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African rice farmers test traditions against NY climate


NFAMARA BADJIE:
[NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] I’m very happy to be a
farmer here in America. I came all the way
from African Gambia to get here to be a farmer. This is what we know. Grow what you eat. Eat what do you grow. [NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] SPEAKER: [NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] NFAMARA BADJIE:
[NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] SPEAKER: [NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] NFAMARA BADJIE:
[NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] How are you? [INTERPOSING VOICES] ERIKA STYGER: Good to see you. Nice to meet you. NFAMARA BADJIE: How are you? SPEAKER 2: How are you? NFAMARA BADJIE: Good. ERIKA STYGER: I really
appreciate with you guys, it’s like OK, let’s
do an experiment. And we can– NFAMARA BADJIE: See, yeah. ERIKA STYGER: We can see. You know, I always say that
actually the best research is done in farmers’
fields because that’s where they see reality and
where it’s most relevant. NFAMARA BADJIE: Look that
one, the one I just– last. You see that one? ERIKA STYGER: That
one is so beautiful. NFAMARA BADJIE:
Beautiful, uh-huh. ERIKA STYGER: Mainly after a
little bit of two objectives. The one is to improve the
practices on their farm so it becomes very directly
beneficial to them, but then also to create a new
manual or guidelines on how rice also can be
planted in an oasis. NFAMARA BADJIE:
[NON-ENGLISH CHANTING] We hear that people have a off day. People have a,
like, relaxing day. But to me and Mustafa and
Malik, we don’t have that days. Bend down, take this. You turn the soil to the farm. That’s how our parents
teach us how to live. That’s why we never forget this. ERIKA STYGER: For American
farmers, it’s a novelty. They were like,
oh, now let me try to grow a crop I don’t know. You know, for the
immigrants, it’s like let me try the crop I know
in a different environment. And so when you combine
these principles, you will be able to, out
of one grain of the crop, you could create a big
harvest with less water, with less seed, sometimes up to
90% less seed, 30% to 50% less irrigation water. They can produce more with less. NFAMARA BADJIE:
[NON-ENGLISH CHANTING]

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