Nomadic people fight fowl pox in Mali

| June 9, 2019

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All three of our archived Farmer stories this week talk about chickens—as does our Script of the week.

In Mali, nearly 80% of people live in rural areas and rely on growing crops, raising livestock, and fishing. Raising chickens is part of their daily routine. The birds breed quickly, are easy to feed, and bring a profit. Chickens are a “mobile bank” for villagers in Mali; the money they receive from selling poultry helps them cover occasional family expenses.

One of the main challenges with raising chickens is diseases. A large percentage (70-80%) of young chicks die in the first few months of life. And death from disease is common in adult birds as well. One of the most common diseases is fowl pox.

In this script, we meet Barma Ly, the head of a nomadic Fulani household in the Sahel, in the area which separates Mali from Mauritania. Mr. Ly, whose family mainly lives by raising livestock, manages fowl pox with natural medicine and fights to protect a breed of local chicken which he has known for years. But, since Mr. Ly’s medicine cannot solve all problems related to fowl pox, a livestock expert named Drissa Ouattara explains effective treatments for three types of fowl pox. Mr. Ouattara also urges poultry farmers to use hygiene measures such as regularly cleaning henhouses, following the vaccination calendar, disinfecting water and feed, and managing pests with effective products.

You might choose to present this script as part of your regular farming program, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.

You could also use this script as research material or as inspiration for creating your own programming on managing fowl pox, other chicken diseases, or similar topics in your country.

Talk to farmers and experts who raise chickens or are knowledgeable about the birds. You might ask them:

  • What role does poultry farming play in your area?
  • What are the major chicken disease challenges in your area? Is fowl pox common?
  • What solutions have farmers and other experts found for fowl pox?
  • Is there an effective natural remedy for this disease?
  • How can fowl pox best be prevented?

Apart from speaking directly to farmers and other key players in the local agricultural sector, you could use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in program.