Monthly Archives: July 2013

What youth can do for agricultural research for development

………If young people and women are given a platform, they can do more for agricultural research for development (AR4D).

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

If young people and women are given a platform, they can do more for agricultural research for development (AR4D).

Young Professionals in Agricultural Research for Development (YPARD) is an international movement that operates as a network of young people working in the agricultural sector. It is not a formalized institution, but rather it is a global on-line and off-line communication and discussion platform meant to enable young professionals all over the world to express their ideas and realize their full potential towards a dynamic AR4D landscape.

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Long road, huge opportunities for Africa

The situation wasn’t always this dire in Africa, said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President ofthe International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in his opening speech at the Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW).

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

The situation wasn’t always this dire in Africa, said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President ofthe International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in his opening speech at the Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW).

Around thirty years ago, the agriculture sector was thriving on a positive development path with research, investments and agriculture innovations all coming together. Kanayo took the audience back to luscious tea plantations in East Africa, large cotton-fields in West Africa, green rice-fields producing more than enough for the growing population. Africa was taking the lead on food production and other regions such as Asia falling far behind.

So what happened to Africa’s agricultural development? Instead of moving forward, the continent’s agricultural production stagnated or declined during the past three decades. The reasons are multifaceted but according to Kanayo it comes back to lack of investments, population growth, ill-fitted structural investment schemes and a decline in education institutions and quality.

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AI: Agricultural Intelligence

……As the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) prepares to take its place in the agribusiness narrative of Africa, I offer some personal reflections on the significance of the event….

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

As the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6) prepares to take its place in the agribusiness narrative of Africa, I offer some personal reflections on the significance of the event.

Firstly, the implementation and evaluation plan laid out by FARA and its partners for the fourth pillar of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is perhaps one of the event’s most important outcomes and should occupy a prestigious place in the discourse of agricultural development work. The plan may be metaphorically referred to as “Africa’s Zero Hunger Framework,” taking after the successful feeding programmes in Brazil.

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Youth have to claim their seat at the table

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

When it comes to youth and agriculture, most of us think we know what needs to be done: governments and other stakeholders need to develop innovative approaches and policies to get more youth involved in this critical sector. It goes without saying that the stakeholders are expected to involve the youth in innovation and policy formulation. Not much is said about what the youth can do themselves to facilitate their involvement in these processes.

Africa is currently the most youthful continent in the world. It is estimated that by 2015, youth will make up 60 percent of the population on the continent. These young people, who will soon be the drivers of the continent’s economy, need to know that they have a right to be involved in high-level policy dialogues on agriculture and begin actively seeking opportunities to participate.

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Africa’s agricultural transformation starts today

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

If we look into Africa‘s recent history, we see that this part of the world fits perfectly, at this time, into the growth limits stated by Reverend Thomas Malthus more than 200 years ago. With a population doubling every 25 years and an ecological decline hard to slow down, Africa is about to reach its “limits of growth”. But this is not a reason to despair.

At the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa Science Week that will take place in Accra, Ghana between July 15-20th, ensuring food security will be the hottest topic on agenda. With a diverse audience made up of policy makers, researchers, private sector and civil society representative, the Science Week will try to establish how agriculture can transform Africa’s future.

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Why youth voices must feature prominently in Africa Agriculture Science Week

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

A lot has been said about youth in Africa and there are still ongoing debates stressing the importance of involving young people in major development efforts, including agriculture. Last week, picking up on a Twitter conversation from one of the youth activists online, I concluded that, indeed, many development organizations use the term “youth” as an attempt to portray themselves as ‘working for young people.’

The term “youth” has become little more than a buzz word. At the moment, there is a need for all organizations not to just talk the talk but walk the walk.

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#AASW6 Social media bootcamp

Blogging with Bijesh Mishra

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine informed me about a conference that is going to be held in Ghana — the African Agricultural Science Week. I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was that, he wanted to know if I was interested in being considered as a social media reporter for the event. Hell yeah!!!
Following my receipt of an invitation letter, I am in Accra to join other social media reporters cover the event. A pre-requisite (of sorts) is for us to undergo a 2-day bootcamp on how to cover this particular event. Today is the first day. The facilitator is an energetic, enthusiastic fellow (who likes to be called Grandpa).

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4th Pan African Youth Leadership Forum: Call for Applications

Brian Kanaahe Mwebaze Bilal's Public Health Freaks' Blog

Hi Superstars Smile

Friends of Africa International Inc. is happy to announce the call for applications for the 4th Pan-African Youth Leadership Forum (PAYLF)  which will be hosted this year in Abuja, Nigeria from 19-22 August.

The theme this year’s forum is “Africa in the 21st Century: The Evolving Role of Its Greatest Resource, The Youth.” This forum is the second phase of a two-year long. three-phase programme aimed at equpping and empowering young dynamic Africans who are passionate about leading the continent to a progressive and prosperous future. The Forum will host experts in key areas and facilitate dialogue in the following areas:

·         Early Warning, Peace and Security

·         Leadership and Accountability (Public & Private Sector)

·         Youth Empowerment (Skills Acquisition, Job Creation & Mentorship) and Development

·         Private Secator Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Developing Business Models

·         Population, International Migration and Africa’s Youth

·         Food Security and Agriculture

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Food loss and waste: a threat to sustainability

“Almost 1.2 billion people are going hungry in the world; a third of those are in Africa and sadly a lot of those are actually farmers themselves.”

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

food waste tomato

“Almost 1.2 billion people are going hungry in the world; a third of those are in Africa and sadly a lot of those are actually farmers themselves.” Those were the portentous words of Sean de Cleene, a senior vice president of Yara International (a leading fertilizer company based in Norway with businesses in Africa) and member of the World Economic Forum’s ‘New Vision for Agriculture’ – in an interview granted to Spore (an agricultural magazine for ACP countries).

Though other estimates differ, some putting the number at a more conservative range of 870 – 900 million people, still the general consensus is that a substantial part of the global population is suffering from hunger and a disproportionate part of this is in the developing world – to which Africa belongs. Ironically, an estimated 1.5 billion people are either overweight, obese or suffer from over-nutrition globally.

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Battling the nonexistent Food Crisis

……….In a time of crisis, any kind of crisis, people’s behaviour is often predictable. When unemployed, people will do one of two things depending on the type of support they have available……

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

During my research on Global Food Security  I heard various opinions about the Food Crisis and how we should tackle it. Ranging from “we should do more” and “we should do less”, every government, NGO, company or researcher considers food security as a societal problem that must be dealt with now.

But a statement left me utterly perplexed: “many don’t actually see a food crisis coming” said a representative of the European Coordination of Via Campesina. And the statement is absolutely correct. Although more than 256,000 people died in Somalia in the past two years of hunger and food riots have become more frequent on all continents, the vast majority of people don’t care about a possible Food Crisis and, thus, when they hear news regarding food security, they just change the channel.

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