Notes to Broadcasters on breadbasket farmers:

    | March 17, 2008

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    We often hear stories about farmers who have experimented with new crops or new crop varieties. When successful, these changes can help farmers to improve their income and provide their families with more nutritious foods. But when many farmers choose to produce non-food crops, crops intended for export, or when they choose livelihoods off the farm, this can also affect food security in their area. This story demonstrates the power of market forces to affect farmers’ decisions, as well as the potential for these decisions to affect the food market.
    If you broadcast this story, you may choose to complement it with one of the following scripts:
    Fruit Changes Farmers’ Lives (Package 81, Script 10, August 2007), discusses how even a few fruit trees can improve family income and nutrition.

    Comparing Crop Varieties: Start Small, Go Slowly (Package 68, Script 8, September 2003), provides an example of a farmer comparing the success of a new crop variety with a traditional variety.

    You may wish to produce a call-in or text-in show asking listeners to share their thoughts and experiences on the following subjects:
    -Which crops in your area are the most important to food security? Do the farmers who produce these crops feel they get a good return on their investment?
    -What non-traditional cash crops or niche crops have farmers in your area recently tried? What were their experiences in learning to produce and market the new crop?