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  • 15th December, 2021

    We are all familiar with organic milk, organic fruit and vegetables, or organic chocolate, but when one reads “Organic Sri Lanka”, one may have difficulty grasping what this really is about. For sure, it cannot mean that the entire country is organic. Or does it?

    Indeed. As of April 2021, triggered by a wave of kidney diseases among its rice farmers, the Sri Lankan government took a brave decision to ban all imports of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, and to transition to organic and ecological farming.

    Sri Lanka is an island country in...

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  • 16th November, 2021

    Agro-input dealers are often thought to be only interested in making money any way that is possible, otherwise known as “making a fast buck.” But enlightened dealers can combine the profit motive with a concern for customers’ well-being to earn their trust and make a business that lasts.

    Richard Businge has a small shop in Fort Portal, Uganda, selling farm tools, seeds and other inputs. In 2016 Richard discovered that he could use Access Agriculture farmer training videos (...

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  • 9th November, 2021

    A video translation workshop was organised recently in Lusaka, Zambia, by Access Agriculture to facilitate and build capacity of 12 local media practitioners and NGO representatives in translating video scripts, recording voice-overs and audio editing.

    Access Agriculture (www.accessagriculture.org) is a non-profit organisation that promotes agroecology and rural entrepreneurship through capacity development and South-South exchange of quality farmer-to-farmer training videos in international and local languages.

    The...

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  • 21st October, 2021

    According to the author Napoleon Hill, “all achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.” Mori Goroubera, Head of ISADA Consulting in Benin, would certainly agree with this statement. His enterprise model was selected as one of the 25 best ideas in an Africa-wide competition in 2020 for innovation and digitalisation in agriculture, short value chains and agroecological transitions of food systems.  

    The winners (designated ‘idea-carriers’ by the competition) were selected by a panel formed of the African Union and the European...

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  • 1st October, 2021

    Access Agriculture has won the prestigious International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in the category “Award for innovations that empower youth in sustainable food systems” based on its model of young entrepreneurs.

    The jury panel, chaired by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Government of Switzerland, announced the winners at the World Food Forum event on October 1st, 2021. In total, there were 400 entries from 83 countries.

    The jury praised Access Agriculture’s model...

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  • 29th September, 2021

    Twenty-eight young entrepreneurs, including 10 women, from Egypt representing 16 teams successfully completed their training in the use of a solar-powered smart projector kit containing a library of farmer-training videos. Each team had won this smart device through a selection process as part of Access Agriculture’s Young Entrepreneur Challenge Fund initiative.

    The winners of the Challenge Fund, known as Entrepreneurs for Rural Access (ERAs) will be actively involved in disseminating the technologies promoted in the videos in their local communities using the smart...

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  • 25th September, 2021

    Supermarkets in the USA bulge with everything from strawberries to steak, but this generous supply is threatened by a destructive agro-industry. In the book Perilous Bounty, Tom Philpott outlines looming disasters in California and the Midwest.

    The Central Valley of California produces an astounding 80% of the world’s almonds and half of the pistachios, besides a lot of the fresh fruits and vegetables eaten in the USA. This phenomenal production is irrigated with water that is mined, and can never be replaced. The Central Valley used to be a vast wetland. From 1930...

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  • 27th August, 2021

    In this age of restricted travel, when webinars have taken the place of conferences, at first, I missed face-to-face meetings a lot. But virtual events do allow one to get exposed to far more ideas than before. This is also the case when digital learning is introduced to farmers. Farmers are increasingly getting information online, like videos. But the videos have to be properly designed. Unlike following a cooking recipe on a YouTube video, in agriculture, recipes must be accompanied by basic principles, so that farmers can decide how to experiment with the new ideas.

    I was...

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  • 9th August, 2021

    Farmers and media practitioners – both need access to reliable sources of information to do their work well. Farmers must have appropriate information and opportunities to learn so that they can make better informed decisions to cope with daunting challenges, such as climate change. For this, they generally depend on media, especially in regions, where they do not have regular access to agricultural extension workers.

    Media has an important role to play in informing vulnerable farming communities as well as consumers about climate change and its impacts and how they can...

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  • 19th July, 2021

    Youth around the world are leaving agriculture, but many would stay on the farm if they had appropriate technologies and better social services, as Professor Alejandro Bonifacio explained to me recently.

    Dr. Bonifacio is from the rural Altiplano, the high plains of Bolivia. At 4,000 meters above sea level, it has some of the highest farmland in the world. Bonifacio has a PhD in plant breeding, and besides directing an agricultural research station in Viacha on the Altiplano, he teaches plant breeding part-time at the public university in La Paz (Universidad Mayor de San Andr...

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