Stories tagged: principle 3

Farming First Delegate at One Young World Conference Speaks with BBC ‘Network Africa’

On 8-10 February, young people from around the world took part in a conference in London to discuss the biggest challenges facing the planet.  One of the delegates was 24-year-old Sithembile Ndema, a programme manager at FANRPAN in South Africa, who went to share her thoughts on global food security.

BBC World Service’s Network Africa news programme interviewed Sithembile to hear her thoughts on agriculture in Africa and her hopes for the One Young World conference. 

Prioritising farmer-led research in Africa, Sithembile spoke of the need to empower smallholder farmers by giving them the resources to produce more food and to enter new markets.

At the One Young World conference, Sithembile stated her aim of promoting the importance of agriculture amongst her peers to help build a food-secure Africa in the future.

I’m hoping that from this conference, the youth will start to realise that they too need to take part in agriculture.

Listen to an mp3 audio file of this BBC interview here


Wireless Reach Programme Looks to Bring Phones to Rural Farmers in Indonesia

Although research into agricultural development is extensive, and markets continually evolve, this information doesn’t often reach the farmers who could benefit most from it.

In remote areas of many developing countries, lack of access to telecommunications means that farmers either struggle to keep up-to-date market and agronomic information, or they are forced to spend time and money in travelling to access this information, taking away from the already scarce time they have to work on the farm.

Wireless Reach is a scheme that aims to bridge communications gaps such as these, by bringing wireless technology to developing communities around the world.  The project, run by international telecommunications company Qualcomm, not only connects rural communities to the outside world but also offers a source of livelihood for those involved.

One of Wireless Reach’s latest projects has been to partner with the Grameen Foundation to determine the feasibility of introducing wireless phones in Indonesia.

The idea is simple and has already been successful in several other countries. A micro-loan is offered to a local person whose community has no telephone connection.  This person then uses the loan to acquire a village phone kit and service plan, taking on the role of Village Phone Operator (VPO).  The rest of the community can then purchase minutes from the VPO: they benefit from access to affordable telecoms service, whilst the VPO is able to manage a sustainable ICT business.

Thanks to initiatives like this, more farmers are accessing information about weather, crops and pest control from their own remote villages, so that they can make better-informed farming decisions. Furthermore, being kept up to date with market information allows farmers to receive accurate pricing information and market their crops to buyers.