Ciência e Tecnologia para o melhoramento da agricultura em África


By Vanilla Amadeu
A ciência e a tecnologia foram temas que mereceram atenção dos panelitas no terceiro dia da Conferência da RUFORUM. Em relação ao assunto, o Secretário Executivo da FARA, Yeni Akinbamijo, referiu que agenda da ciência para o desenvolvimento da agricultura em África ajudou-a a identificar o tipo de ciência de que precisa.

Assim, a ciência, a tecnologia, as inovações, a política e a aprendizagem social, a fim de cumprir suas metas de transformação agrícola. Segundo ele a finalidade de uma Agenda para a Ciência é de advogar o reconhecimento da importância da ciência na transformação da agricultura em África, fornecer orientação sobre onde devem ser feitos investimentos estratégicos na área científica, bem como facilitar o alinhamento de acções e recursos para melhorar o valor para o dinheiro em investimentos. Continue reading “Ciência e Tecnologia para o melhoramento da agricultura em África”

Climbing up trees or sitting on shoulders?


GraciaBy Richard Powell

Africa has the youngest population in the world, with more than one-third of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa aged between 10 and 24.  By 2025 the number of young people in this age group in the sub-region is expected to increase to 436, and to 605 million by 2050.

For many, there is a dichotomy in how the future role played by this significant percentage of the continent’s population is seen: on the one hand, among the pessimists it is that of a ‘ticking time bomb’ waiting to explode; among the more optimistic, it is that of a generation of opportunity.

Traditionally, in many parts of Africa there has been a negative perception of the capabilities of the young, with an expectation that they should defer to the wisdom and experience of their elders.  As I listened to the charismatic humanitarian, and former Mozambican Minister for Education, Graça Machel, deliver her keynote address on women and children in Africa to the 4th RUFORUM Biennial conference, I recalled some illustrative, adverse traditional sayings:
“What an old man sees sitting down, a young man cannot see standing up” (from the Ibo ethnic group, Nigeria).
“An old man sitting on a stool can see farther than a young man who has climbed a tree” (from the Kikuyu ethnic group, Kenya).

Continue reading “Climbing up trees or sitting on shoulders?”

Knowledge is becoming a matter of life and death in this era


By Victoria Mbiggidde

CABI

There is s a saying : “Knowledge is power” however for Africa, knowledge seemingly becomes a matter of life and death given its potential to lead to the transformation of the continent. Improved information organization and accessibility, more efficient collaboration in cross-divisional case teams, move from document storage to project management (task lists, calendars, links), real-time data collection, improved tracking and oversight – case and management level, more efficient decision-making, and reduced induction “learning-curve” for new staff are some of the endless benefits which come with having a knowledge management system and repositories established within agricultural organizations.

Continue reading “Knowledge is becoming a matter of life and death in this era”

From Invention to Innovation in African Agriculture


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Photo credit: ICRISAT / C. Wangar

By Catherine Mloza 

It was interesting to note that RUFORUM had a side session that addressed the issue of strengthening partnerships for research and higher education. By and by, it is  un-disputable that agriculture in Africa,greatly  depends on how successfully knowledge is generated, disseminated and applied. Traditional agricultural knowledge management systems models situate the role of knowledge generation (mainly technology development) in the domains of the university and research institutions. Extension, on the other hand, is entrusted with the role of knowledge dissemination, and farmers as end users of this knowledge. Continue reading “From Invention to Innovation in African Agriculture”

Increasing women’s participation in Agriculture Education


By Pauline Atim

                                              “Women should share success stories to bridge the gap of lack of role models in agriculture”

8.3 (24)Women have a tendency to think Agriculture is a man’s field. The fact that women make up a quarter of students in university agriculture programs is evidence enough to support this myth. This is quite ironic considering during the opening ceremony, a number of keynote speakers including Mrs. Graca Machel stated that women make better agriculturalists. Little attention is given to the roles women play in agriculture let alone, their specific needs and priorities.

 

The poor representation of women in higher education programs is due to some of the assumptions made about agriculture which include that it is ‘dirty’, ‘labor intensive’ and ‘not suitable for women’. This has contributed to the negative perceptions toward agriculture by women. Issues about girls dropping out of secondary school were also raised and the factors attributed to this include the social pressure to get married, girls not encouraged to take science subjects, lack of financial resources and career guidance. The main question asked during the session was: ‘How can girls be encouraged to join agricultural sciences?’. Continue reading “Increasing women’s participation in Agriculture Education”

Estratégias de criação e reforço de parcerias discutidas na RUFORUM


By Berta Madime

Uma das sessões da 4ª conferência Bianual da RUFORUM em Maputo teve como tema “Reforçando Parcerias em pesquisa e Educação Superior” e contou com a participação de Representantes de várias organizações a nível internacional.

Estas apresentaram o relatório completo das suas parcerias a nível interno e externo cada uma em seu respectivo ramo, sendo a educação, negócios ou agricultura. Ainda nesta sessão foram apresentados vários planos de parceria, de ensino e capacitação de mestrados e PhDs, oportunidades de negócio e convites para novas parcerias.
8.4 (7)O principais problema mostrado pelos representantes foi em relação a “quebra” das barreiras entre as organizações e o sector privado que tem mostrado-se renitente em cooperar com os pequenos agricultores. Outra idéia dividida por todos foi a de que África deve ser produtora de conhecimento e não simplesmente consumidora de ideias alheias. Quem assim afirma é Christoff Pauw da organização STIAS mostrando com estatísticas que África só partilha 1.8% do conhecimento que produz.

Continue reading “Estratégias de criação e reforço de parcerias discutidas na RUFORUM”

Baixo índice de mulheres na área agrícola


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By Natalia Jame

O índice das mulheres envolvidas na área agrícola é muito reduzido, essa é a questão que foi discutida na secção levada a cabo pela INNOVATE, no âmbito da conferência do RUFORUM. A discussão tinha como objectivo entender os motivos que estão por detrás dos números reduzidos das mulheres nesta área, partilhar experiências com relação a mulheres envolvidas na área, discutir e propor soluções para inverter a situação.

Durante a sessão, a moderadora Emily Van Houweling trouxe alguns dados sobre a inclusão das mulheres na agricultura nomeadamente: 20% de pesquisadores na área agrícola são mulheres; Menos de um quarto das mulheres fazem algum curso relacionado a agricultura nas faculdades; Dá-se pouca atenção ao papel, necessidades e prioridades das mulheres na agricultura, a questão da mulher desempenhar um papel vital na agricultura é pobremente representado nos programas de educação em agricultura. Continue reading “Baixo índice de mulheres na área agrícola”

Writing’s a marathon – and we all hit the dreaded ‘wall’!


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Dr John S. Tenywa

There is nothing more physically debilitating and emotionally demoralising to the budding writer than being confronted with an ominous void of a laptop screen.  One can almost tangibly feel the will to live seeping slowly away at the prospect of filling the screen with informed, meaningful, coherent and succinct text.  It is the literary equivalent of hitting ‘the wall’ – but from the outset rather than after 20 miles!

This challenge equally applies to graduate agricultural students.  In an era of constrained global funding opportunities, graduates must be capable of developing well written grant proposals if they are to have a chance of being successful.

But the academic credibility and reputation necessary to underpin those applications must be informed by a track record of completed research projects and their successful write-up and dissemination, ideally in respected peer-reviewed journals where established, critical peers have decided it merits publication. Continue reading “Writing’s a marathon – and we all hit the dreaded ‘wall’!”

The Case for higher education in Africa – A lot remains to be done


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Victoria Mbigidde, Catherine Mloza 

Economists say that land, labor and capital are the key factors for production without which a farmer, small or large cannot do without. This is true and by far undisputed. However, over the past two decades, it is increasingly becoming apparent that knowledge is also a critical factor that can determine or affect in some way, agricultural productivity.

For arguments’ sake, as an example, let us consider a woman in a rural community in Africa, who cultivates maize on 1 acre of her family land. Her area is frequently hit by drought which causes her and others in her village to re-plant 2 to 3 times in a cropping season. In addition, maize does not do too well on the market. Her children, who are her major source of labor have all grown up and some migrated to the city, leaving her and her ill husband, more or less on their own. How does this woman diversify her farming in such a way that it becomes more profitable on the market and more resilient to a changing climate? In addition, what should she do to increase her productivity per unit area in spite of the labor reduction she has experienced? Can she grow crops that are more nutritious to feed her ill husband? Continue reading “The Case for higher education in Africa – A lot remains to be done”

Reforçar o envolvimento das Universidades sobre as economias rurais


Prof. Mpepereki

By Vanila Amadeu

Este foi o tema de destaque para o debate sobre Lições da comunidade para os programas de pesquisa para extensão universitária, alusivo à IV conferência do RUFORUM. Na sessão fizeram parte Estudantes, Docentes, entre outros que partilharam experiências das actividades em que já tiveram a oportunidade de participar.

Neste contexto, Emmanuel Kaunda, da Universidade de Agricultura e Re
cursos Minerais de Lilóngue, Malawi, falou da necessidade de reforçar a produção de peixe para a segurança alimentar e o marketing que se deve fazer dos produtores de pequena escala e os seus rendimentos agrícolas.
Continue reading “Reforçar o envolvimento das Universidades sobre as economias rurais”

Tecnologia para o melhoria da agricultura – CABI


Washimgton - CABI

By Rogério Júnior

 

A conferência do RUFORUM que está a decorrer em Maputo vai ao seu segundo dia, e a melhoria da agricultura continua sendo o foco de toda a discussão. O Centro Internacional de Agricultura e Biociências- CABI, organização intergovernamental e sem fins lucrativos apresentou sua visão e missão no sector agrário numa sessão em paralelo com cinco outras que aconteciam simultaneamente.
“a missão é melhorar a vida das pessoas em todo o mundo, fornecendo informações e aplicar conhecimentos científicos para resolver problemas da agricultura e do meio ambiente”. Disse Washington Otieno, cordenador da CABI que na ocasião afirmou o maior comprometimento daquela organização em fazer a diferença para o futuro das pessoas na arena da alimentação.

Continue reading “Tecnologia para o melhoria da agricultura – CABI”

Empower the women – feed Africa ; Graca Machel says


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Ms Graca Machel speaking from her heart.

By Ruth Aine Tindyebwa

What do you need to make sure that the African woman has what she needs to do the farming?

How many engineers do we need?
The women are the majority farmers. How much will it cost?

These were the questions very heartily asked by Ms Graca Machel as she talked to the East and Southern University Vice Chancellors, Ministers of Agriculture and graduate students gathered in Maputo this week. Also in the audience were lecturers from universities that are teaching Agricultural disciplines. As she talked I could only think: why are we not moving from where we are at to bigger heights and development in agriculture? Food security continues to be a huge issue in this time and age for Africa. A conversation that we are not supposed to be having. But now that we are having it; hopefully we acknowledge what has to be done and the fact little is being done. And this is where I think that our governments need to take initiative and help the projects that are taking place already in the communities to be then replicated elsewhere.

Continue reading “Empower the women – feed Africa ; Graca Machel says”

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