Using radio drama to promote orange fleshed sweet potatoes in Uganda


Florence knows something is wrong with her children. They are chronically ill, have bad skin, suffer from diarrhea and have persistent coughs. But then she learns many of these problems can be reduced through diet—by farming and eating a vitamin A-rich tuber—the orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP).

Florence is the fictional heroine starring in Farm Radio International’s soon-to-be-broadcast mini drama radio series, My Children. But the story of this Ugandan mother and farmer is very real for many families in sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million preschool children are vitamin A deficient. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and may increase the risk of maternal mortality in pregnant women.

The 30-episode radio drama is currently in production and will be aired in six languages by ten partner radio stations in Uganda. The above audio clip is from the Luganda production. Farm Radio International expects the mini-series will contribute to increased knowledge of the nutrition, preparation and consumption of OFSP as 350,000 households in 13 districts have access to the mini-series.

The HarvestPlus-funded mini-drama was designed for maximum impact. Our team conducted rapid formative research in 13 districts to understand current radio listening habits and preferences and to seek out content and topics important to farmers.

Check out some of our latest live polling results that were gathered using the TracFM system: