As we approach the British harvest it’s time to consider what this season means to farmers around the world.
To harvest means to gather in the crops. In the UK this traditionally takes place around October time but this key time in the farming calendar falls across the year in other countries.
In two Farmers’ Voice Radio project countries, Ghana and Nigeria, yam harvest festivals are held in September, which usually coincides with the end of the rainy season. During the festival, communities celebrate the appearance of the first harvest-ready yams. The Ghanaian version of this festival is called Asogli and features traditional music, crafts and dance as part of this colourful celebration.
In Central America, the wonderfully-named Feria de Boquete (Coffee and Flower Festival) is celebrated in the Chiriqui Highlands of Panama across ten days in January. LYF partner Culturama works closely with the Ngobe-Buglé indigenous community in this region and in 2020/21 broadcast a four-month Farmers’ Voice Radio programme series that tackled the social and economic challenges faced by rural smallholders and indigenous people as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The region is blessed with volcanic soil, which contributes to the prestige of the coffee produced here and the celebratory nature of their harvest festival!
Harvest time serves as a reminder of our global reliance on farmers and nature, and how both should be respected and celebrated.