family farming

Family farming: Growing Pineapple successfully(Pictures)

This is very thoughtful! very informative

Kalu Samuel's Blog

at the Pineapple Farm at the Pineapple Farm

This post is long overdue as I have always wanted to share ways of growing pineapple successfully on my family farm. I have wrote several blog posts in the past about having a pineapple plantation and doing a research on pineapple soils in my final year project. This blog post will share a step by step guide of growing pineapple successfully (with pictures), please enjoy your reading…

Pineapple is one of the most extensively researched tropical fruit crops. Many aspects of production have been mechanized, and commercial cultural practices are highly refined.
SOIL PREPARATION. Soil should be well tilled. Addition of animal manures improves tilth, increases soil potassium, and may improve micronutrient availability. If the soil is imperfectly drained, beds at least 20 cm (8 inches) high should be formed. Pineapple thrive well in well drained sandy soil.

PLANT POPULATION. Field plantings of pineapple are usually…

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UN and partners launch 3-year humanitarian plan to help Africa’s Sahel region

Photo: ©FAO/Issouf Sanogo

Seeds being delivered to farming families in the Sahel

The United Nations and humanitarian partners launched a three-year Regional Strategic Response Plan to provide aid to millions of people in nine countries in Africa’s Sahel region. The plan seeks to mobilize an initial US$2 billion from international donors in 2014.

Some twenty million people are currently at risk of food insecurity in the Sahel and 2.5 million of them need urgent lifesaving food assistance. An estimated 5 million children under five years of age will suffer from malnutrition in 2014, and some 1.5 million of them will face acute malnutrition. Violence and insecurity has forced 1.2 million people to flee their homes creating protracted internal displacement and a refugee crisis.

“More people than ever are at risk in the Sahel and the scale of their needs is so great that no agency or organization can tackle it alone,” said UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos in Rome. “The strategic plan for the region will help us reach millions of people with vital assistance, build resilience and save lives.”

The strategy comprises country plans for Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. It emphasizes strong partnerships with Governments and development partners, a regional perspective and multi-year time frame to better address the chronic causes of the crises.

“Our first priority is to ensure that farmers in the Sahel have a successful planting season in the coming weeks, providing them urgently with agricultural inputs,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. “But our responsibility is also to make sure that the next drought will not lead to another major humanitarian crisis. Together with national governments and partners, we are working to build the resilience of Sahelian populations by producing quality seed varieties, rehabilitating degraded agricultural land, conserving rainwater and supporting small-scale irrigation.”

Population growth in the region is outstripping a slight increase in food production in 2013 and lack of access to food is compounded by high prices in most markets.

“The situation requires an early and large-scale humanitarian response in almost all countries of the Sahel,” said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

“The European Commission will give €142 million in humanitarian aid in 2014. More contributions from international donors are needed as soon as possible to meet the basic needs of the people in the Sahel.”

Also present at the launch in Rome were Romano Prodi, UN Special Envoy on the Sahel; Amir Abdulla, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, World Food Programme (WFP); Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, USAID; and Robert Piper, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel.

The 2013 appeal for the Sahel requested $1.7 billion and was 63 per cent funded.

PHOTO- Photo: ©FAO/Issouf Sanogo

Original Post- FAO Media

FAMILY FARMING – a means to Promote Youth’s Involvement in Agriculture and Agribusiness

Andres Solari, his father and me, Olawale Ojo during Solari’s farm visit, during the GCARD2, Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

Among the many highlights of my participation at the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2)  with the theme FORESIGHT AND PARTNERSHIP FOR INNOVATION AND IMPACT ON SMALL-HOLDER LIVELIHOODS at Punta del Este, Uruguay on 29th October to November 1, 2012, one experience that I would not forget very quickly was the visit to the Solari Family Farm in MonteVideo Rural in Uruguay.

Andres Solari a youth and one of the children of Mr. Solari gave a tour of the farm. The seventeen (17) hectares farm was been cared for and operated by the Solari family. These included Andres, his brother and sister, his parents and regular assistance from three of their cousins.

The farm grows peaches, apples, nectars and oranges. The processing section which is right there on the farm produces wines, jam and juice.

Touching was the fact that Andres and his siblings judiciously joined their parents in the daily running and operation of the farm business. “My mother started this farm in 1998” he said while giving a tour of the farm and sharing the history of the farm. The sister and mother handles the marketing and sales aspect of the  farm while Andres, his brother and father work on the farm itself with the support of their cousins and hired labour when necessary.

A showcase of one of the main themes of the conference itself which is PARTNERSHIP was dislayed by the Solari’s family farm. The farm works hand in hand with the National Agricultural Institute and the Department of Agronomy in the University of Uruguay. One aspect of the partnership is the reduction of the use of pesticide by provision of biological pest control at reduced cost. This partnership makes it possible for the products of the farm fit for export and allows for sustainability of the farm and environment. These factors : active involvement of the family members in the business, partnership with research bodies and cooperatives have made high productivity possible for the Solari family farm and these has bagged them so many awards such as the Sociedad Uruguay Dehortifruiticulun Award in 2005, LATU Sistemas in 2006 and right during the visit an Award of Recognition by INIA (the National Agricultural Institute).

The commercialization of their products through retailers, supermarket and joining other growers makes exporting possible for them. As a matter of fact, as at the time of the visit the mother was away in Italy to attend the Slow Food Fair which is one of the so many international fair the farm attends to expand their market base.

The example of Andres is one that African youths and families can learn from. So if you have parents that have farms: are you joining them to make it a sustainable business enterprise? Do you share your professional skills either as an accountant, HR manager, engineer and so on to improve the activities on the farm thus increasing profitability? Taking a clue from the example of Andres and his family can go a long way to elevate poverty in families both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

First Published on YPARD