Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Doing the best we can

As youths, we are overwhelmed by problems passed to us by the older generations and as we are going to learn from this hummingbird story, there is no room for giving up. In our small ways, collectively we can make a difference. Let's not be discouraged by the old guard inflicted ailment in the agricultural sector.Do something! Just like Pro. Wangari maathai.

Fare Thee Well Professor 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Look at yourself after watching this

What keeps us from working hard and succeeding given our capabilities? With all the limbs, energy and the brains God has endowed us with this short video should be an encouragement and an eye opener to all youths. Let's unleash our potential for the best.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ecologically sound farming holds the key to environmental resource conservation

Success of any endeavor is largely determined by access to information. - accurate and sufficient information. Agricultural undertakings are not exceptional and therefore here is a source of agricultural information. http://www.infonet-biovision.org/
infonet-biovision.org is a web-based information platform offering trainers, extension workers and farmers in East Africa a quick access to up-to-date and locally relevant information in order to optimise their livelihoods in a safe, effective, sustainable and ecologically sound way. 
As we engage in various agricultural practices there is need to take care of the environmental resources considering that the future generations will also depend on these resources. Organic agriculture holds the key to this. For more information, visit here http://www.infonet-biovision.org/

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today’s youth: tomorrow’s leaders – Agriculture and the youths

These days, more than ever, we are reminded of the growing need for food security and improved livelihoods in the less developed countries.  This is not just a task for those presently at the helm of agricultural research for development (AR4D) endeavors; it will surely also be a priority for many generations to come. As such, it is vital that we don’t think in terms of passing the baton onto the next generation sometime in the future – we need to include young people in every aspect of AR4D from the outset of things.
When experience, knowledge and wisdom meet the different perspectives and fresh ideas that many young people can bring on board, there’s no telling what we can achieve in our efforts to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and health, and sustainably manage our natural resources.  Unfortunately, the supply of new young scientists, as well as youth willing to work on farms, is lagging behind demand. If we are to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, it is of paramount importance that we attract talented young men and women into our organizations, and then train and retain them.

Linking key players in agriculture's vital and ICTs has arole to play

NETWORKING is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization!
Adam Small
Whoever started up this platform must have read these words before me. This online platform facilitates exchange between Agri-ProFocus professionals participating in the APF Kenya Agri-Hub, their Kenyan partners and other stakeholders. Agri-ProFocus Kenya is a growing network of farmers' organisations, NGOs, financial insititutes, research institutes, private and public sector actors and Dutch and other international development agencies. It strives to stimulate the enhancement of farmer entrepreneurship in Kenya.
Just what we need to know about; click on this photo to learn more.

Improving food security through e-learning

In my endeavors to establish how ICTs can be used to the advantage of agriculture and enhancement of food security, I came across these online courses on food security from FAO.
The courses are free (though you have to register first– a quick and painless process). You can download it, do it online, or request a CD-ROM. Face-to-face training materials are also available.
Interested? If so to get these materials or take the course, visit: here

Rockefeller foundation on climate change, drought and agriculture

Fighting and winning the war against the effects of climate change holds the key to enhancing investments into the key sectors like the agricultural sector that could enable African states to achieve faster economic growth. Judith Rodin, the president of Rockefeller Foundation, said fighting the effects of climate change could provide an opportunity for increasing investments into the agricultural, financial and medical sectors in a way that generates economic growth. Rodin said investments that focus on tackling the social effects of climate change have the potential to change the lives of the African populations and create industries that could also help in fighting poverty across the continent. "If social investing is embraced by the continent, it could redirect enormous capital flows to the region. Most of the impact investments are above 1 million U.S. dollars and the evidence shows that potential money for investment is in the billions of U. S. dollars," Rodin told Xinhua in a recent interview in Nairobi. She said focusing on climate impact investments such as the development of drought-resistant seeds, prevention of floods and the development of anti-malarial drugs and mosquito nets could contribute to the economic development of the African continent. "Because most investors are big organizations, the industry is searching for opportunities amongst already established social enterprises. Due to the fact that Africa lacks social services, impact investment could develop to become a very large industry with big economic footprint," Rodin said. The investment programs in Africa are geared towards increasing the agricultural productivity of the farmers because most of the population is concentrated in rural areas. "Drought, which is caused by climate negatively, affects the harvests - so most of our funds are directed on farmland.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK)

In the spirit of encouraging the production of information and the use of new information technologies by young farmers’ groups and organizations interested in agriculture, this Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) is a useful tool.
IMARK is a partnership-based e-learning initiative to train individuals and support institutions and networks world-wide in the effective management of information. IMARK consists of a suite of distance learning resources, tools and communities on information management.
The resource can be accessed here

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bad policies, not just bad weather to blame for the food crisis

Bad policies, not just bad weather, have created the East African famine. That’s the message from experts battling the hunger. The good news is that it needn’t be this way; there are good policies out there which can reverse this trend.
Starving people appear to most of us as an indistinct mass of human misery. Their pain is what moves us. Their needs compel us to help. They look and suffer alike. Who they are is not really important.

But to understand why the people in the horn of African are starving, and to really help, it is paramount that we know who they are and where they came from.

Then we’ll see that it’s not just drought that has caused the East African famine but bad governance. The food crisis is a policy crisis. Unless policies are changed, the same thing is going to happen over and over again. Enactment of the new constitution in Kenya implementation to the latter should signal a new dawn in the country.

So who are these people? And what are the policies that have pushed them to the brink? Here lies the solution to this problem.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Government on food scarcity

Most Kenyans need not be told that the prices of basic foodstuff have gone up; this’ all evident from the supermarket shelves or that small village kiosk - foodstuff now cost double or even triple their prices a few months ago. What everybody would gladly wish to hear from the government is how it intents to cushion the people from this galloping inflation.
This problem that has become a global concern is mainly attributed to both natural and anthropogenic reasons. First, there is a global high demand for foodstuffs against the dwindling supply of the same. Secondly, climate change which manifests in form of long droughts has made growing of food very hard if not impossible – drought has hit this region with a vengeance leading to food scarcity and consequently starvation of many to death.
A few months ago a 2kg packet of maize flour was going at 70 shillings but now you’ll have to part with a cool 150 shillings. This means even where there’s food it costs an arm and a leg for to many – few people can afford it. This is a sure recipe for political unrest and hence the need for government intervention.
The government needs to suspend all grandiose projects and use the money to set up safety – nets to cushion the poorest of the consumers. It really has little choice in a situation which cannot right itself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

AGRO-TOURISM; Opening more opportunities in agriculture


A poster advertising the event
The Mombasa Agricultural show was established in 1967 and is located in the Country’s leading holiday resort area of Nyali at the north Coast. The Show was elevated to an International status to attract investors in the region.
1.       Kenya Ports Authority
2.       Mombasa Maize Millers Ltd
3.       Kenya Maritime Authority
4.       Kenya Power
5.       Co-operative Manager

Centered on the theme of “Driving Agri-business in attaining food sufficiency and vision 2030”, the event drew exhibitors from wide field coverage:
The show had exhibitors from the following industries;
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism related enterprises
  • Fishing industries
  • Education Sector
  • Banking Sector
  • Shopping
  • Export
  • Transport and Communication
Such events form a perfect platform for networking and creating market linkages in the agricultural sector and others.As we endeavor to woo the youths into Agriculture, we need to appreciate the factors that are keeping them at bay in order to come up with the correct strategies. Farming is seen as a hard work with little reward- farmers are perceived to be the most hardworking lot but at the same time the most truck with poverty. There is threfore need to look at ways of easening ways of making money and making it more rewarding. Turning to agro-tourism is something that can give agriculture a whole new perspective as seen in this year’s Mombasa Agricultural Show. International and local tourists flocked to the event and though its not clear how much they earned, youths made money from various items they displayed.
Below are some pictures from the event;