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Showing posts with label Rural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rural. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rwandan choreographer, Sherrie Silver named IFAD advocate for rural youth - NaijaAgroNet

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) annual meeting of Member States, award-winning choreographer, dancer and actress Sherrie Silver issued an urgent call-to-action to heads-of-state, government ministers, and development leaders to listen and invest in rural youth, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“I am inviting you to come together and stand on the right side of history by investing more in young rural people, and the communities where they live,” Silver said just after being announced as the UN specialized agency’s Advocate for Rural Youth.

“It is with great delight that we welcome Sherrie Silver as our new Advocate for Rural Youth,” said Charlotte Salford, Associate Vice-President of External Relations and Governance Department at IFAD. “Dance and music are great unifiers. They help young people to express themselves and unites groups of people across cultures and countries.”

The appointment makes the 24-year-old IFAD's first-ever Advocate for Rural Youth.

Silver’s message kicked-off the 'Our Future is Here' youth-led movement that aims to capture the energy and creativity of young people to raise awareness on the importance of investing in agriculture at a time when world hunger is on the rise, driven by conflict and climate change.

Hunger, poverty, youth unemployment and forced migration all have deep roots in rural areas, however there remains a wide funding gap. To eliminate hunger it is estimated an annual investment of US$180 billion is needed for rural areas. Of this, two-thirds is required for agriculture alone.

“Imagine what would happen if governments and donors around the world spent as much on agriculture and rural people as they do on humanitarian aid,” she said. “There would be food security. There would be social stability. There would be less damage to the environment. There would be hope for our future.”

Born in Rwanda and educated in the United Kingdom, Silver was made world-famous by her choreography work in Childish Gambino’s culturally seismic video “This Is America,” which won the 'Best Choreography' category at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards and most recently at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

A social media influencer, Silver is passionate about helping young people thrive and educating the world about African cultures through the dance, while giving back to African countries through her philanthropy.

In her role as Advocate for Rural Youth, Silver will use her global platform to meet and connect with youth around the world and help campaign for the importance of reaching young people through investing in agriculture and rural communities.

More than half of the world’s youth population of 1.2 billion live in rural areas and struggle to find employment. In Africa, an estimated 11 million young people will enter the job market every year for the next decade -- the majority of them in rural areas, where agriculture is still the biggest source of livelihoods.

"Youth unemployment will be the defining challenge of this era alongside climate change, and I am committed to helping the UN as an IFAD Advocate for Rural Youth to do everything I can to provide a better future for young people everywhere," Silver said. “They need jobs and opportunities in agriculture to help feed a growing population while also building a safe and prosperous future right where they live.”

Silver added that “the only way we are going to solve complex challenges like ending extreme poverty, hunger and forced migration is by calling on governments to invest in a different way of going about development. Young people want to build a better world, but they can’t do it alone."

Prior to her appointment, Sherrie Silver visited an IFAD-supported project in southern Cameroon, where she met with young entrepreneurs from a remote farming community who have been able to earn more income and produce more food due to IFAD investments in agriculture and business training in their community.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Roots podcast debuts for rural communities - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has launched 'Roots', a podcast created to disseminate the voice of rural workers in their own communities and in the world, reports NaijaAgroNet.
From Peru to Niger, Belize or Nepal, each month "Roots" will present a new episode sharing the experience of beneficiaries of IFAD supported and evaluated development projects in different regions.
The podcast will be available for free on the website of the Independent Office of Evaluation and may be used by radio stations throughout the world to be included in their schedule of programmes
"This podcast is intended to share with rural communities the human stories living behind each effort made to reduce poverty and promote sustainability of economic activities in rural areas," Oscar A. García, director of the Office Independent Evaluation of IFAD, said.
"Roots" is the first communication product created specifically for beneficiaries of programs evaluated by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD.
"Roots is an opportunity to learn and to allow rural communities to observe what is working well, what it is not, why, and what needs to be improved to promote a sustainable and inclusive rural development", García underlined.
The podcasts will be produced in the language of each visited country and will have a maximum length of four minutes to facilitate its use by radio stations.
In the two first episodes, "Roots" will visit: The Department of San Martin, in Peru's High Rainforest and the Toledo District and Stann Creek, in Belize  and in Peru. 

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Monday, June 18, 2018

IFAD says Post Offices @forefront of remittance, financial services in rural Africa


The postal services can play a pivotal role in delivering remittances, lowering the transfer costs and providing access to basic financial services in Africa, says the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), reports NaijaAgroNet.

A joint report made available to NaijaAgroNet by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Commission (EC) on the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances to be observed tomorrow.

The report, entitled ‘A success story on remittances at the post office in Africa,’ analyses the results achieved by African Postal Financial Services Initiative (APFSI), a joint programme led by IFAD and financed by the European Union (EU).

The programme, NaijaAgroNet gathered, has been implemented in 11 African countries in cooperation with the World Bank, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the Universal Postal Union and the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that the APFSI programme has helped post offices develop more effective business models, upgrade their computer technology and connectivity, and improve their expertise in order to process real-time payments and offer and manage financial services.

"The remittance market is changing at a rapid pace,” said Pedro De Vasconcelos, Coordinator of the Financing Facility for Remittances at IFAD, pointing out that technology is transforming the payment systems and digitalized financial services are creating new opportunities.

“In this context, postal operators play a prominent role in delivering remittances to rural migrant families, providing them with financial services they rarely had access to,” Pedro said.

According to De Vasconcelos, the strong presence of post offices in remote and rural areas is extremely valuable. Their historic footprint helps build trust in the provision of rural financial services.

In 2017 alone, African migrant workers sent over US$70 billion to their families back home, representing an increase of more than 10 per cent from 2016 and more than 36 per cent over the past decade.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive region in the world to send money home. In 2017 the average cost was 9.3 per cent of the amount sent.

As a result of the AFPSI joint programme, which has been implemented over the last five years, the cost of receiving remittances via post offices in four pilot countries, Benin, Ghana, Madagascar and Senegal,  decreased by 42 per cent and post offices delivered remittance services at an average cost of less than 5 per cent. This means an additional $35 million were available to migrant families between 2014 and 2016.

"The EU is committed to work with partners to lower the cost of remittances and promote faster, cheaper and safer transfers. Our collective objective is to reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs and eliminate remittance corridors with transfer costs higher than 5 per cent, as stated in the 2030 Agenda and the European Consensus for Development," said Stefano Signore, Head of Unit in charge of Migration and Employment in the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development at the EC.

Financial inclusion remains a challenge in Africa. According to recent estimates, only 41 per cent of the population above 15 years of age has an account and access to formal financial services. In this context, postal operators have an important role to play, especially in rural areas. As a result of the joint programme, at least 100,000 adults opened new postal accounts accessing financial services for the first time.

"Having a savings account and access to credit is fundamental for families to invest in income-generating activities and build their future," said Mauro Martini, an IFAD expert on remittances and migrants’ investments and co-author of the report. "Remittances can be an engine for development."

Estimates show that while 75 per cent of remittances are generally spent on basic needs such as food, housing, health and education, another 25 per cent can be invested in asset-building or activities that generate income and jobs and transform economies, in particular in rural areas.


The EC began collaborating with IFAD in 2004, with the intention of increasing the development impact of remittances while enabling poor households in rural areas to access financial services. Since 2005, the EC has mobilized euro 9.5 million for IFAD’s Financing Facility for Remittances, including the APFSI. A new euro 15 million programme focusing on Africa will be launched soon to reduce costs further and improve financial inclusion and impact for development.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ICTs essential to empowerment, success of poor rural women

The role of information communications technologies in supporting rural women's economic empowerment, voice and status, was the focus of discussions at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 8 March, International Women’s Day, reports NaijaAgroNet.

IFAD, together with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), will highlight the role that innovations in information and communications technologies (ICTs) can play in expanding rural women's opportunities in value chains and enterprise development, while increasing their access to education and information.

Many women, particularly young rural women, lack access to productive resources such as land, credit and technology. Women lag behind in terms of their access to ICTs, with only 41 per cent of women in low-and middle income countries owning mobile phones compared to 46 per cent for males. Nearly two-thirds of women living in the South Asia and East Asia and Pacific sub-regions do not own a mobile phone. Rural women regularly lack access to health care, education, decent work and social protection. As a consequence, they are more likely to be poor and they are vulnerable to economic and climatic shocks.


ICTs can go a long way to boosting economic opportunities for rural women. Mobile and smartphones, for example, provide access to real-time information on prices in different markets and allow more informed choices about where and when to buy and sell. Studies indicate that when women earn money, they are more likely than men to spend it on food for their families and the education of their children.

Uj. N. Dominic/ED, OP

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Two off grid projects to electrify rural communities in Nigeria

Nigerian rural communities are to benefit from two off grid projects, consisting of a partnership between Pan Africa Solar and BBOXX (PAS BBOXX), thus adding to the growing momentum of the off grid sector across Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The first project, NaijaAgroNet reports, is headed up by Pan Africa Solar, is an 80MW utility scale Photovoltaic Power Plant located in Katsina State, near the town of Kankia. The project focuses on a stable state in the north of the country, where – due to lack of available hydro resources and gas supply – renewables are the only long term sustainable option. The project will integrate panels mounted on tilting structures that track the path of the sun throughout the day, constructed on 210 hectares of land.

BBOXX is collaborating with Pan Africa Solar on a second project supplying the distributed energy service that is operating in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, with hopes to expand across the country.

BBOXX’s VP of Business Development, Anshul Patel shared his comments on the partnership and its plans:

“Pan Africa Solar is a dedicated team with a core understanding of the Nigerian market; a very exciting BBOXX partner in a much underserved market. Nigeria has 60 million people who lack access to electricity. To date, 2000 people have been impacted by our work in Kano, and the business is currently in the process of scaling its operations. The partnership between BBOXX and PAS is instrumental in leveraging expertise in the off-grid business combined with local market knowledge to successfully scale operations with a goal of electrifying 1 million people by 2020.”

EnergyNet launched the Off the Grid Club initiative in 2016 to provide a networking platform for off grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders working in Africa’s off grid industry. The membership programme collaborates with partners such as the Shell Foundation, ElectriFi, Akon Lighting Africa and Solektra in developing and financing off grid projects to electrify rural communities in Africa.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Friday, November 3, 2017

FG, States pledge matching fund for rural sanitation, promotion


The Federal Government and some implementing states have committed to a matching fund of $5million as counterpart contribution to the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN), reports NaijaAgroNet.

Director, Press and Public Relations Unit, Margaret E. Umoh, in a press statement available to NaijaAgroNet, said that Nigeria secured the grant for the project through the National Task Group on Sanitation (NTGS), which is a coalition of relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, development partners and civil society organisations working in the sanitation sub-sector.

The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, was quoted as saying this during the meeting with State Governors on the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Nigeria (RUSHPIN) in Abuja.

“As we are all aware, access to improved sanitation in Nigeria has declined over time. As a result, there are over 70 million people without access to improve sanitation and more than 45 million 
people practicing open defecation in Nigeria,” he said.

Recognizing the public health risk, he pointed out that the Federal Government called on states and development partners to invest in the water, sanitation and hygiene sub-sector as Federal Government cannot fund it all alone.

Adamu said further that the RUSHPIN project which is going on in 6 Local Government Areas of Benue and Cross River States is a good example of government’s efforts in mobilizing resources to the sector in view of the limited resources available.
The Minister added that the Federal Government through the instrument of Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programme and the roadmap of ending open defecation by 2025 in the country, has demonstrated commitment in addressing the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene in Nigeria.

Adamu thanked the Executive Director of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Dr. Chris Williams for the support given to Nigeria through the Global Sanitation Fund grant. While thanking Ondo and Sokoto States for their interest in the RUSHPIN project, he called on other states to key into the project as investing in water, sanitation and hygiene would protect the health of the people.

Present at the meeting were the governors of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.

Responding, the Executive Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom said that in conjunction with the Federal Government, Benue State has paid 5million into the RUSHPIN Project in the state. While his counterpart from Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal said that the state counterpart fund will be captured in the 2018 budget proposal. The Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said that the issue of open defecation in the state is a big challenge, and that they are ready to partner with the Federal Government and other development partners in addressing the issue.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mobile technology helps to transfer cash to conflict-affected rural families

Many vulnerable rural families in Iraq can now benefit from a safer, more secure means of receiving income thanks to mobile money transfer technology adopted for the first time by Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as part of a cash-for-work programme aimed at rehabilitating agricultural infrastructure and land, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The programme, which is funded by the Belgian Government, will support 12,000 conflict-affected people in 30 villages in Kirkuk, Anbar, Salah al-Din and Ninewa governorates. It will benefit local farmers, by enabling them to restart or expand farming activities with rehabilitated infrastructure, and provides agricultural livelihoods opportunities for displaced people returning home.

Participants, who are from households with no other income source, include women who are often the sole breadwinners for their families, and people with a disability. The workers and their families are people who either remained in their villages during conflict or returned home after being displaced by the fighting.

"The use of mobile technology will streamline the safe delivery of cash transfers to participants, who are some of the most vulnerable people in the country," said Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq. "Providing income opportunities is critical in rural areas affected by conflict, where competition for employment is high, jobs are scarce and people are struggling to support their families."

To facilitate the payments, FAO has partnered with Zain a mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint in eight Middle Eastern and African countries. Participant names and identity numbers are pre-registered with the company, and they receive a free SIM card. Once each person completes a certain number of days of work, they receive a text message containing a personalised security code. They can then collect their wages from any certified money mobile transfer agent, provided their code and identity number match those registered.

"As well as providing much-needed income for participants, the programme will improve agricultural production in the surrounding communities, through activities including rehabilitating canals for irrigation to grow crops and preparing farmland for planting," said El-Zubi. "This, in turn, will encourage community members still displaced by conflict to return home and begin farming again. FAO's aim is to support people to get back on their feet as quickly as possible, and reduce their reliance on food assistance."


Around 12 million Iraqis reside in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Years of conflict has destroyed or damaged harvests, equipment, infrastructure, livestock, seeds, crops and stored food; and left 3.2 million Iraqis food insecure. As of 15 July 2017, more than 3.3 million people remained displaced within Iraq, while about 2 million had returned home.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

IFAD, Mexico sign rural development support pact

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations agency for rural development, and the Government of Mexico have signed a pact to promote entrepreneurship among the country’s poor rural people receiving social benefits, reports NaijaAgroNet.
The agreement to be implemented under the aegis of Rural Productive Inclusion Project (RPIP), IFAD said, will take effect in 26 municipalities in the states of Guerrero, Hidalgo and Zacatecas and expected to benefit some 12,800 families.
The total cost of the project is US$19.5 million, with IFAD financing covering $7.1 million. The rest will be funded by the Government of Mexico and by the beneficiaries themselves.
NaijaAgroNet reports that the project is designed to facilitate the access of beneficiaries of the country's largest conditional cash transfer programme (PROSPERA) to public programmes aimed at increasing rural productivity.
The IFAD’s Regional Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Tomás Rosada, explained that basic social assistance in the form of cash transfers allows people to live in a more dignified way. This project aims to go beyond that.”
“It will help transform the lives of poor rural people who are currently dependent on the State’s transfers and make them rural entrepreneurs, capable of making a living by themselves,” he added.
To address rural poverty in a more effective way, the current Mexican administration has made “productive inclusion” a key policy objective. One way of achieving this is through the creation of synergies between conditional cash transfers and productive development programmes, which is at the heart of the Rural Productive Inclusion Project.
The Project will allow local promoters to assist beneficiaries in identifying profitable productive activities, which could vary from organic farming to small rural businesses. These promoters will then facilitate beneficiaries’ access to technical assistance and productive investments, so that they can increase their production and improve the quality of their products, making them suitable for markets.
Despite efforts made in recent decades by the Government of Mexico, large segments of the country’s rural population still live in poverty. Family farms – subsistence farms, not linked to markets and extremely low in productivity– represent 51 per cent of farms in rural areas. Increasing their capacity to produce will both improve the lives of family farmers and boost rural economies as a whole.

“By supporting rural poor people who live on government benefits to set up agricultural and non-agricultural rural enterprises, the project will not only improve their lives but also, and more importantly, will do so in a sustainable way,” explained Rosada.
Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Saturday, May 2, 2015

AU, Harvest Plus sets to promote farming technologies


African Union commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Tumuslime Rhoda Peace, has said that the union would partner with lead research-based agriculture institution, Harvest Plus, to promote farming and consumption of boi-fortified crops, through the use of farming technologies, especially among poor farming and urban communities, to boost Agriculture in the African continent. NaijaAgroNet, reports.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Tumuslime appreciated the role of the institute in lifting the rural poor communities in Africa out of poverty and stressed that in order to improve market access, the use of farming technology needs propagation at higher policy making levels so that farmers can adopt it and sellers can buy the micro nutrient-added to produce in good quantities.

Director Harvest Plus, Dr. Howarth Bouis and Harvest Plus, Head of Africa Strategic Alliances, Dr. Anna-Marie Ball NaijaAgroNet learnt, briefed the commissioner on its accomplishments in breeding and production of bio-fortified food crops and distribution bio-fortified seed varieties as well as improved cultivars, thereby empowering rural communities.

Dr. Bouis said, “The organisation also helps add value to locally produced agricultural crops in countries where the organization is working in Africa.” She added that “we have released a number of bio-fortified crops including: iron beans, iron pearl millet, vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, vitamin A sweet potatoes, Zinc rice and Zinc wheat.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Harvard Plus has executed countless programmes in Africa, especially the rapid expansion in production and consumption of yellow cassava in Nigeria.

Harvest Plus as NaijaAgroNet learnt, is a lead research-based, agriculture technology institution that was established to respond to the problem of ‘hidden hunger’ which is caused by the lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the diet, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron, thus reinforcing agriculture’s pivotal role in improving the quality of diet and increasing micro-nutrient consumption. 

Nsolibe Daniel/Ed, Ops.
 

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