WASTE MANAGEMENT: A KEY IN SOLVING CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABLE LIVING.

Waste Management
Nigeria is a great country with lot of resources that can keep the country in a very high standard of economy. A lot of people Nigerians look at these resources and think it’s something that they can only misused and get away with. Rather we can make use of this potential and make our community a better environment for all citizens.
According to Wikipedia, “Waste management is the “generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes”. There are various types of solid waste including municipal (residential, institutional, commercial), agricultural, and special (health care, household hazardous wastes, sewage sludge).”
As we know Climate Change is a big deal and a time bomb to our environment which it has eaten deep into Nigeria’s environment. We also know that the government is already faced with many things concerning the well being of the people which leads to selfish reason of mismanaging the climate change fund separated for the use of the citizen. With this position I see it as a need to call on the present government and Nigerian’s in Diasporas to all help us to call for what the country is facing.
As a Climate Change activist I am using this platform to #Call4Climate solution with a way of tapping into Waste Management opportunities. Climate change is emerging as a major challenge for every community and the basic processes of climate change are, by now, well understood the changes are set to accelerate in the future, bringing diverse, severe impacts around the world, much of the warming is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the world is warming.
How do we make people feel waste management isn’t a problem but a solution to climate change?
Most people in Lagos Nigeria have no idea why there is such a fuss about waste management. People are mainly motivated by what they get in return. Once they tap into waste management, they notice all the other benefits – cleanliness, less flooding, less disease… and then they understand why it’s a good idea to carry on doing it. From a good example of a company in Nigeria called Wecyclers, they have been doing great work in making use of the Waste and recycle it to make a better society and not only that they als0 help the people to make money from it for sustainable leaving.
Waste Management can be of help to curb the issue of Climate Change and we still make a sustainable living for all. Waste management tools should be directed towards the effective mitigation of Green House Gases (GHG) and the provision of sustainable co-benefits.
Moreover, waste prevention, minimization, material recovery, recycling and reuse represent a growing potential for indirect reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions, through decreased waste generation, lower raw material consumption, reduced energy demand and fossil fuel substitution or avoidance.
The most important issue for Nigeria is post-consumer waste which could be a renewable energy resource, where the value is exploited through biomass production, anaerobic digester biogas, thermal processes and even through landfill gas utilization. My dedication towards this cause also makes me to be part of different initiatives to practice what I say with my support to different organization to make this happen. Education is a key to push sustainable environment through waste management.
There are plenty of important things that we should know about waste management and disposal in order to ensure that we are safe, as well as that Nigerian’s are keeping the environment safe. It is our choices and tasks our government to know how we will dispose of waste. However it is always in our best interest to take a look at all of the options that we have available before making the choice of sustainable living.

Blog post by
Olumide Idowu
Campaigner Specialist
Climate Wednesday
olumide@climatewed.org
@OlumideIDOWU

Five Practical Ways Young Agripreneurs Can Get Finance

olawaleojo:

When young people think of starting an agriculture enterprise be it a farm or some other Initiatives across the value chain, one major challenge is the funding to kick start their idea. This post sheds light on practical finance options for youth

Originally posted on Agropreneurnaija:

Finance Photo credit: flickr

The fall in the price of crude oil in the international market has pushed the Nigerian economy to austerity limits. The Federal Government and other national stakeholders are now looking towards the agricultural sector as the major antidote to the austerity the country is facing. Young agripreneurs are faced with the heavy burden of obtaining capital for agricultural projects.

Listed below are some ways in which young agripreneurs can get finance for their agricultural projects.

i. Personal Savings
Young agripreneurs can obtain finance by cultivating the habit of saving. There are several businesses in the agro-allied sector that requires minimal startup capital. A very good method of generating huge capital for agriculture is by re investing any profit generated from previous agric projects. As a youth corp member, I have cultivated the habit of saving 50% of my monthly allowance for agricultural projects. It is expected that…

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#TFFSUMMIT is on!

olawaleojo:

Great initiative by a great team! All the best to the finalist

Originally posted on Tech4agri:

TFF logo

It’s finally here!!!!

The 2015 Thought for Food Summit takes place today and Tech4Agri will be there live! The event is held in Lisbon, Portugal a beautiful city with rich culture, and food that serves as a prominent hub for entrepreneurship & innovation.

Meet the finalists

Hundreds of teams from universities all around the world entered the TFF Challenge, each diverse, motivated and brave enough to tackle the challenge of “How to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050?” Can you imagine the ingenuity coming out of such a competition!

From improving post harvest losses with the use of thermochromic and hydrochromic labels to an alternative meat product derived from insects; from roof top and vertical farming to community action and cooperative skill development these teams have applied science, technology, communication and simple innovation to create amazing ideas that can certainly contribute to solving this global problem of food availability and access.

Following…

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Youth: Six Things You Should Know about Agro Dealership

Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, animal care medicines and many others are constantly needed in the farming sector. Not only do farmers need this crop protection products they also need inputs that are of quality and will meet their needs. And this indeed opens quiet a big door of opportunity for youth.

Alhaji Idris Musa, an agro-dealer representative in Karshi , FCT Nigeria

Alhaji Idris Musa, an agro-dealer representative in Karshi , FCT Nigeria

Agro-Dealers

Today, I am going to do a quick dive into what you should know about agro-dealership and areas where as young people we can tap into. First, you need to know who an agro dealer is:

An agro-dealer is someone, business organisation and sometimes cooperative society that engage in the sale and purchase of agricultural input. They usually have a valid registration certificate or license to carry out this activity as required by the law. They are usually also part of a union that governors activities of dealers

The agro dealer can either be a wholesaler or a retailer. The wholesaler buys directly from the manufacturer or sometimes an importer or suppler. They buy in large volume as sell to a retailer. The retailer is the one who buys from the wholesaler and is usually in direct contact with farmers and other consumers. The agro input sold fall into various types like fertilizers, pesticides, seeds and farm implements or equipment.

What Should You Know?
If you are thinking of venturing into agro dealership there are a couple of things you should know.
• There are different types of fertilisers, crop chemicals, farm implement and seed varieties. Thus it is important that you know what is needed and acceptable by your customers and provide them with the very best of quality inputs
• For those that will deal in fertilizers it is paramount you know about the nutrient value of different fertilizers and methods of conversion of nutrients to fertilizer material. It is also good to know the role of plant nutrients in crop production and what symptoms the crop show when the nutrient is deficient.
• An agro-dealer should also have knowledge of how to apply or use the inputs they sell. For example he/she should know the time to use an input, methods of application and quantity to be used
• A sound knowledge of marketing and sales is also important. As many products will come your way and you just have to sell and make profit.
• An agro dealer also needs to have knowledge of the local market and the demand of consumers. This would also involve understanding the farmers practice and noting where there are gaps so as to provide advice and inputs to meet their needs.
• It is a business so ensure to source input at good prices and quality.
Agro dealership requires both technical and business skills and if done properly can be profitable. The livelihood of many farmers also depends on what they get out of their farms. And the starting point for many is the kind of inputs they buy and how they use it. Thus been an agro dealer is a business of trust, integrity and the touching of lives when done properly. You will be on the path of helping farmers meet their needs and producing quality food and agricultural products. So when next you visit an agro dealer shop or you decide to open yours kindly have these in mind.

Watch Out For Part Two Of This Blog Post Where I We Would Learn More About The Functions Of An Agro dealer
RESEARCH SOURCE: MARKETING TRAINING MANUAL BY USAID NIGERIA AND IFDC

 

PHOTO CREDIT :Flicker/ GRM International

Six tips for Nigerian banks to help financing agriculture

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As I sat in the e-conference Hall of the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, the venue for the 2nd African Continental Briefing organized as part of the Fin4Ag Conference: Revolutionising Finance for Agri-value chains, I could not but help listen attentively as Esther Muiruri, the General Manager Marketing and Communications, from Equity Bank gave the presentation on “Banking Agriculture in the Eastern African Region”. As she spoke, all I could say to myself was “These are the things the banks in Nigeria should be doing to finance agriculture”.

Today I am going to share the 6 things done by the Equity Bank in East Africa, that in my view, I believe Nigerian Banks will find helpful if implemented both for them as a business and for the beneficiaries (players in the agric sector).

  1. Understand the client: the risks in agriculture are not perception, they are realities. As a matter of fact, there are some conditions that the farmers absolutely have no control over. Thus, it is important that bank understand the farmers, the peculiarity of their business, be it cropping or animal production. What this does is to enable the banks develop and offer products and services tailored to the need of the client.
  2. Know the kind of value chain the client is into: This helps the banks identify and know the players in the sector the client is. Who are the buyers? What is demand like? How effective are the other players in the chain.
  3. Recruiting Agric based employee: The Equity Bank, according to Esther Muiruri, ensures they employed people with agricultural knowledge base and this helps them to have people on the ground who can relate to the feelings of the farmers, and more importantly, build a relationship with clients (farmers/growers), that in turn, aid to serve as a risk mitigation strategy. These employees are of course trained in money management and finance.
  4. Offering trainings for farmers: these trainings help the banks to understand better the activities of the farmers in terms of their growing cycle and practices. It also help to get feedbacks and monitor the progress of the farmers and other value chain player throughout the season.
  5. Provision of financial training programme: The farmers are given financial education to aid their businesses and also encourage them to save so as to be able to have access to investment money from the bank.
  6. Partnership: To be able to serve their client well, the bank partners with relevant organisations like AGRA, IFAD, input dealers, commodity buyers and this enables them know the acceptable standards, new best practices and technology available.

To be able to finance the agriculture value-chain, fund providers must understand what goes on in the agricultural system. Sitting in offices and waiting for client will not help. Activities need to be on the ground. Banks need to be in the shoes of the farmers, growers and agribusiness owners to know and meet their needs. And the only way to achieve this is by building relationships and going all the way out to provide tailored services and products for farmers and relevant value chain players.

Will the Nigerian Banks take up this task and make changes that will help in revolutionising agriculture and agribusiness? Will they contribute in removing so many smallholders out of poverty helping them increase their income and be better player in agribusiness? Only time will tell..

Photo credit: C. Schubert/CCAFS

First Published here

PASSION, CONVICTION AND DRIVE TO MOVE FORWARD – DR NWANZE KANAYO, IFAD PRESIDENT

olawaleojo:

As a fan of the IITA Youth am happy to read this

Originally posted on IITA Youth Agripreneurs:

IFAD PRESIDENT IFAD President, Dr. Nwanze Kanayo (L), while addressing the IITA Youth Agripreneurs and DG IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga (R)

Dr. Nwanze Kanayo, IFAD president – “Your greatest support will be your passion, conviction and drive to move forward”

After the first visit of the IFAD president, Dr. Nwanze Kanayo to the International Institute of tropical Agriculture (IITA) to consolidate the partnership of the organization and the Institute on the August, 2012, the president again visited 22 months after.

During, his first visit was a significant moment which would ever remain in the history of both IITA and the youth in Agribusiness initiative group, IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA); planting of tree to serve as a symbol of initiation of the group and repopulating the Institute.

Dr. Kanayo, during his recent visit (16-17 June, 2014) was intimated with the whole “story” of IYA, including the inception…

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Five ways of engaging the youth in agriculture

BY Yared Mammo
Young peoples’ affinity with ICTs and their ability to innovate is the key to moving mAgriculture forward and attracting the youth to the agricultural sector in ACP countries.

mAgriculture, the use of mobile platforms and applications by agricultural smallholders, has been welcomed in developing countries since its introduction more than a decade ago. As the coverage of mobile networks increases in ACP countries, the discussion on introducing mobile applications in the agricultural sector has moved from ‘whether’ to ‘how’.

Mobile finance and value-added information services are an obvious and promising example of the many new mAgriculture initiatives. Indeed, mobile money has great transformative potential and could change entire economies in the ACP region if introduced broadly across sectors such as agriculture, commerce and health care.

The youth will play a major role in the further growth of mAgriculture as young people have a natural affinity with ICTs. Indeed, to a certain extent mAgriculture is banking on the youth to move it forward. But keeping young people, the next generation of farmers, involved in agriculture is an intricate problem and involves more than merely replacing old farmers with new. It is about rejuvenating smallholder agriculture as a whole, and accepting the youth as today’s partners and tomorrow’s development architects. Providing training and farm inputs is not enough to attract these young people to a career in agriculture. Rather, they should be supported with easy access to information and markets through the use of mobile technology.

Mobilizing the youth     

 
Many young farmers in developing countries are aware that agriculture can be a worthwhile business that could earn them a good livelihood. Still, many of them are leaving their families’ farms for an uncertain future in the city. ICTs are a way of changing this trend, according to Youth, ICTs and Agriculture, a report published in November 2013 by the non-profit foundation IICD (see box).

Efforts to improve ‘access to market information, production techniques, new technologies and financing opportunities’ are a start, but they should be complemented by seizing ‘the youth’s affinity for using ICTs, their capacity to innovate and their propensity for taking higher entrepreneurial risks’.
Another way of changing this trend it to change the perception of agriculture. In Ethiopia, for example, it has been more than half a century since agriculture was introduced as a topic of study at the university level. Yet students are still reluctant to join the agricultural sector.

Five areas of change    

Universities, governments and international partners must give smallholder farmers more recognition and support them by giving them better access to market information, developing tailored mobile applications and training farmers in their use. The youth will only be attracted to agriculture once smallholders tangibly improve their livelihoods and if policy makers, planners and professionals are the drivers of change. There are five main areas of focus.

  • First, the focus must shift away from the affordability and accessibility of mobile phones, networks and applications. The agricultural sector’s biggest problem is not a lack of resources. What it lacks, and what farmers need, are better ways of accessing markets to sell produce. And there are too few applications around that target farmers’ specific needs.
  • Second, a substantial part of the national budgets in African countries is spent on developing agricultural sectors, mostly by supplying farmers with improved seeds, fertilizers and information on how to use them. However, budgets are rarely allocated to the development of mobile applications that promote inclusive agricultural value chains.
  • Realistic budgets targeted at developing and rolling out mobile applications would transform smallholder agriculture by empowering farmers with knowledge related to their produce and putting them in better bargaining positions.
  • Third, even if smallholder farmers are given better seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs, and even if they are given access to information on how to improve productivity, they can still only improve their livelihoods and contribute to global food security if they are able to sell their produce. Providing market information to farmers and securing their access to national and international markets should be a top priority in any mAgriculture government policy.
  • Fourth, farmers across the world have one thing in common: their information needs fluctuate according to the agricultural calendar, and according to global developments in agriculture. Understanding that these kinds of factors determine smallholders’ needs for knowledge and information is half the battle in developing mobile applications for agricultural information services. So to understand exactly how mAgriculture can work most effectively in given circumstances it is important to carefully analyse the information needs of all those in the agricultural value chain.
  • Take India, for example. For the past 30 years, the focus there has been on increasing farm productivity. Today, India’s agriculture has entered a post-green revolution stage and farmers’ demands for agricultural information have been changing and diversifying. Their main concern has shifted from higher farm production to higher and better returns on their investments. As a result, their interest has moved from technical information to market prices and information that could add value to their produce.
  • And fifth, resources need to be pooled so people can experiment with new support structures and different forms of partnership, such as public–private, public–private–NGO and private–private at the local, national, regional and international levels. For example, value-added applications can be developed by private individuals, students, university researchers, NGO staff and software solution firms.
  • These developers need to team up with traditional government services, such as extension services, marketing boards and the telecom companies, all of which have the capacity to scale-up the use of mobile applications, in particular in remote rural areas. These kinds of partnerships will ensure that we get the best of both worlds.

ICTs and young farmers in western Kenya   

Youth, ICTs and Agriculture based its findings on research in western Kenya. It examined how the use of ICTs in farming there affected the interest of youth in agriculture. The farmers interviewed were between 24 and 38 years old, 80% male and 20% female. Of these, 65% had completed secondary education and 15% had completed a degree at a college or university.

As many as 90% of those interviewed used ICTs on their farms. The ICT tools used most often were Excel and Word; the internet (computer and mobile); FrontlineSMS; video, radio and TV; and online newspapers, magazines and brochures.

One of the report’s most interesting discoveries was a difference in attitude towards ICTs and agriculture among single farmers and farmers who are married and have children. Single farmers initially view ICTs as a gateway to better jobs and employment outside farming, according to the report. Young farmers with families, on the other hand, immediately focus on using ICTs to improve productivity and profitability.

The report’s complete findings and recommendations can be found on  http://goo.gl/6bvWZy .

This article was first published in the May 2014 issue of  ICT UPDATE BY CTA