Blogs

Climate Change Solutions for Poor Farmers

Hi Pam, Nikki, John and others in the dadamac team and community,

Here is something that all of you would find interesting and useful.

I just read an interesting story on agricultural solutions for farmers to tackle the multiple challenges of climate change, desertification, high energy demand and an exploding population.

Phones and Fantsuam

Yesterday's online UK/Nigeria meeting saw several exciting developments. First and foremost was the news that Fantsuam has reached agreement to broadcast its radio signal through the communication towers of Nigerian Telecoms company NITEL.

Because these towers are much bigger and higher than those currently used, Fantsuam will now be able to serve a far wider area! In fact ,Fantsuam will be able to mount it's equipment on masts in Kafanchan and Zonkwa which will enable them to reach distances of up to 70kms.

Also as a result of the meeting between these organisations, the telecoms company has asked Zittnet to become its wholesaler for bandwidth. Which sounds very impressive and I have yet to fully understand the implications of this :-)

Initially, the phone market will operate only within Kafanchan. However, the long-term goal is for Fantsuam Foundation to eventually serve Southern Kaduna state.

Education and ICT

Hi Pam, Your chat with me this morning set me thinking about ICT. As I told you, I have been toying with the idea of studying further and adding to my knowledge and skills. But it almost seems impossible for me, since most of the online courses (I am not even thinking of proper, offline courses) seem unaffordable, in term of time and money. Some of the best online courses in UK and US cost a bomb for somebody like me in India. This is where I think ICT can play a crucial role in filling the gap for many like me who want to learn even as they earn.

Defining the space

As I look around this online space I see potential that reminds me of childhood visits to the new homes of my many uncles and aunties. I adored my uncles. In my eyes they were big, strong, fun-filled heroes to whom nothing was impossible. When their cars broke down (as, in those days, cars frequently did) they fixed them. If their new home didn't have a bathroom, they put one in. If a door was in the wrong place they moved it - the same with cupboards and walls and windows. They transformed poky little sculleries into shiny kitchens. They made magic.

The Future of Farmers and Food

Hi Pam,

I enjoyed the chat that we had on the way ahead for Dadamac.net. I think it is a good starting point to take the discussions further about the evolution of the site.

Now to get on with my post for the Open Letter section, I have been looking at some interesting articles on the farm sector. The more I read about it, the sadder I feel about the farm community across the world--more so in developing countries.

As the global population surges by a few billions over the next few decades, farmers are going to face more pressure than ever to produce food in the face of challenges like climate change, shrinking agricultural labour (caused by movement of people from villages to cities), and shortage of land to till.

In a recent article, Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, says as the rural and farm population gets reduced, agriculture will increasingly become more capital- and knowledge- intensive to produce more and higher quality food for bigger and richer urban populations.

Conversations

Hi Vijay

I enjoyed our online chat the other day. You suggested we should share it - but I protested that I had made too many typos. Now you have edited them out and sent it to me - so here it is for anyone to see. Andy suggested including it in our Open Letters. Later, if we get more conversations we can bring them together somewhere. I like the title you chose:

The Strength of Dadamac.net 

Stoves and Juicers: protecting the environment and livelihoods

Most meals in rural Nigeria are cooked over open wood fires. This is simple and familiar. Traditionally fuel has been cheap and fairly easy to find.

However demand for firewood has increased in line with population growth. As trees are cut down the environment suffers from deforestation, soil loss and eventual desertification. There is also increasing awareness of the damage to health caused by wood smoke, especially when cooking takes place indoors.

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