Monthly Archives: February 2014

Youths,the Workforce Behind Agriculture

Since most agricultural projects are effectuated in rural areas,it needs the man power to keep its daily activities.But with the migration of the workforce to urban areas the level of agricultural advancement tends to decrease.
Most of the migrants are youths and this practise of Rural-urban migration usually leads to a loss of necessary man power in the rural areas to work on the farm lands.On the other hand, increased man power in urban centres provides cheap labour to the industries in these areas.

Whereas this labour could have been used in rural areas to fooster agriculture.
This migration also brings chanhges to the state of farms;larger and fewer farms, additional farming practices have changed, larger equipment hence removal of fencerows and wind breaks to allow larger equipment, leading to wind blow soil.

In this situation,governments of ACP countries should understand that without the youths,no matter the technological advancements,agriculture still needs tem.There should be the creation of opportunities for these youths to remain in the villages and man their farms.

In this light,farming tools have to be provided,seeds,manure,animal feeds and even serminars need to be organised by the government or groups to encourage agriculture.

If these are put into consideration rural-urban migration will be something of the past.And youths will be retained in the rural areas,will be able to be masters of their own destiny because agriculture is the backborn of any country, especially developing countries.

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Role of Social Media in Promotion of Agriculture

When one hear the name social media in agriculture,one would be asking what is its place but the truth is that social media including facebook,twitter,skype,Badoo etc play a vital role in the foostering the development of agriculture.Youths in ACP countries have to know the way the public learns about agriculture and forms opinions about food production.

Garrett Hawkins, of Farm Bureau says “Agriculture is becoming more diverse as a population and we are becoming further removed from the farm,” . “It is important that agriculturists explore different communication options.”

Samantha Gibson in 2013 writes that Most Americans are at least three generations removed from the farm, meaning it has been three generations or more since they have lived on a farm, and the average age of the American farmer is 55.
I have the believe that agriculture groups in ACP countries could also embrace this social media style to ameliorate their various sectors.

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Agricultural industries are enhancing their development within social media and expanding their businesses to reach the general public. Industries are starting to hire social media specialist who monitor the social media business
The most beneficial thing about social media is that you get to have a conversation with people about agriculture.Social media is instant, quick and allows you to have a relationship with consumers,this is recommendable for ACP countries.

Use of social media generates a new audience. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube allow farmers to tell their stories in their own words . The masses of people who use Facebook and Twitter create new ways to share with otherwise uniformed people. According to Statisticsbrain.com, there are more than 1.2 billion people who use Facebook worldwide. Farmers can share what is important to them and what changes they wish to see in the agriculture industry.

Summarily Social media helps agriculture in the following

Social media captures widespread users. Interesting stories trending on Twitter or Facebook are more likely to be read than buried deep in a newspaper.

It allows the agricultural industries to know what people are talking about.

All outlets of social media are available at the tip of your fingers; all you need is Internet access. These outlets allow people to participate in conversations and gather intelligent thoughts and insights. Technology has greatly impacted agriculture. Farmers and ranchers are taking advantage of genetic advancements in livestock, biotechnology in seeds, alternative fuel sources and GPS technology. Farmers can use social media outlets to educate the public on their increased use of technology.

These social media outlets also provide a platform for those who do not approve of modern agriculture practices. Sometimes referred to as anti agriculture activists, their online presence increases the need for farmers to take advantage of social media tools to combat the statements of anti agriculture activists.

By Hanson NFOR N

Information Is Power,Agriculture Is Life

There is a common saying that information is power,indeed the provision of information between young framers group can go a long way to promote the development and growth of agriculture and their respective areas.
Since agriculture is considered as backbone of every society it but paramount that any association already engaged in agriculture have to share information on certain issues affecting or promoting the sector in his or her locality;

For example one group will be save from venturing into producing a certain product because another had told them that the seed or what so ever it is has an epidermic or that the business is now slow.

Global Forum on Agricultural Research opines that Every community and country needs increased agricultural productivity from their farms, and just returns for their farmers and producers. They need to reduce hunger and malnutrition, alleviate extreme poverty and use natural resources such as land and water and energy more efficiently and sustainably.
Climate change affects their agriculture now and will affect more in the future and they need to adapt their agriculture rapidly to it as also contribute, as responsible world citizens, to mitigating and reducing climate change and its effects. Desertification, trans-boundary diseases, loss of agro-biodiversity and equitable participating in global agricultural markets are also universal problems. And all need research and innovation to be solved. Data and information sharing for agricultural research for development therefore enables, among many benefits:
New information and knowledge to be generated.

Localize globally available information and knowledge and enable it to be used more effectively

Increase efficiency and effectiveness of research and its outputs and

Innovation in time, cost, quality and human effort.

Reduce reinvention and repetition of research efforts

Allow greater inclusiveness and participation in research and innovation

Bring cross-disciplinary and specialized skills to agricultural research

Reduce “market failure” or inability to use research outputs effectively and/or efficient.
Create new research directions and avenues.

Bring greater equity in using agricultural knowledge across and among communities.

This will be more helpful if fully practiced by ACp Countries,especially as some countries among them are realy poor and technologically backward.Groups here will therefore need such information to improve on their farming styls,input,output,conservation etc.

Importance of ICT in Contemporary Agriculture

As the world becomes a global village due to the arrival of the Information communications technology, ICT, agriculture too has benefited enormously to the changes. It is of utmost importance for youth organizations to engage in the dissemination of information using the new media or ICT tools.
This is because the application of information and communications technology (ICT) in agriculture is increasingly important.

Experts hold that the main phases of the agriculture industry include crop cultivation,water management,fertilizer, harvesting,post-harvest handling, transport of food products packaging,food preservation,food processing,quality management,food storage and safety.

E- Agriculture
E-Agriculture is an emerging field focusing on the enhancement of agricultural and rural development through improved information and communication processes. More specifically, e-Agriculture involves the conceptualization, design, development, evaluation and application of innovative ways to use information and communication technologies (IT) in the rural domain, with a primary focus on agriculture. E-Agriculture is a relatively new term.
The main focus of this article is to elaborate how the achievements of IT can be applied in Agriculture sector and its development.

The main applications of ICT in Agriculture sector are listed below.

• Record text, drawings, photographs, audio, video, process descriptions, and other information in digital formats,
• Produce exact duplicates of such information at significantly lower cost,
• Transfer information and knowledge rapidly over large distances through communications networks.
• Achieve greater interactivity in communicating, evaluating, producing and sharing useful information and knowledge.

There are many government, private and non-government organizations involved in agriculture sector and rural development. They all have to work together to give better service to farming community. Therefore, application of office automation is one of the solutions to enhance the efficiency and inter-connectivity of the employees work in all above mentioned organizations.

Many computer applications such as MS Officce, Internet Explorer and lots of others, are unlimited potential to organizations and individuals to fulfill their day to day data processing requirements to give an efficient service to their customers and youths involved in the sector will have to use this new technology to modernize their farming methods and facilitate their day-to-day activities.

In Summary ICT can help foster the growth of agriculture in the following ways

• SMS or text messaging campaigns for enabling environment advocacy
• Pricing and weather information systems
• Applications to help buyers manage transactions with the thousands of small-scale farmers who supply to them
• Mobile banking and apps that facilitate quick payments
• Initiatives to expand the reach of farm extension services through phone, radio, video and sometimes all three.

Biya Dribbled Youths In 2013

You must have noticed if in Cameroon that the littany of promises President Biya made to Youths on Sunday 10 February 2013 has not been fulfilled.

Teachers are yet to be fully motivated and have their conditions ameliorated,comercial motor byke riders are still operating in a disorderely manner,creation of 200,000 formal jobs has not seen light of day.Take a look at his 2013 speech and make your comments…

HIS SPEECH

My dear young compatriots,

On the occasion of the National Youth Day, I always make an appraisal of what Government has done for you in the areas of education, youth affairs and civic training, and inform you of our plans for the near future.

The theme chosen for this year’s celebration: “Youth: Civic Responsibility and Participation in the Development Process” forms the basis of the message of hope I have for you, especially those of you who are in doubt, are disillusioned and have perhaps lost faith in their future.

Biya addressing Youths February 10,2013

Biya addressing Youths February 10,2013

I will first of all address the youth who are “under mentorship”, namely those attending schools, colleges, high schools, universities or higher education institutes. For them, the State and their parents are making huge sacrifices. The budgets of the ministries concerned are among the country’s highest. Thanks to such budgetary allocations, which represent more than 15% of the overall State budget, schools have been built, teachers recruited and free primary education provided. The youth in this group should be aware of the efforts being made for them by the national community, and the resulting obligation to succeed.

Of course, obtaining a certificate is not always a guarantee of access to a job. In this regard however, the State is doing everything possible by absorbing many young graduates into the public service and the security services.

I also want to directly address the youth who are not attending school, those who have dropped out of the school system too soon and graduates who have not yet found a job and who are losing all hope of ever finding one. In the best case scenario, they are engaged in some informal sector activity, often below their capacities. Others are not so lucky and wallow in idleness or vagrancy, and sometimes drift into delinquency. Those who have a job, be they handcart pushers, loaders, jobbers, motorcycle taxi riders, etc., may bear a grudge against society. I can also understand if they are tempted to be rebellious. But that would not be the right course to follow, for experience shows that this worsens problems without providing any solution.

I will now turn to teachers – many of who are youths by the way – to whom we have entrusted our children to be imparted knowledge which is vital for their integration into society and to be prepared for responsible citizenship. Those who are engaged in what, not so long ago, was regarded as a calling rather than a profession are – I am aware – sometimes discouraged. Salary levels, living conditions, particularly in the rural areas, or the debasement of the teaching profession, largely account for this situation.

It is clear that such problems are not peculiar to Cameroon and it is true that modern society has upset the value system we were used to. However, there is no use hiding behind a supposed “crisis of civilization” to find explanations or excuses. We must take responsibility for our weaknesses to be able to find solutions.

To the first group, namely youth attending school and graduates, I would say that the outlook over the next few years should be more positive. The recovery of our economy, driven by the implementation of our major projects and our agrarian revolution will inevitably generate new job opportunities. For instance, 200,000 formal sector jobs will be created in the year 2013.This should encourage our youth to study hard and be best placed to face the stiff competition that lies ahead.

Concerning those in the second group who, due to circumstances, are marginalized, I want them to know that I appreciate their courage in accepting the often difficult tasks to support their families. Rather than looking down on them, we should acknowledge their unquestionably useful social role. Take, for instance, the case of motorcycle taxi riders.

I know that this profession is not always highly regarded due to some “black sheep” who have joined its ranks. However, most of the youths involved are simply looking for a means of livelihood. Are we not happy that we can reach difficult locations quickly and cheaply? To avoid unbecoming conduct, there is clearly a need to organize the profession and consider providing training courses covering both the Highway Code, especially the wearing of helmets, and two-wheeler riding techniques.

Right off, I believe the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Civic Education, in conjunction with the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training, is best suited to organize such training courses, either through existing structures involved in youth socio-economic empowerment or by establishing other bodies. To begin with, I enjoin these ministries to submit to me proposals in this regard.

What I have just said also applies to the other activities of the informal sector. Definitely, the experience of associations and non-governmental organizations in the domain of informal business mentoring and support should be seriously explored and developed.

To teachers, I want once more to say that I have much esteem for them and I understand them. They play a pivotal role in the training of our youth. That is why it is imperative for them to get back that “sacred fire”. This could be achieved in two ways. Firstly, as I said last year on the same occasion, by starting a broad-based reflection on the future of our educational system, one objective of which should be to rehabilitate the teaching profession. Secondly, by pursuing an open-minded dialogue on teachers’ grievances, including their salaries. The education and training sector, you are aware, is one of my priorities. Things will improve gradually in a genuine partnership between teachers and their supervisory authorities.

It would be paradoxical that in Cameroon, teachers are not given their rightful place whereas the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is planning to establish a Centre of Excellence in our country to build the capacity of our scientific community. This mark of trust by a prestigious knowledge institution should not only consolidate our own trust in ourselves, but also spur our youth to choose studies in the scientific and technical fields in which they are naturally gifted.

Lastly, I would like to address an issue that is dear to me and to which I have often drawn your attention. Moral standards are falling among our youth. It suffices to read the newspaper titbits to realize this. Well, may be the behaviour of some youths is to some extent only a reflection of our society. But that is not a good excuse. In fact, even if we succeed in improving the living standards of our population, ensuring the proper functioning of our democratic institutions, and maintaining peace and stability in our country, the peaceful and prosperous society we want to build will be undermined from within if such achievements are not backed by improved public morality.

That is why I urge you, the youth, to adopt morally upright and responsible behaviours. I equally call on your parents to assume their responsibility and to guide you on this path. It cannot be overemphasized that good citizenship is the foundation of every society. Our churches, our temples and our mosques should once more become true schools of good citizenship, rigour and morality.

Before concluding, I would like us to spare a thought for Kouokam Géraldine, a pupil of the Mbanga Evangelical School, who died a few days ago during the launching of the Youth Week.

Dear young compatriots,

You are the future of our Nation. All our hopes are pinned on you. Be worthy of the ambitions we place in you.

Happy Youth Day to you all!

Long Live the Cameroonian youth!

Long Live Cameroon!