Cash versus food (dgAlert)

Cash for Food Transfers: A Primer

This 34 page paper written by Ugo Gentilini for the World Food Programme, aims to unpack the various aspects of the ‘cash versus food’ debate, to map out where the controversies lie and to demonstrate the need for a more pragmatic, balanced and context-specific approach. A key message is that appropriateness cannot be predetermined since programme objectives, the economics of food consumption, market analysis, cost effectiveness and efficiency, capacity requirements and beneficiary preferences all play a role in determining the most appropriate option or combination of options.

JUST A QUESTION !

Why not considering “TerraCottem for work” instead of “Food for work” or “Cash for work” ? Paying rural workers (partly) with TerraCottem soil conditioner would mean offering them a chance to improve swiftly their field or garden, so that they can produce more food with less water and less fertilizer in the future.

Something to consider ? And, please, do not forget that TerraCottem is active for many years in the soil. It is not consumed immediately and offers return on investment over a longer period. Let’s open the debate on it …

2004 Senegal
2004 : Toubacouta (Sine Saloum, Senegal) – Community garden project of Philippe BEKAERT and Alain GOETGHEBUER, with assistance of the TC-DIALOGUE Foundation (Belgium).  The effect of TerraCottem is registered for many years.

2004 : Toubacouta (Sine Saloum, Senegal) – Projet du Jardin Communautaire de Philippe BEKAERT et Alain GOETGHBUER, avec l’assistence de la Fondation TC-DIALOGUE (Belgique). L’effet du terraCottem reste visible pendant des années. 

Water for Food Production by 2025 (dgAlert)

 Seen at <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

 

Water for Food Production by 2025: Policy Responses to the Threat of Scarcity

2002 – The world’s farmers will likely need to produce enough to feed 8 billion people by 2025, and to do so they must have enough water to raise their crops. Yet farmers are already competing with industry, domestic water users, and the environment for access to the world’s finite supply of water. To assess how water availability and water demand are likely to evolve by the year 2025, IFPRI has developed a global model of water and food supply and demand. Researchers have used this model to study global scenarios revealing how various water policies and investments will affect water availability and food production. By Rosegrant M.W. et al. (2002) IFPRI and IWMI (PDF).

Le Groupe CITCS Afrique (dgAlert)

 Lu au site <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

 

Le Groupe Communication Internationale en Technologie Cultures et Services en Afrique

Le Groupe Communication Internationale en Technologie Cultures et Services en Afrique (Groupe CITCS Afrique) est une association fondée à Dakar au Sénégal le mercredi 03 mai 2000, Reconnu sur le numéro: 11553/M.INT.CL/DAGAT/DEL/AS. Elle a pour vocation la formation des populations surtout les jeunes du milieu défavorisé aux Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (TIC), les échanges interculturels, pédagogiques et inter-établissements entre le nord et le sud, la protection des droit de l’enfant, la promotion de la culture de la paix et de la non violence…Le Groupe CITCS Afrique intervient pour la promotion de la culture de la paix, la protection de l’environnement, la lutte contre la pandémie du VIH/SIDA, le paludisme, la poliomyélite, lutte contre l’excision, l’usage abusif des drogues, la xénophobie et le racisme. Il accompagne les programmes de développement local au Sénégal et en Afrique en excutant des activités ponctuelles sur le terrain pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie des populations surtout dans le domaine de l’Agriculture. Nos membres sont partagés sur plusieurs structures professionnelles et sociales avec des compétences individuelles et collectives : étudiants, agents relais en IEC santé, enseignants, des animateurs culturels, moniteurs en Informatique et en alphabétisation, techniciens en informatiques, des interprètes (Anglais, espagnol, français et langues locales), enquêteurs professionnels, cinéastes…Notre partenariat avec le COLEGIUL NATIONAL “Mihai Eminescu” de Suceava en Roumanie, nous a permi d’avoir d’autres membres de ce pays qui adhérent à notre action. Le Groupe CITCS Afrique agit à ce principe aux moyens de grands programmes de partenariat avec d’autres structures nationales et internationales. Cette collaboration fondée sur une dynamique de responsabilisation des jeunes en premier lieu. Il stipule que le problème essentiel de communication entre jeunes reste au centre de toute son activité et que l’action en direction de l’enfant figure au premier plan de ses priorités. Le Groupe CITCS Afrique favorise ainsi le dialogue entre les jeunes, du Nord et du Sud dans le cadre des échanges et de la promotion de la culture de la paix, de la non violence en ce monde troublé. Le Groupe CITCS Afrique, en partenariat avec l’Association Initiative Locale pour le Développement (ILD) où il a son bureau, une structure qui oeuvre pour le développement à la base, ont créé un Centre Social à Diamaguéne dans la banlieue de Dakar, où ils donnent des cours en Informatique, coupe et couture, encradrement scolaire et un jardin d’enfants.

Microfinance and poverty alleviation (dgAlert)

 Seen at <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

 http://www.developmentgateway.org

What can increase the effectiveness of microfinance as a poverty alleviation tool?

Using Latin America as a case study, the paper critically examines the sustainability of micro credit, and the role that government actors have in this sector. The authors underline that government agencies are influential in shaping the operational environment of micro finance institutions (MFIs), as well as developing and supporting linkages between microfinance and other financial flows. Authors: Tulchin, D; Grossman, J. (ed.) / Social Enterprise Associates , 2006

Formal scientific research and informal grassroots innovations (SciDev.net)

Consultez http://www.scidev.net/

<info@scidev.net>

Renforcer les études scientifiques avec les connaissances locales
http://www.scidev.net/Opinions/index.cfm?fuseaction=readOpinions&itemid=581&language=1
Il faut faire davantage pour renforcer les liens entre la recherche scientifique formelle et les innovations informelles à la base, d’après Anil Gupta. [Texte complet en Anglais]


Information from <info@scidev.net>

Please consult http://www.scidev.net

More should be done to build bridges between formal scientific research and informal grassroots innovations, says Anil Gupta.

Local communities across the developing world deal with technological or institutional problems in different ways. Often they simply learn to live with them. But sometimes they develop successful solutions, which may or may not be optimal.

In almost all cases, the solutions that work well are not incorporated into institutional research programmes. There is a gap between the world’s formal and informal knowledge production systems, and in the agenda-setting arrangements of formal scientific institutions.

Yet local knowledge can help advance scientific studies.

Local solutions

Women Farmers in Bangladesh’s Tangail district for example, cut the number of roots on sweet potato plants down to one or two before planting. This guarantees there will only be one or two potatoes at each node, and that these will be rounder with thicker skins than normal potatoes because of the extra nutrients they receive. Consumers prefer round potatoes and the thick skin lengthens their shelf life, allowing farmers to keep their crops until they can get the best price for them.

In Gujarat, India, local farmers use a traditional form of pest control in pulse crops. They crush leaves of the plant Combretum ovalifoium together with blister beetles and disperse them through fields of the local pulse, pigeon pea. Pests, including blister beetles themselves, are repelled from the crops, perhaps because of alarm pheromones released by the beetles.

Other examples of simple yet effective grassroots solutions developed in India but applicable the world over include converting motorcycles into ploughs and designing switches that are remote-controlled by mobile phones. The switches can be used to manage pumps or other appliances at a fraction of the cost of internationally available solutions.

Kanak Das, an innovator in Assam, North East India, has harnessed the energy generated by undulations and bumps on the road ― usually dissipated by shock-absorbing springs ― to propel the cycle itself by transferring this energy to the rear wheel through gears. This platform technology can be used in many means of transport.

Continue reading Formal scientific research and informal grassroots innovations (SciDev.net)

/ L’Afrique perd ses forêts

L’Afrique perd ses forêts, à grande vitesse
http://www.scidev.net/News/index.cfm?fuseaction=readNews&itemid=3483&language=1
Selon un rapport de l’ONU, les pays africains connaissent le rythme de déforestation le plus rapide du monde. [Texte complet en Anglais]

Africa lost over nine per cent of its trees between 1990 and 2005, according to a UN survey of the world’s forests.

This represents over half of global forest loss, despite the fact that the continent accounts for just 16 per cent of global forests.

The report was released this week (13 March) by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

The highest losses occurred in countries with high forest cover: Angola, Cameroon, DRC, Nigeria, Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Although forests are obtaining greater political support and commitment in Africa, the report says “implementation and law enforcement remain weak in most countries”.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, home to around a quarter of the world’s forest cover, 0.5 per cent of forest was lost every year between 2000 and 2005 ― up from a rate of 0.46 per cent in the 1990s. The conversion of forest to agriculture was the leading cause of deforestation.

Costa Rica, however, has turned around its forest decline in the 1990s to see a growth of almost one per cent of forest area expansion per year. But the extent to which this is related to reductions in agricultural land or innovative policies is not clear, warns the report.

The survey highlighted positive action in Latin American countries. This includes a large increase in forest area designated for biodiversity conservation, indicating that countries are taking steps to prevent loss of primary forests ― those undisturbed by human activities.

According to the report, the region is “among the world leaders in innovative approaches to international cooperation on forest issues”. Methods used include forming networks to fight fires and improve the management of protected areas.

The Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization ― whose member countries comprise Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela ― and the Central American Commission on Environment and Development are among those cited in the report.

Forested area increased in Asia between 2000 and 2005 ― largely due to China’s investment in tree plantations, which offset high rates of forest clearing in other regions.

Related SciDev.Net articles:
Forests expand thanks to government policy
Crops responsible for deforestation in Brazil
Selective logging leads to clear-cutting in Amazon

Related links:
State of the World’s Forests 2007 report
UN Food and Agriculture Organization
The Amazon Treaty Cooperation Organization

Achieving Food Security in Africa (dgAlert)

Today at <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

Achieving Food Security in Africa: Challenges and Issues

Achieving food security in its totality continues to be a challenge not only for the developing nations, but also for the developed world. The difference lies in the magnitude of the problem in terms of its severity and proportion of the population affected. In developed nations the problem is alleviated by providing targeted food security interventions, including food aid in the form of direct food relief, food stamps, or indirectly through subsidized food production. These efforts have significantly reduced food insecurity in these regions. Similar approaches are employed in developing countries but with less success. The discrepancy in the results may be due to insufficient resource base, shorter duration of intervention, or different systems most of which are inherently heterogeneous among other factors. Food security; a situation in which all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active healthy life1; is affected by a complexity of factors. These include unstable social and political environments that preclude sustainable economic growth, war and civil strive, macroeconomic imbalances in trade, natural resource constraints, poor human resource base, gender inequality, inadequate education, poor health, natural disasters, such as floods and locust infestation, and the absence of good governance. All these factors contribute to either insufficient national food availability or insufficient access to food by households and individuals. The root cause of food insecurity in developing countries is the inability of people to gain access to food due to poverty”.

HERE ARE A COUPLE OF MY OBSERVATIONS

One of the factors influencing food security in the drylands is erratic rainfall (drought).

Suppose we can solve this problem by applying a very simple method : soil conditioning with the water stocking and fertilising TerraCottem mixture. What can we expect ?

1. Less or even no dependence of agriculture and horticulture on weather conditions.

2. Gradually improving soil quality.

3. Gradually improving plant production with a minimum of irrigation water.

4. Protection of the aquifers.

5. Growing quantity of drinking water in the wells.

Maybe you don’t believe me ? OK, but why don’t you set up a serious test with TerraCottem yourself ? Cost-effectiveness ? You will be amazed by the return on investment !

Is this only a matter for NGOs ? Or for International Aid Organizations ? Or for National Governments ? Forget it ! It’s the concern of all of us, you and me ! So, let’s do something about it instead of just talking, talking, talking …

2001 Sanaura India
2001 : Sanaura (Himachal Pradesh, India), a RUCHI Foundation-project with the assistance of TC-DIALOGUE Foundation (Belgium) : tomato production on mountain slope terraces treated with TerraCottem.  See how happy local farmers are ?

2001 : Sanaura (Himachal Pradesh, India), un projet de la Fondation RUCHI (Inde) avec l’assistence de la Fondation TC-DIALOGUE (Belgique) : culture de tomates sur des terraces de flancs de montagne, traitées au TerraCottem.  Vous voyez le bonheur des agriculteurs locaux ?