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Friday, April 27, 2012

African agric ministers call for the use of biotechnology, ICT

Agriculture and Science and Innovation Ministers in Africa have called for the use of modern technologies like biotechnology and ICT in agricultural research, reports NewsTime.

The ministers NaijaAgroNet learnt at the ended of the second dialogue of agriculture, science and innovation ministers in Accra also call for the creation of Innovation Fund for Agricultural Transformation (IFAT) in a bid to boost extension and increase access to information and knowledge.

The Ministers in a communiqué released at the end of the meeting asserted that the creation of the funding mechanism will stimulate both public and private investments across the continent which will sustain transformation of agriculture.

Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Monty Jones said there is a need for paradigm shift that would transform African Agriculture. "The mindset that we can sustain ourselves through subsistence farming has trapped the continent in a cycle of famine and failed harvests."

Monty also said that African farmers do need improved seeds and other inputs, and timely advice on how use them, saying "Africa’s farmers do not need pity. They need support." 
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that participants at the dialogue said that African farmers need greater access to improved, resilient seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, weather insurance and other means to improve their farm production.
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Youths' involvement in agric, key to sustainable development – Rhoda

Young Farmers
Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture at the African Union Commission, Ms Rhoda Peace Tumusiime had said that involving youth in agricultural development and decision making processes is key to ensuring sustainable development in Africa.
She said this at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia while officiating a workshop on youth, ICT and entrepreneurship in agriculture co-organised by Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation (CTA) and NEPAD E-Africa Programme.
In her address, the AU commissioner said that African's population has over 60 per cent youths and 40 per cent of the 70 per cent people in the rural areas are also youths.
The continent, she noted can leverage on the youths available as the current youths are more educated and learned, enterprising and ambitious.
"We can therefore reap the benefits of the demographic dividend and create a virtuous cycle from a healthier, better-educated and more economically productive and focused workforce, if this potential is well harnessed,” she said.
She also said there is urgent need for the expansion of access to secondary and tertiary education, creating and expansion of rural job opportunities and building capacity and promoting entrepreneurship among the youth.
Ms Rhoda Peace Tumusiime
CTA Director, Mr. Michael Hailu affirmed Africa's unemployment standing at 50 per cent, adding that most of the unemployed are young people and females.
He said CTA would not relent in its effort to support activities that encourage youth in ACP countries to consider agriculture as a viable career path, including seizing ICT chances in that framework. "Modern information and communication technologies provide opportunities for creating jobs and entrepreneurship for the youth."
Acting Head, NEPAD e-Africa Programme, Dr. Edmund Katiti insisted that African development and youth employment could be strengthened through the promotion of e-applications and e-services, the promotion of mobile payment systems, agricultural information systems, open software development and adequate capacity building.
The workshop, NaijaAgroNet gathered involved 30 youths and experts from diverse disciplines, countries and international organizations in Africa, and aimed at exchanging ideas about the use of ICT in agrobiz by African Youths.
The workshop also sees to strategies to strengthen their opportunities in agricultural sector. 
Better promotion of successes in agrobusiness was part of the recommendations from participants, other recommendations include improving opportunities for youth in rural areas using ICTs, providing funding arrangements and policies that support youth business in agriculture and youth companies engaged in the development of ICT solutions for agriculture.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Southern African states to launch climate change study centre

Southern African Science Centre for Climae Change and Adaptive Land
Five Southern African states have agreed to establish a common monitoring centre for climate change studies for the region, reports TheNewAge.
The study centre, Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management NaijaAgroNet learnt would be launched in Windhoek, Namibia by the five countries, namely South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.
Also, NaijaAgroNet gathered that German government supported the initiative with 50 million euros, about N10.38 billion aimed at streamlining the regional scientific research about climate change trends and management of natural resources.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that a similar centre was recently launched by 10 West African states, supported and funded by Germany.
John Phiri, Zambian Science minister said, "This initiative will bring knowledge, data, information and services generated by our own scientists with support of their colleagues from Germany." 
The centre would also coordinate research and share information, with a secretariat based in Windhoek.
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

USAID partners Israel for food security in 4 African countries

An Israeli agency, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States Agency International Development (USAID) on food security issues in four African countries, reports Globes.

The agreement, a part of Feed the Future initiative NaijaAgroNet gathered was signed by the Agency for International Development Cooperation of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAVE.

According to the agreement, Israel is to supply the know-how for the project while USAID will make provision for the funding of the project in the four African countries; Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda.

The Israeli agency said that priority would be given to gender issues, training and human capacity building and adaptation to climate change. 
Daniel Carmon, MASHAVE head, said "In assistance projects Israel does not usually give grants to target countries. Our relative advantage is expertise although sometimes we cover part of the cost of the expertise.”
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

GEF made over 14,000 grants to civil societies

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) over the years has made more than 14,000 small grants directly to civil society and community based-organisations, which amount to $634 million, about N95.7 billion.
The grants, according to sources at GEF, are in a bid to address global environmental issues and supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
The CEO and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility Monique Barbut, in a statement during the World Earth day, asserted the need to reflect upon how young the environmental movement.
The first Earth Day, NaijaAgroNet learnt was held forty-two years ago by citizen organizers and it brought about the first Earth Summit, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. 
"This June the environmental movement returns to Rio, bringing with it new priorities and a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our planet and how to address them," she said.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

FCT Secretary urges youths to take hold of Fadama III

Secretary to the Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs. Olvadi Madayi has urged youths in the FCT to embrace Fadama III project, repots Leadership.

Highlighting some reasons for the project, Madayi said the project was designed to assist in the alleviation of poverty and to also improve the living standards of the people.

The projects, NaijaAgroNet learnt has touched lives of people at the grassroots and the Agriculture and Rural Development secretary had promised that the FCT administration would not relent in its effort to pay its counterpart funding which she also urged area councils’ chairmen to do same so that the project would be sustained.
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kenya to import 1.05m bags of maize

Kenyan Agricultural ministry has identified the need for Kenya to still import maize to boost stocks of foods to the tonnes of 1.05 million bags of maize, Reuters reports.
Though, the country expects food supplies to be stable till September as a result of improved output of key staple foods, is still necessity to import maize.
NaijaAgroNet ascertains that Kenya already planned to import 1.05 million 90-kg bags of maize from regional and international markets to supplement supplies despite bigger harvests recorded following good rains in its main growing areas.
The ministry also disclosed that national maize stocks stood at 18.61 million bags as at March 31 which is lower than 18.94 million recorded in February. 
"According to latest food security assessment conducted in these areas, most households have stocks enough to last 2 to 3 months," the ministry official said.
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

Friday, April 20, 2012

Green ICT tops agenda ITU symposium

The advancement of green Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) agenda through awareness creation is one of the key agenda of the seventh edition of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Symposium on ICTs, the Environment and Climate Change.

The symposium is to raise awareness about the power of Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) in helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

ITU in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that the symposium was jointly organised by ITU and Canadian government, and hosted by Prompt, an R&D partnership developer and scheduled to hold between 29th and 31st May, 2012 at Montreal, Canada.

The symposium, ITU said, would also explore ways in which advance technologies could play a role in improving the environmental sustainability of the ICT sector itself, and how ICTs could help countries better tackle the effects of climate change and new strategies to help tackle e-waste. 
The event would form part of ITU’s activities in the lead up to the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), highlighting the key role played by ICTs as enablers in environmentally-sustainable economic development.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology

African agriculture, at mercy of Global South donors

'Agriculture Development and Food Security in Africa,' a new book that addresses the current food insecurity and land issues on the continent would soon debut.
The book which x-rays the effect of donors from the global south on African agricultural development is co-authored by Fantu Cheru, a socio-economist who specializes in rural development, small-scale enterprise environmental planning and resource management, and Renu Modi, a political scientist and senior lecturer of the Centre for African Studies of University of Mumbai.
The Four-section, Eleven-chapter book highlighted roles played by the Global South donors including India, China and Brazil in shaping African agriculture through their increased involvement and investment in the continent. 
The book also presents a critical analysis of the ways in which Chinese, Indian and Brazilian engagement in African agriculture are structured and implemented. More about the book
Yinka Awosanya/LS
... Linking agrobiz, people & technology