African Harvest: A celebration of Food, Farmers, Radio, and Resilience

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Local charity Farm Radio International is hosting its second African Harvest fundraising dinner this month to celebrate good food, hardworking farmers, and the important role that radio plays in rural communities across Africa. Although Canadians typically associate harvest time with the fall, African climates mean that harvests take place throughout the year. 

Taking place May 27 at Ottawa’s historic Experimental Farm, African Harvest 2017 pays homage to the resilient farmers of Ethiopia with an authentic Ethiopian meal. Over the past year and a half, Ethiopian farmers have been struggling in the face of the worst drought the country has seen in fifty years — worse even than those of the 1980s.

Thankfully, the country is now better equipped to deal with drought now than it was back then. Thankfully, too, with some help from Farm Radio International and its partners, farmers in one hard-hit part of the country were able to turn on the radio to find out what they could do to cope

The menu for the evening includes thick, flavourful meat and bean stews called wat served alongside injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread made from teff — a protein-rich, gluten-free grain that is gaining recognition as a superfood. Injera works to replace cutlery, used to pick up pieces of food or scoop up stew.

The event also features live performances by the Tine Rufaro Marimba Band and a silent auction, with all proceeds from the evening going to support the work of Farm Radio International — the only Canadian NGO focused exclusively on using radio as a tool for international development.

The emcee for the evening will be Hallie Cotnam, host of Ottawa Morning on CBC Radio. Having grown up on a dairy farm where the radio was always on, even in the barn, Cotnam understands firsthand the importance of dependable farming and agricultural information.

Tickets are available for purchase online through Eventbrite. The cost per ticket is $100, including a $40 tax receipt. Discounts are also available for groups of 5 and 10.

The last African Harvest dinner sold out and space is again limited. For more information, please visit