African Agriculture Links for end March 2013

Posted in: Uncategorized- Mar 22, 2013 No Comments

Transforming lives through improved access to agricultural education in Africa, 21 March 2013, NRI.Org, via @MPULEinstitute

At an event hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture & Food for Development at the Houses of Parliament on 19th March participants discussed how the use of open educational resources (OER) can dramatically widen access to agricultural knowledge. Drawing on successful OER initiatives in Africa on teacher education and community education, Lesley-Anne Long of the Open University (OU) outlined how a similar approach can be applied to agricultural development.

Blog post on recent Catholic Relief Services ICT conference in Ghana 5th CRS ICT4D conference
The curtains have just closed down on the Catholic Relief Services’ 5th Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) conference, held in Accra from 19 to 21 March 2013. The event was a success

 Discrimination faced by rural women impacts negatively food security

Women also play an increasingly important role as farmworkers. They represent 20 to 30% of the 450 million people employed worldwide as waged agricultural workers, but are disproportionally represented in the “periphery” of employed farmworkers made of unskilled workers hired on a weekly or seasonal basis without a formal contract of employment. The main reason more women are found in this category is that they have fewer alternative options due to lower level of education. They are, thus, easier to exploit, underlined the UN expert.

World Agroforestry Centre salutes first UN International Day of Forests by Paul Stapleton on March 21, 201

“By 2050 there will be 2.4 billion more people to feed. Their survival will largely depend on the poorest of farmers, most of whom own and farm less than two acres of land in the developing world.” said Simons. “These farmers are critical to helping us recover the trees we lose in the forests. And through agroforestry, they reap more income from tree products and they diversify their diets, providing better nutrition for their families.”

Farmers and scientists: better together in the fight against climate change, 19th March 2013, By CCAFS Climate Change and Social Learning Champions

We need to see major changes in how food is grown and distributed. In Africa and Asia, where millions of families live on one to five hectares of land, we need to see improved farming systems. In fact, we need to see transformative changes, not small changes.

World food security and what young Africans can do about it
Published on : 19 March 2013, Leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with the world’s fastest-growing and youngest population, seek to create more agriculture jobs. Using new technology and farming techniques, they hope to encourage a young, innovative emerging workforce to impact both economic growth and social development,

TZ farmers want in on the Mobile Revolution; believe tech can get them better deals Wednesday, 06 March 2013 18:03

Variable crop sowing dates ‘produce higher yields’
Bernard Appiah
16 March 2013

They found that cropping systems with variable sowing dates adapted to climate change produce crop yields up to 17 per cent higher than those that have constant sowing dates, according to Katharina Waha, lead author and research fellow at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany.

CGIAR will host the Global Consultation in 2013 on behalf of the partners at the ILRI main campus in Addis Ababa. Dates: 6th – 8th May 2013 (plus one optional day)

Briefing paper USAID ICT Applications and Agricultural Input Supply Companies: Highlights from Africa The paper includes a description of agricultural input supply companies, selected ICT applications they are using, and the impact these applications are having both on their operations and with farmers they sell to. It also includes implications for donor programs and ways to facilitate the integration of ICTs by targeted companies.

Video: mAgri (Mobile Agriculture Information Systems)

Making links from small farms to markets in Africa: lessons from villages and supply chains Posted on 15/03/2013 by Agriculture for Impact

On Monday 25th February, Gordon Conway and Steve Wiggins – along with other guests and panellists – took part in a seminar at the Overseas Development Institute to explore the progress made on our joint Leaping & Learning project.

Global hunger and undernutrition could be worsened by climate change, 13th March 2013

The links between climate, hunger and poor nutrition are becoming increasingly clear: a recent report for the Committee on World Food Security warned that climate change could significantly change the amount and quality of food consumed – with potentially devastating consequences for those most at risk of hunger.

What Can Seed Growers Learn from Cigarette Companies? MAR 13, 2013 by FEED THE FUTURE PARTNERING FOR INNOVATION

“If only we could sell bean seeds like cigarettes,” muses Luis Flores, a researcher at Michigan State University. “Cigarettes are in every rural market. You have to give credit to this very effective sales force as they get a message across to the consumer through flashy posters, banners, and radio.” Bean seeds, however, are more difficult to find and are not packaged and marketed in a way that draws consumers. Yet improved bean varieties can give rural farmers the significant increase in yields they need and want to proudly show off their fields to neighboring farmers. The demand for the product on the market is already there.

Is Agribusiness the Key to Africa’s Growth?, 3/11/13 by Vijaya Ramachandran, Global Development: Views from the Center

Today, the World Bank launched a new report, “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness.” The report argues that agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Bank is right to emphasize this issue–of the $25 billion of food that African countries import annually, only $1 billion comes from other African countries. The report offers a clear and well-researched exposition of the state and prospects of African agribusiness. It is broad in scope, encompassing agricultural production and upstream input markets as well as supply chains and agro-processing.

Africa: Cash for Diagnostics May Help Track Cassava Disease BY GEORGE ACHIA, 11 MARCH 2013

Food Security: The View From Rome, March 8, 2013 Huffpost Impact Blog.  The FAO, IFAD and WFP’s strategies, to provide technical expertise, international financial assistance and food aid, respectively, are unique but complementary and seeking to be increasingly collaborative. They are working together on technical projects and emergency response, advocacy and communication to enhance their overall impact.

Nigeria to establish 18 cassava processing industries, Premium Times, March 7,2013 The aim of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda is to generate employment and transform the country into a leading player in global food markets to grow wealth for millions of farmers. It was designed to make the agricultural sector a business project to promote private investment in agriculture. It will also execute integrated projects through value chain processes, generate employment, and transform Nigeria into a net exporter of agricultural commodities.

GHANA Moving towards food security: YARA leads the way  CitiFm Online, March 7, 2013 YARA’s commitment to the development of Ghana’s agricultural sector has further been cemented with the establishment of 150 farmer clinics, farmer forums and educative radio sessions that marshal the support of government and other development partners for the purpose of educating and empowering farmers to increase production; productivity and quality at the same time facilitate access to markets.

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