A healthier way to eat groundnuts
Rosario Cadima is an enterprising farmer who spends two days a week buying and selling potatoes at the fair in Colomi, Cochabamba. Juan Almanza, who is an extensionist, had given her a DVD with a series of agricultural learning videos aimed at farmers like her.
The DVD included seven videos in Spanish, Quechua and Aymara on caring for the soil. One of the videos was about peanuts (groundnuts), which like other legumes, fixes nitrogen for the soil. Rosario recently watched the DVD with her parents, grandfather and other family members. They watched all of the videos over three nights, and she recalled them vividly.
Juan was surprised when Rosario mentioned the video on groundnuts. “But you don’t grow groundnuts here,” he said.
“No, but we buy them and eat them,” Rosario said. Then she explained that she and her family sometimes bought peanuts that had a thick mould on them; they would simply wipe it off and eat the apparently clean nuts.
“So did we,” Juan admitted.
The mould is a fungus, and it releases a poison called aflatoxin into peanuts and other stored foods. The video showed all of this, and explained that people should bury mouldy food, instead of eating it.
Rosario’s family is now careful to avoid eating mouldy peanuts. Farmers are also consumers and a video can help them to make better food choices. Smallholder farmers don’t always have opportunities to learn about public health matters related to the food that they produce and eat.
The farmer learning videos hosted on Access Agriculture are now carrying many more messages than we first imagined. And the videos are rich enough that viewers can interpret them to learn unexpected lessons. Eating is the last step in a process that usually starts with planting a seed, so it makes sense that videos for farmers can also benefit consumers.
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