Posts Tagged ‘Africa’
I didn’t realize it until now, but the agenda and the people who participated in the presentation from the African Continent via Nairobi Kenya this morning is not available on the agenda–only the presentations made at the New York site seem to be there. Being a haphazard notetaker, I won’t venture to say who said what nor who they were. However, most of them were Africans and I am very impressed with what they are doing. The African people are very engaged and they appear to taking over the driver’s seat. Following are my comments and observations on the Agriculture segment
AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-PRO FOCUS
Agriculture is a huge focus for the continent. Agri-Pro Focus at least for now seems to be at the heart of promoting farmer entrepreneurship in Africa, but I would not be surprised to see it replaced with a pure African version someday in the near future..
Agri-Pro Focus is a partnership that was founded in 2005 with the aim of rallying together professionals, expertise and resources around a joint interest in farmer entrepreneurship. The Agri-ProFocus network members are organizations and companies that gather, train, connect and provide inputs and credit to farmer entrepreneurs and producer organisations.
The network operates both at a Dutch(-based) level and at a developing country level, the latter in so-called Agri-Hubs. [I don't know about you, but this seems to be dangerously close to colonialism.]
By promoting entrepreneurship and connecting producers with national and international markets, Agri-ProFocus members aim to both open up market potential for business in developing countries, as well as meet with the challenge of sustainably feeding 9 billion people by 2050. [From what I gleaned by listening to the Africans today and how fast they are taking to digital technology and the Internet--particularly Mobile Applications--they may soon tell the Dutch to get lost when they no longer need these middle men. I think that day will come much sooner than the Dutch may think.] The network is supported by a team of dedicated facilitators, based in the Netherlands ["dedicated" from the Netherlands? Think about it, folks. Dedicated to taking the African's money perhaps.]. In every Agri-Hub country, a coordinator or coordination team supports the local network. [Yes, and read the condescending tone from one of the new white network facilitators to Kenya, Marjolein de Bruin in her report on the Kenyans on her first visit that appears on the Agri- Pro Focus website.]
“. . . Driving around in Nairobi, I already noticed a radio station billboard, advertising: “Call Doctor Philip, for all your matrimonial problems!” And one morning, sitting in a taxi heading for a meeting, I heard Doctor Phillip or his colleague in action. A husband complained about his wife, that she spends all the pocket money that he gives her. “How much do you give her?” “20 euro, for all the shopping.” “20 euros only, how much do you earn?” “1200 euro”, replied the husband. The taxi driver and I started to laugh out loud. “He’s earning 1200 euro and gives only 20 euro to his wife for all the household shopping. . .” And this is funny because?
The African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT) is a fast growing pan-African not-for-profit organization whose membership is voluntary and aims at bringing together stakeholders and players who are dedicated to improving agricultural productivity through sustainable utilization of natural resources of land and water in Africa’s farming systems and committed to the principal of mutual collaboration, partnership and sharing of information/knowledge on sustainable natural resources management and drawing on synergies and complementarities.
ACT’s mission is to promote and facilitate information and knowledge exchange and partnerships to enhance support for the adaptation and adoption of conservaion agriculture principles and practices in Africa. With this Mission, ACT expects to contribute to enhance up scaling of sustainable land and water management practices addressing both agricultural productivity and environmental/biodiversity resilience objectives. Ultimately, the results are expected to positively impact on food security and improved rural livelihood.
This Mission, refined during 2006 from the initial mandate streamlines and focuses the core functions of ACT into CA KNOWLEDGE and INFORMATION MANAGEMENT (i.e. the generation, processing, storage and dissemination of lessons and knowledge on CA within the broader context of sustainable land and water management). The revision has also been with a view to ensure ACT remained dynamically responsive to members and stakeholder needs and issues on conservation agriculture, specifically, and natural resource management, in general.
Africa has 1.7 million acres of untapped arable land and the lowest productivity rates in the world. It has everything it needs t overcome its dependency on food imports. Only 30% of its arable land is being farmed while 1.7 million acres remain untapped. With few exceptions, fresh water reserves are easily accessible all over the continent. Yet, only 3% of land in sub-Saharan Africa is irrigated–far below the 20% world average of irrigated land. African governments invest on average only 4% of the GDP in Agricultures while most countries dedicate between 11 and 14% spending on agriculture. [Source]
Africa is going to have to step up their investment in agriculture. It seemed to me from the discussions today that many people realize this.
Food security is closely tied to a country’s agriculture program. Better education of the farmers seemed to be a key solution for increasing food production. One woman suggested agricultural parks where people could come together and learn, perhaps sharing information on the Internet in a cyber-cafe environment. It would also be here that they could learn about related applications for their mobile phones.
i cow – a Mobile Phone Application for Farmers
i cow is the world’s first mobile phone cow calendar. It sends farmers best dairy practices; collects and stores farmer ilk and breeding records; helps farmers find the nearest VET and AI providers; prompts farmers on vital days of cows gestation period.
Methane-filled tap water. Hydraulic fracturing is a controversial natural gas drilling process that often leaves the environment around it horribly polluted.
But really the same can be said for the extraction of ANY FOSSIL FUEL. Oil well drilling leaves slush pits of toxins where nothing can grow for years. There there is the issue of what to do with all the waste from coal mining processes. In December of 2008 the TVA Kingston plant had its holding pond of toxic coal slurry to overflow and flood thousands of acres with 1.4 billion gallons of toxic waste. A day after the spill the authorities said it would take 3 to six weeks to clean up the mess. A year later with over $600 million spent, they had just cleaned up 3% of that mess.
We are lied to daily regarding the need for fossil fuels. The only people who “need” them live on Wall Street–Not Main Street. We have had the technology and the methods for tapping and storing Solar energy and that gathered from wind turbines for at least 20 years. Do you know what is supplying a good part of Japan’s energy today? Wind turbines. The profiteers from nuclear power have for years promoted the lie in Japan that Wind turbines would come down with an earth quake. Well all of them appear to have survived a 9.0 magnitude quake which is a great deal more than one can say for their nuclear power plants.
AND even if they had fallen down, I’ll bet they would all be upright today and putting out power. The people of Japan AND their grandchildren would not be babysitting toxic waste for generations to come as they will be now thanks to TEPCO. No it was not the earthquake that caused this. It was the greed of a few people.
” . . . THE energy required to produce a unit of GDP is falling in most countries around the world. As countries industrialise, energy-intensive businesses make up a bigger share of the economy. Peaks generally correlate to the high point of heavy industry, before lighter industry and higher value-added businesses (such as services) begin to replace old-fashioned smokestack manufacturers. . . “ SOURCE AND MORE
Delving into and analyzing corporate newspeak is a task for the fearless. In many ways you must take on the role of the small child who had the guts to call out the emperor as being naked. You cannot be afraid that people who manufacture this newspeak (corporate propaganda) will call you “simplistic” or use such phrases to describe you as “a person who obviously does not understand the complexities of the 21st century”. . .etc. Because they will.
Analyze with Me
Please note : This shtick is related to the same bullshit that our government leaders told the American people during the last decade of the 20th century: “Don’t worry. Sure we are shipping your jobs out of the country, but don’t worry. Sure, there will be some ‘bumps’ along the way and people will lose their factory jobs but they will be educated and re-trained to perform high-paying technical jobs. We are moving from the industrial revolution to the technical revolution.
We see the fruition of our manufacturing jobs being outsourced, don’t we? Unemployment hovering at 10% and under-employment closer to 20% and government leaders telling us to not expect much more. “Service jobs” translate to working in call centers for minimum wage. The service sector has always been the lowest paying of all job sectors but at least it paid tips. Now American workers are being shuttled into low paying service jobs that don’t even offer tips.
The Queen’s interpretation of that graph. The really brilliant information analysts (a status that all Americans should and can aspire to) learn how to read between the lines of the bullshit that is fed to us daily by corporate media.
Ask questions beyond the data presentation--questions with futuristic and practical implications. All and any graphical display of information is a snapshot in time. Most often it shows where we are today. However, it can be historical and show a status from the past and it can also be predictive and show the future.
When looking at at graph such as the one above, ask yourself: If this were to be drawn 10 years from now, what would it look like? Well, if we accept the assumption that the jackasses have outlined for us (and you need to do this as part of your analysis), we will have to assume that the “lucky” Chinese workers will some day be in the position of the American workers today and they too will be creating “value-added” services and the “dirty” world of industrialization will move to another continent. Ten to twenty years from now the graph will show the energy use of China greatly reduced and the new spike will indicate either South America or perhaps Africa.
In the meantime, the situation in the USA will have deteriorated even more. This rotation from country to country will continue, managed by the likes of DAVO members until the full circle has been reached and returned to the USA. That is when the workers will get their manufacturing jobs back and not a day before if they don’t stand up now and start taking action to create manufacturing jobs themselves.
Why? Because the rich make money from this scam and they are not about to stop it without a helluva lot or pressure from the majority.
Why? Because you need to use your minds and think and ask sensible questions. Do you think there is every going to be a day when people of the world don’t want and need manufactured goods? That is exactly what the newsppeak graph above implies. “When we reach that ‘ideal’ moment in the lifetimes of human beings on this planet, all that any of us will ever need are “value-added” services. Do you really buy that bullshit? If so then you need to join all the “adults” from The Emperor’s New Clothes. I’m staying with the child who was grounded in reality.
SO IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU AND I CAN DO TO CHANGE THIS SITUATION?
HELL YES! First of all recognize it for what it is–propaganda of the rich and powerful designed to serve them and not the majority.
Second of all we can vote the 261 millionaires in Congress out of office. These people profit by this arrangement and anything that Wall Street does. In replacing these people, we are going to have to be careful that we don’t replace them with people who are even worse–Tea Party puppets for the rich.
Third of all, patriots who do love America can bring their money home to Main Street to establish manufacturing jobs and the establishment of small businesses in our communities.
And last of all, we can encourage the development of green technologies to reduce pollution and resource depletion in regard to these manufacturing activities. We can also encourage the development of new manufacturing processes that reduce the need for energy other than human energy and also the development of machinery and technology that generates its own energy.
If you think the trade imbalance is bad today, wait until 10 years from now when all we have left to trade are our “value-added” services.
We need to shut down the Wall Street Casino and that is not going to happen until we remove at least 251 of the 261 millionaire Wall Street investors in Congress.
Within certain populations in the USA, the prevalence of HIV infected people is higher than in certain parts of Africa
I wondered what happened to the AIDs issue in the USA. If one were to believe what is not reported in mainstream media for the past 10 years, one would think that we had no problem with HIV infections any more. A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine blows that myth out of the water.
Recent research published in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that within certain populations in America, the prevalence of HIV-infected people is higher than in certain parts of Africa:
More than 1 in 30 adults in Washington, D.C., are HIV-infected—a prevalence higher than that reported in Ethiopia, Nigeria, or Rwanda. Certain U.S. subpopulations are particularly hard hit. In New York City, 1 in 40 blacks, 1 in 10 men who have sex with men, and 1 in 8 injection-drug users are HIV-infected, as are 1 in 16 black men in Washington, D.C. In several U.S. urban areas, the HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is as high as 30%—as compared with a general-population prevalence of 7.8% in Kenya and 16.9% in South Africa.