 146, February 2011). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/02/28/south-africa-traditional-seeds-help-sekhukhune-district-fight-hunger-by-fidelis-zvomuya-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-south-africa/
Ethiopia: Selecting and storing seeds for survival (FRW 149, March 2011). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/03/21/ethiopia-selecting-and-storing-seeds-for-survival-usc-canada-dave-kattenburg/
May 22 is International Day for Biological Diversity. You could consider producing a program around this occasion. Biodiversity relates to the number of life forms on the planet. Agricultural biodiversity specifically relates to forms of life found on farms or related to agriculture. In practice, it usually refers to the many different crop and livestock varieties known to farmers (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural_biodiversity).
You could find farmers who make particular efforts to use traditional seeds or vegetables. Maybe there are farmers in your region who strive to ensure agricultural biodiversity on their farms by raising native chickens or planting many varieties of trees. Interviews with such farmers would make interesting and informative programs. Here are some questions you could ask farmers or callers to the program:
-How important is agricultural biodiversity to you? Why?
-How important is agricultural biodiversity to your region? Why?
-How did you learn about agricultural biodiversity?
-What does it mean in practical terms on your farm?
-What opportunities or challenges does it present for your livelihood?
-The environmental benefits of biodiversity are quite well-known, but are there social benefits?