Madeline and Musa: Soybean practices for better yields and income

| June 5, 2017

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Like this week’s Farmer story from Tanzania, our Script of the week—from our newly-released Resource Packfocuses on soybeans.

There are many reasons to grow soybeans. Soybeans are highly nutritious, containing 40% protein. Soybean can be used as food for the household. It can also be processed into soya milk, cooking oil, and a range of other products, including infant weaning food. It is also a good source of protein in animal feeds.

Soybean is in high demand in the market and brings a good price, so growing and selling the crop can boost farmers’ incomes.

Finally, the crop residues are rich in nitrogen, so they increase soil fertility.

But, like other crops, soybean does much better when farmers use specific practices. For example, when they plant new or traditional seed varieties recommended by agricultural experts and use correct spacing between rows and between plants in a row.

This drama shows that farming knowledge can come from unexpected places. A community is having great difficulty with poor soybean harvests, and they cannot discover the cause of their problem. In the end, they are rescued by an unlikely source: a teenaged boy from a neighbouring community.

You could use this drama as inspiration to produce a similar program on recommended practices for growing soybean in your area. Or you might choose to present this drama as part of your regular farmer program, using voice actors to represent the speakers.

You could follow the drama by interviewing soybean farmers and experts. Invite listeners to call-in or text-in with questions and comments. Topics for discussion might include:

  • What are the best opportunities for growers to market their soybeans?
    • What are the most persistent or difficult challenges that soybean farmers face in the field, and what are some solutions to these challenges?
    • Are there barriers to adopting these solutions?
  • How can these barriers be addressed?