The Year of Family Farming: Gathering from the wild, passing on the spirit of farming, and restoring the land.

    | January 6, 2014

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    Happy 2014 to our subscribers, their families, African broadcasters, and the farmer-listeners you support!

    The year 2014 has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Family Farming. For our first offering of the new year, Farm Radio Weekly re-presents three of our favourite smallholder farming stories written by our field correspondents in the past 12 months. We will return with new stories next week.

    Okok is a popular vegetable in Cameroon. But the vine, which grows in the country’s forests, is under pressure because of its popularity. Efforts to domesticate the plant for agricultural production, and thereby ensure its viability in the wild, are proving to be a success.

    An elderly farmer from Grande Comoros realized that he could no longer do the heavy work he used to do. He solved the problem by inviting younger farmers, who had too little land to farm profitably, to join him. The group now produces more than the individuals did before linking up, and everyone profits from the new scheme.

    Mrs. Zeinabou Illa is one of a group of women who are benefitting from a Nigerien project to restore the fertility of the country’s degraded land. Once they have done the heavy work of digging trenches and planting trees, the women are rewarded with parcels of land to use for their own farming. Everyone is a winner in this story!

    Don’t forget to check out our action, event and resource sections, our news in brief, and our script of the week.

    Until next week,

    -The Farm Radio Weekly team