Hey Readers!

A lot has been going on with Tech4agri.  As you may remember late last year we did a survey for our upcoming projects which you responded to and give great positive feedback. So we are working hard on getting these projects together!

Fortunately we were able to launch Tech4agri: the Podcast last February but we unfortunately did not get another episode out..until now! Introducing out first episode: Thought4Food!


Firstly, apologies in advance for the poor audio in some parts. We’re new to podcasting and just jumped right in so we are learning by doing.

This episode focuses on the threat of world hunger which many are unaware of. Our population will become significantly larger than it is now in just a few years.

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To: The Stakeholder in Youth Development

Here’s an update from the Agribusiness Society of the University of the West Indies! Follow them on twitter @abs_uwi , on youtube (absuwi) and on their facebook group

 RE: MEDIA KIT: Grenada Study Tour 2013

 THEME: An Assessment of the Grenada Cocoa Industry: Innovative Practices and Lessons for other Cocoa Producing Islands

 In May of 2013, young professionals in agriculture, the Agribusiness Society of the University of the West Indies undertook its annual Study Tour which seeks to provide the most valuable of learning dimensions; practical exposure. As leaders in agriyouth development, the executive of the Agribusiness Society have embraced the learning by doing method, and have planned and executed this event for the fourth consecutive year. The same will be done for 2014.

Through diligence and hard work, these individuals were able to secure much needed financial support from various sources within and external to the University of the West Indies.

The society wishes to thank Dr. Selby Nichols, Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, a steadfast supporter of student development and major contributor these past four year and also heading into 2014.

The video above details the activities of the event.

Reblogged from the Global Landscapes Forum Blog

Joseph Macharia speaks at the session “Youth: The Future of Sustainable Landscapes” during the 2013 Global Landscapes Forum

Joseph Macharia speaks at the session “Youth: The Future of Sustainable Landscapes” during the 2013 Global Landscapes Forum

Joseph is a Kenyan farmer, and he is harvesting his crop in cyberspace.

Joseph is taking the lead in growing a fraternity of people interested in agriculture through Facebook. Mkulima Young – “Young Farmer” in Swahili- the page he set up in January this year, has now gained 23,789 likes and continues to grow.

Almost 75 percent of working Kenyans make their living by farming. Agriculture continues to be the country’s most dominant economic driver in terms of Gross Domestic Product and employment rate.

Hailing from a peasant family, Joseph Macharia never really liked tilling the field like his father. He went to high school, achieved good grades in Biology and Agriculture and became a high school teacher.

Seven years later, Joseph walks confidently to the podium and faces a full house at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Warsaw, Poland. No one from the audience would guess the magnitude of the impact his singlehanded efforts make in engaging African youth with a career that many of them used to consider totally un-“like”-able: farming.

“My mother cannot read or write,” Joseph says. “But she has a mobile phone and she knows how to use it. This is the age of technology. We should evolve with the times,” he continues, confidently addressing the house.

He goes on to speak about his experience in using social media to engage youth for agricultural productivity. “I did not want to wake up early morning to go to the field, so I opened a Facebook page aimed at agriculture instead. I posted famous quotes, put up attractive images of funny watermelon carvings and inboxed my friends telling them to like the page,” says Joseph.

Today, Joseph’s Facebook page is on the verge of hitting the 24,000 “likes” mark. The page engages young and not-so-young farmers who discuss farming techniques, crop varieties, soil productivity and seasonal yields. What’s more, Joseph’s Twitter account attracts followers as diverse as scientists, policy makers, members of Parliament and the international Research for Development fraternity.

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Reblogged from ICT4Ag Blog

In the Caribbean region, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is prevalent with mobile penetration at a particularly high level. Access to computers, smart phones, tablets and other ICTs is needed in every industry, with the easiest access found in the business, education, tourism, commerce and energy industries. However, with respect to the agricultural sector, ICT support varies considerably across the islands.

Some countries, such as Jamaica make heavy use of ICTs and social media in their various agricultural authorities such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). Conversely in several other islands, ministerial facilities and divisions are on occasions under-resourced and lack appropriate technologies which could improve service and efficiency.

Regardless, there are several examples that can be found, whereby business and research divisions source the necessary equipments to facilitate their needs, particularly along the agri-food value chain.

At the University of the West Indies Field Station in Trinidad and Tobago, livestock researchers have employed microchip technology to assist in research efforts for Agouti production. Agoutis are large mammals belonging to the rodent family. This wild mammal is native to South America and the Caribbean. Along with other animals such as manicou and iguana, it is referred to and consumed locally as ‘wild meat’ meaning that it must be hunted.

Agouti of the Field station’s production system

Agouti of the Field station’s production system

Conversely, research efforts at the agricultural field station have established a production system for the animal similar to that of rabbit production and other small ruminants. The aim is to facilitate a timely value chain that will provide the meat to the public which is in high demand. Although micro chipping animals is not a novel idea, establishment of an entirely new option in meat production is. Using the technology, researchers are able to communicate and record important data such as genealogy, size and growth rate which will then support research activity. Despite this interesting precedent, researchers face issues in acquiring the necessary funding for continued and further investigate work.

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An example of an agricultural landscape/enviroment Source: www.iucn.org

An example of an agricultural landscape/environment
Source: http://www.iucn.org

Examining the topic of the week a little differently, let’s take a brief look at various land management techniques; your feedback is needed. What type of land management practices occur in your country or in your region of the world? Is it simple and decentralized or complex and heavily regulated?

How do other factors such as climate change, biodiversity conservation and the sustainable maintenance of natural resources affect agricultural practices in your local sector?

A recent project held on Union Island of the Caribbean region, by several partners including the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) focused on Participatory 3D mapping (P3DM).

” This is a community-based mapping method which integrates local spatial knowledge with data on elevation of the land and depth of the sea to produce stand-alone, scaled and geo-referenced relief models.”

It is a 3D map made by using simple materials to create a model of the island’s resources. Understanding the environment of the island and the factors which affect it assists in creating and executing action plans to maintain its existing resources.

On this tiny island which is a part of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines, climate change has been affecting the coastal resources of the island which severly affect the fishing communities of area. Agriculture has become undesirable as an income generating sector while tourism, a big earner for many, has its own issues in terms of unequal income distribution, poor development and limited contribution to the economy due to seasonality.

Regardless through the participatory approach stakeholders including the islanders themselves have changed their land and natural resource management strategy in order to benefit all. This video highlights the programme and provides feedback from the participants. – Beneath the Surface: Mapping Union Island

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Business Lab: Part 2

Our learning continued with an exercise in business structure organisation. Each group was given a title and allowed to created a business and its operations around that word. For example our group was given the title “JOYBANK” Stemming our previous day’s work in brainstorming and idea generation (CREATE), we thought outside the box and thought of a daycare service which is contrary to a simple monetary institution:

Joybank: Seeking to invest in your child and secure their development? Then enroll your son or daughter in Joybank, Daycare and pre-school services. With an emphasis on critical child development we guarantee you child will have an enjoyable moments as we ensure progress during the first few stages of their lives.

Understanding one’s structure, product, services and operational procedures must always be included from the beginning of one’s concept or start up.

Agribusiness Lab 2

Snippets of the planning and execution of each group’s business venture along with experience sharing from successful entrepreneurs.

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