Photo credit: Action against Hunger
Children in South Sudan. Photo: ACF South Sudan
Photo credit: Action against Hunger
Children in South Sudan. Photo: ACF South Sudan
Photo credit: Google
Some argue that the problem is that the USAID plan for agricultural development in the majority of Africa has stressed a “New Green Revolution” involving improved seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. This green revolution, though scientifically proven to be effective and be more advantages to local growers that are attempting to be most efficient, may not be the best solution. http://humanrights4all.blogspot.be/2011/11/famine-in-horn-of-africa-new-green.html
ANALYSIS – By Agnes Kalibata
For the last eight years, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa has been seeking out public and private sector partners committed to triggering a uniquely African Green Revolution. One that revolves around the smallholder farmers who produce the majority of what Africans eat. As AU leaders sit down to determine how they and partners can achieve their goals, we wanted to share a few of the lessons we have learned in places like Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi, where many are now embracing the potential of agriculture to anchor a new era of sustainable and equitable economic growth.
1. Double down on creating the conditions for smallholder farmers to adopt new inputs and practices through raising awareness and access to finance.
The only way to sustainably and inclusively raise agricultural productivity is to ensure farmers are aware of the potential of new seeds, fertilizers, and basic agricultural practices that can more than double their yields. AGRA’s partners in national research systems have developed nearly 500 locally adapted crop varieties that are just as competitive as anywhere in the world.
4. Support efforts to match smallholder farmers with large-scale buyers.
Smallholder farmers working land holdings that typically average only a few hectares or less can seem like a poor match for large buyers. Yet, over the last few years, farmer organizations in Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Malawi have established aggregation centres where growers can pool their harvests to meet the demand of large institutional buyers, like the World Food Program. The WFP in some countries has demonstrated that often a market is the missing incentive. In West Africa, a major rice miller and a large brewery have both seamlessly integrated smallholders into their network of suppliers. GrowAfrica and the New Alliance initiative were set up to catalyze agriculture growth through private sector efforts and present a huge opportunity.
5. Support women in agriculture to reap a large dividend.
Read the full article: allAfrica
Photo credit: Rural Poverty Portal
Rural development in Peru (IFAD)
Over the last 15 years, IFAD-funded development projects in the Southern Highlands of Peru have generated considerable knowledge, experience and good practices on empowering poor rural people and their associations. They have raised the interest of other IFAD and external practitioners and a high demand for knowledge sharing. Yet, the processes and methods that made these results possible remain poorly understood.
Peru as a Learning Territory aimed to fill this knowledge gap by creating a space for learning and capacity-building for both national and international rural development practitioners. The project focused on local experiences and knowledge, and gave local leaders and authorities, technicians, and development professionals from the region and beyond the opportunity to learn about IFAD’s most relevant innovations directly from the actors who were instrumental in developing them.
Areas of focus included approaches, mechanisms, strategies, and successes and failures in the implementation of rural development projects in the areas of civic and financial inclusion, territorial development based on cultural identity, and local knowledge management.
The project’s targets were to identify the most successful elements and processes to obtain sustainable results in these areas; disseminate best practices using the Learning Territories approach, where rural development practitioners can learn from the local talents; and form a network of local talents and rural development practitioners to share knowledge and replicate best practices.
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Farmers in southern Ethiopia have achieved a two-fold increase in chickpea productivity through enhanced soil health and improved crop varieties. At the same time, improved food processing, preparation methods and education programs have contributed to better nutrition, including through the incorporation of chickpeas into diets.
These are the findings of the ‘Improving Nutrition in Ethiopia through Plant Breeding and Soil Management’ project, which researches the biofortification of pulse crops. It employs strategies to enrich the nutrient contribution of staple crops (chickpea) through plant breeding, soil micronutrient management (zinc fertilizer) and household processing strategies. It supports biofortification as a cost-effective and sustainable approach to increasing micronutrients in crops using agronomic strategies. The project also focuses on women’s empowerment.
The project’s outcomes include increases in: soil fertility and crop productivity; micronutrients and nutrition; knowledge and skills; income; and earnings from trade. Project results show that investing in biofortification practices provides a cost-effective and sustainable approach for increasing micronutrients in diets and improving nutrition.
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This was a question posed to the audience at the Science in Public Conference 2013 by Natewinde Sawadogo, researcher at the University of Nottingham, which hosted the meeting this week (22-23 July).
Analysing foreign aid to science in Africa, he identified three models of international efforts to strengthen science. The development assistance model that started in the 1940s gave way to development cooperation model in the late 1970s — but what these lacked, he said, was a way of ensuring that local researchers benefit and improve their ability to do research themselves.
Development cooperation funds, for example, saw “many experts travelling across Africa and the developing world, but nothing was happening”.
Foreign experts came to Africa to set up a project or solve a specific problem, but because they worked outside the national framework of science, such as environment ministries, they therefore left little knowledge or skills behind.
The failures of these first two models has resulted in the most recent model: ‘capacity building’ in science.
On all continents success stories in the combat of desertification have been booked in different fields of soil management and conditioning, water conservation, harvesting and management, plant production in agriculture and horticulture, afforestation and reforestation. Mitigation of drought, combat of desertification and alleviation of poverty are the main battlefields of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Excellent practices for achieving the Millennium Development Goals have been described. The best of these practices should now be applied at the largest scale in order to “attack” those problems in the most efficient way.
In cooperation with SCAD (Social Change and Development), an Indian NGO in Tamil Nadu (South India), trials on kitchen gardens and afforestation with fruit trees have been set up in January 2008. The main objectives of these trials are :
Thanks to initiatives taken at the level of Rotary Antwerp (Belgium) and Rotary Duisburg (Germany), Dr. Stany PAUWELS and his wife Kiki have conducted a Belgian group of 20 to SCAD Headquarters in Cheranmahadevi in January 2008.
A donation of 500 kg TerraCottem soil conditioner and 40 kg of seeds, collected in Belgium and The Netherlands with the action “Zaden voor Leven – Seeds for Life” (http://zadenvoorleven.wordpress.com), enabled the setting up of trials at the Agricultural Center SCAD-KVK and at the SCAD headquarters.
More trials and a workshop for farmers were organized by SCAD.
SCAD Engineers and Administrators, under the able leadership of Dr. Cletus BABU, President of SCAD, and his wife Amali, produced the following report on the results of this project in February – June 2008. Interesting observations have already been made.
All people concerned are now looking forward for interesting conclusions of these trials. They will certainly contribute to the sustainable development of the farmers and the many Women’s Self Help Groups, living in the drylands of Tamil Nadu.
Kitchen gardens and orchards with different species of fruit trees are very promising tools in the combat of drought, desertification and poverty.
Read at : <id21RuralNewsAdmin@lyris.ids.ac.uk>
* Does formal microcredit in Bangladesh reach the right people?
* Training bank staff increases lending to poor people in India
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
* Rural development professionals face HIV and AIDS challenges
* Adult education and training in fishing communities in South Africa
DROUGHT AND WATER MANAGEMENT
* A sustainable livelihoods approach to watershed management in India
* Managing droughts instead of floods in Viet Nam
* id21 insights health 12, May 2008
* Livelihoods Based Planning for Disaster Risk Reduction
* Green Energy and Green Livelihoods Award
* World Rural Women’s Day
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Read at : Google Alert – desertification
Para-ecologists aim leave development ‘footprint’ in desert
In an effort to help the Topnaar people to farm and to use natural resources in a sustainable manner, the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre has trained two local young people in various methods of livestock and crop farming.
Memory Dausas and Albertus Kootjie, both Topnaars, have learned about the local ecology and general ecological principles, which includes sorting and identification of insects, plants and animals. They are now called para-ecologists. The training also gave them general skills such as facilitating workshops, conducting interviews and assessing and documenting environmental data. Kooitjie, one of Gobabeb’s junior researchers who gave presentations on their work in Windhoek last Thursday, said they were facing a number of teething problems. These include community members asking money for the information sought, not arriving on time for interviews or even refusing to provide information. Kooitjie said their work also involves giving information to farmers on how to protect their crops, which plants are poisonous and which ones are of medicinal value. “The farmers then discuss the medicinal use of plants and give feedback,” said Kooitjie. Community visits are done once a month, he said. Continue reading “Para-ecologists aim leave development ‘footprint’ in desert (Google / Namibian)”
Although the Saharawis refugees are mostly nomads or fishermen, training and capacity building sessions with a small number of Saharawis engineers conducted to a swift build-up of horticultural experience within the families, living already for more than 30 years in these refugee camps. More and more families are currently constructing their own garden, surrounded by a fence or a brick wall, in which the soil conditioner TerraCottem is applied to keep the soil moistened with a minimum of brackish irrigation water. This soil conditioner is making desert gardening possible, even easy and successful. It contributes to sustainable development within the refugee camps. As it also improves the effects of drip irrigation or other irrigation methods, application of this technology offers possibilities to solve a number of problems in other refugee camps, mostly located in harsh environments all over the world.
The pictures below show undeniably some of these interesting opportunities :
Picture No. 128 : Different crops growing in one of our new family gardens. It’s clear that our Saharawi people need more training on agricultural practices: less seeds should be used on these small beds to have the vegetable seedlings growing at the right distance between the plants.
Picture No.150 : Giant courgettes (zucchinis) produced on desert soil. Our people still need more information on the suitable time for every agricultural practice, like the one for harvesting courgettes.
Picture No.153 : Tomatoes grow well outdoors in harsh conditions of the Sahara desert. It means that agriculture or horticulture becomes possible in a soil fertilized with the TerraCottem soil conditioner, a compound with water stocking substances, fertilizers, root growth activators and volcanic rock.
From a message sent by Gunter NATTKAMPER (GISAF)
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DARS : Democratic Arabic Republic Sahara
Bildung & Infrastruktur in den Flüchtlingslagern
Westsahara / Humanitäre & Flüchtlingshilfe (POL.8)
01.07.2003 – 31.12.2005 (1690-00/03)
Die Flüchtlingslager sind in vier Wilayas (Bezirke) aufgeteilt, die zentrale Verwaltung der Lager ist in Rabouni angesiedelt. Die am weitesten entfernte Wilaya ist Dajla und liegt rund 150 km von Rabouni an der Grenze zu Mauretanien. Jede Wilaya besteht wiederum aus sechs bis sieben Dairas (Gemeinden). Die Bevölkerungszahl in den Lagern wird vom UNHCR, (dem Hohen Flüchtlingskommissariat der Vereinten Nationen) mit 173.000 (Schätzung 1991) angegeben. Wie weit diese Zahl stimmt, kann schwer gesagt werden. Einerseits gibt es ein hohes Bevölkerungswachstum und andererseits gehen Leute immer wieder, eher temporär, aus den Lagern weg. Einige Saharauis (fast nur Männer) haben in Algerien, Mauretanien oder Spanien Arbeit gefunden und unterstützen aus der Entfernung ihre Familien in den Lagern. Andere wieder halten sich zeitweise in den befreiten Gebieten (einem wenige Kilometer breiten Streifen Wüste zwischen dem von Marokko verminten Wall und der algerischen Grenze) auf. Continue reading “DARS 2006 : Bildung and Infrastruktur in den Flüchtlingslagern (Nord/Süd)”