Notes to broadcasters on making compost

    | January 24, 2011

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    More and more farmers are making their own compost. But some find it challenging to gather enough organic materials, and to find the time to set up and maintain a pit or space for compost. But when farmers work together, pooling labour and materials, as in this week’s story, these difficulties can be eased or overcome. In some countries, there are cultures of shared labour at busy periods of the year or for specific community tasks. Farmers who include compost-making in these joint activities are seeing the benefits.

    There are many methods for making compost, and a variety of resources on the internet that describe these methods. Here is a selection:

    The preparation and use of compost – a booklet covering all aspects of compost-making that can be downloaded at no cost by clicking on the red pdf icon (1.6MB) on this page:

    Compost making for the mechanised age, a script and audio clip from Agfax:

    A video from West Africa:

    Browse these two stories previously published in Farm Radio Weekly:

    Uganda: Turning trash into treasure (FRW 58, March 2009)

    Cameroon: Farmers find manure a good substitute for expensive chemical fertilizers (FRW 28, July 2008)

    For more information on compost, see the following Farm Radio International scripts:
    Farmers can earn income producing compost Package 80, Script 3, March 2007
    Dr. Compost talks about compost piles Package 61, Script 6, October 2001
    Make compost in pits Package 61, Script 7, October 2001
    Make compost as your vegetables grow Package 47, Script 1, January 1998
    You can make compost in two to three weeks Package 47, Script 2, January 1998
    Where to find compost materials Package 33, Script 9, July 1994

    Look for groups of farmers who work together on farm tasks. Talking to these groups might result in an interesting program, especially if you visit them and watch them at work, or join in! A visit will give you real insight into their work. Ask the farmers how they came to work together, what benefits they have experienced, and how they organize the workload and share the benefits. You could interview their families to see how this type of community work and sharing benefits the wider community. Some communities have a specific name for days when they work together; find out if this is the case in your broadcast region.