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>


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/


Renforcer les études scientifiques avec les connaissances locales
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
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”.


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 ?

Understanding Water Productivity at Basin Scale (dgAlert)

Read at <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

Basin Water Management: Understanding Water Productivity

“This research theme seeks to provide a better understanding of the tradeoffs and options in agricultural water management at the basin scale and contribute to improved equity and productivity in water use through the development of appropriate tools and methodologies for analysis and management. Key Research Areas Sustainable water use in agriculture: To develop, test and apply analytical frameworks, water accounting methodologies and supporting tools to quantify and manage water resources for agriculture at a basin scale and to assist managers apply them in selected basins. Understanding water productivity at basin scale: To understand the impacts of field, farm and system level improvements in land and water productivity at the basin scale and to provide methods and tools for planners to develop appropriate policies and supporting strategies to increase net basin level water productivity. Institutions, policies and economic instruments for better water management at a basin scale : To analyze, contextualize, evaluate and recommend appropriate institutional arrangements to manage water resources for agriculture at the basin scale, over a range of contrasting conditions, and with special emphasis on the balance between sustainable and productive use of water. Historically, water management for agriculture was equated with the development and operation of water systems and structures, largely for irrigation. However, the rapid growth of urban centers and industry has led to increasing competition for water across sectors. Thus, the key challenge now for agricultural water management is achieving “more crop per drop” ─ an approach that marked a paradigm shift in IWMI’s thinking on how to increase food production for a growing population while simultaneously meeting the water quality and quantity requirements of other economic and environmental sectors.”


I picked out one sentence of the text above : “the key challenge now for agricultural water management is achieving “more crop per drop”.

Ever looked at the results obtained with TerraCottem soil conditioner ?

1987-11 : Even in those early days of our research work on soil conditioning, we already showed that poor sandy soil (Curralinho, Isla do Santiago, Cabo Verde) was transformed into a quite fertile soil 3 months after treatment with TerraCottem.

1987-11 : Déjà dans ces premières années de nos recherches sur le conditionnement du sol, nous avons démontré que cette pauvre terre sableuse (Curralinho, Isla do Santago, Cabo Verde) était transformé en une bonne terre ferile 3 mois après le traitement au TerraCottem.

Corporate Water Challenge (dgAlert)

Info from <dgAlert@developmentgateway.org>

Corporate Water Challenge

Earth Day Network (EDN) invites corporations to take the Earth Day Corporate Water Challenge and become partners in the global effort to solve one of the most immediate threats to human health and development. Corporate leadership and commitment to action now are vital to addressing the global water crisis. Companies who take precautionary actions through conservation efforts will not only help to protect their own future needs for water but will also reduce future risks to health and the environment in communities where they have a presence. Many water conservation strategies also offer benefits of increased efficiency and lower overall costs. Human and environmental needs can be met without sacrificing economic success.


I am not a corporation or a company, but I have some very clear ideas about the best ways to save a lot of water in agriculture and horticulture. Interested ? Please have a look at many of my former messages through the archives (right column).

And what about my idea about the plastic bottles and plastic bags as a “water conservation strategy to offer benefits of increased efficiency and lower overall costs” ?

20007-02 Bottles
2007-02 : Different seedlings our young plants (lettuce, cauliflower, lemon thyme, parsley) planted in plastic bottles of different size on a substrate of potting soil with TerraCottem (water stocking).

2007-02 : Différents plantules ou jeunes plantes (laitue, choufleur, thym citron, persille) plantés dans des bouteilles en plastique de dimensions différentes sur un substrat de terreau avec du TerraCottem.