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Re: [learningfromeachother] Join Our Proposal: Promoting UK Innovations in Africa

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  • Peter Burgess
    Dear Andrius Please do not forget the metrics. Almost all the problems with the international relief and development industry, of which we are part, would be
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 25, 2008
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      Dear Andrius

      Please do not forget the metrics. Almost all the problems with the
      international relief and development industry, of which we are part,
      would be much better understood if something like Community
      Accountancy had been practiced over the past 50 years. Almost all the
      current initiatives will go wrong, not matter how good the proposals,
      simply because there are no tools in place to keep the correct goals
      central to how things are implemented.

      Nobody that currently has the inside track for relief and development
      money wants Community Accountancy to be deployed. Am I surprised? Of
      course not ... good strong accountancy has never been popular!

      Note that accountancy is never a solution to poor performance ... it
      merely measures. What people do with the measures is a separate
      matter. My success as a profit improvement guru was simply that I
      would measure ... and draw conclusions about how good or bad
      performance was ... and then let the real experts get to work to fix
      the problem. Then I would measure again ... and it very quickly became
      clear who knew what they were doing and who did not. By putting money
      behind those that knew what they were doing we had pretty good
      progress.

      Why does this not get done in the international relief and development
      sector? I think you know my answer!

      Peter Burgess
      ____________
      Peter Burgess
      The Transparency and Accountability Network: Tr-Ac-Net in New York
      www.tr-ac-net.org
      Community Accountancy
      Integrated Malaria Management Consortium (IMMC)
      917 432 1191 or 212 772 6918 peterbnyc@...
      //////////////////////////////////
      On Sun, Aug 24, 2008 at 2:05 AM, <ms@...> wrote:
      > I'm encouraged by response to my invitation to join my proposal for the
      > African Innovation Challenge Fund which is due September 1, 2008.
      > http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?AfricanInnovationChallengeFund
      > I reply to our letters and I share more of my ideas.
      >
      > My main goal is to provide work for myself. I will ask for 50,000 USD
      > per year for three years. I also want to live at least part of the year
      > in Lithuania, in other words, live no more than half the year in Africa.
      > I want to strengthen our Minciu Sodas laboratory http://www.ms.lt not
      > only in Africa, but around the world. Our achievements have come from
      > working globally. I want to include as many participants as possible.
      > These are my constraints which shape my proposal. Please let us know
      > your vision for your life these next three years so that I might include
      > you, if possible.
      >
      > Graham Knight, Thank you for your helpful letter to me. I take a rather
      > crass view. My impression is that the UK government has spent millions
      > of pounds for UK researchers to do agricultural research that might
      > benefit Africans. This is to strengthen UK ties - commerical,
      > political, cultural, academic - and this is the UK's response to
      > poverty. Now there is a question, how to justify those expenses if the
      > innovations are not being taken up? Hence they established "Research
      > Into Use" http://www.researchintouse.com I look at this as a business
      > challenge for which I offer my services and those of our Minciu Sodas
      > laboratory. I expect this work to pay me well enough and to strengthen
      > our laboratory. I believe that they are quite flexible as to How we do
      > this, so long as we Do gain acceptance for the innovations in the
      > Natural Resources Knowledge Database
      > http://www.stepsystemsdata.co.uk/cgi-bin/RIU.isa I don't expect them
      > to care about our participants, our innovations, our concerns, our
      > values, our ideas. If we win the work, then we can take care of
      > ourselves and our own concerns, moral and otherwise. I personally don't
      > believe that "productivity" or even "innovation" is the issue. I
      > believe that reaching out, sharing with and caring for each other is
      > what addresses our challenges, and I think we're showing that, and we
      > have much to show. I do think that our proposal will be strengthened if
      > we structure this so we can highlight our participants in the United
      > Kingdom, including your own and also Pamela McLean, Ricardo, John
      > Rogers, Markus Petz and others. For example, I would love to use this
      > money to send you, Pamela and others for several months to Africa. I
      > also hope that we will find that at least some of the innovations are
      > indeed worthwhile.
      >
      > Patrick Reilly,
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/message/3623
      > Yes! Patent law services pro Bono are a great asset and qualify as
      > cofinancing. We can also include the work of Pamela McLean, Maria
      > Agnese Giraudo, Janet Feldman and many others, online and on-the-ground
      > in Africa. I ask us to estimate the hours that we do or might
      > "work-for-free" and the professional rate for the volunteer work that we do.
      >
      > Janet Feldman, Thank you for bringing to us this opportunity, for your
      > wisdom, knowledge and many links.
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/holistichelping/message/3429
      > I would be happy to support an African who took the lead to write a
      > proposal. Indeed, we're all welcome to write them. I would even write
      > a proposal for somebody else if they might pay me $1,000 more or less.
      > I myself need to focus on finding income for myself and so I'm writing
      > my proposal with this in mind. I'm building on our achievements and the
      > leadership that I have demonstrated. I want to write a proposal that
      > reflects how our lab might develop globally. The rules are very
      > flexible and Minciu Sodas qualifies as a coordinator. However, they
      > want us to promote innovations in certain countries, such as Kenya,
      > Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria. I note that Cameroon and Tanzania are not on
      > the list, but I will find ways to include them, just as I will for
      > participants in Lithuania, Austria and the US. I will focus on
      > establishing Minciu Sodas centers in rural Kenya (led by Samwel Kongere)
      > and urban Kenya (led by Kennedy Owino) just as we have been dreaming.
      > Janet, if you have any grants that you can post and share, that would be
      > helpful, as are your thoughts. You are a winner! I want to organize
      > around those who have led us as social networkers rather than
      > agricultural experts. Samwel's work in East Africa is amazing and
      > brings us together. He lifts me up. I contrast that with my unhappy
      > relationship with Wendi. Why should I care much about her? What does
      > she care about me or others at our lab? She may ask likewise of me. I
      > think we will find a way. What I and our laboratory offer at our best
      > is a group of people around the world care about each other - not just
      > themselves - and who can motivate each other and reach out further.
      > This is the essence of my proposal.
      >
      > The main point of my proposal is that we can promote agricultural
      > practices by collecting and sharing "food stories" that highlight
      > exemplary people in the food supply chain. The main motivator is not
      > productivity but rather inclusion in the world. We will focus our
      > resources on "food story" storytellers who can link us by taking African
      > "food story" storytellers to the West and Western "food story"
      > storytellers to Africa. The result will be a heartfelt bridge that
      > will move people locally to present themselves to the world, and will
      > move people from far away to get involved and help out. I believe, as
      > we have shown, that this opening of our eyes to each other will have
      > more tangible result than any local intervention. Change comes from
      > independent thinkers who are moved by their spiritual peers who sustain
      > them rather than their local peers who shut them down.
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/message/3624
      > David Alan Foster, It's wonderful to hear from you. I would like to
      > involve you, Mark Roest, Ben de Vries and others you know, both in
      > Silicon Valley and in Africa. I will describe to you how I think to
      > apply the funding which I admit is self-centered but also opens up many
      > resources for us that we can leverage further. What I want to end up
      > with is a network of Minciu Sodas bases around the world. I think it is
      > natural for them to be paired, rural and urban, because both locally and
      > globally we always have interests in both. My thought is for each year:
      > * to ask for 50,000 USD for myself so that I can work in Africa,
      > Lithuania, Europe, US to lead work and build relationships
      > * to ask for 5 x 10,000 USD for 1 software developer for our online web
      > system, and also so that at any one time, 2 Africans might be in the
      > West, and 2 Westerners might be in Africa. These will be our champion
      > storytellers whose purpose is to help us take a fresh look at collecting
      > food stories. Africans in the West can visit traditional and
      > alternative Western farms and the food industry, interview people and
      > see their own country's possibilities with fresh eyes, and likewise
      > Westerners in Africa. We will be in touch with each other through video
      > bridges. These people will have have a great challenge to work as
      > ambassadors to encourage the many local projects. Part of the 10,000
      > USD will go for air travel and part for food and rent to support stays
      > at locations such as Marcins' Factor E Farm or David Ellison-Bey's home
      > in Chicago.
      > * to ask for 25 x 2,000 USD for 5 software developers, and about 20
      > local leaders. Indeed, we will have 16 centers in our network and We
      > will have a rural and an urban "Food Story Station" in Kenya and
      > likewise in Lithuania (at the Eiciunai village and the city of Vilnius)
      > and we will work towards a network of such pairs of locales (in Uganda,
      > Ghana, Nigeria and in Austria, Missouri/Chicago, Silicon Valley).
      > 2,000 USD is not much money but yet a substantial income stream for a
      > person in Africa. 2,000 USD can also be helpful for a project or
      > equipment at a site in the US or Europe.
      > * to ask for 125 x 400 USD for local advocates of one or more of the
      > innovations. We would provide 50% cofinancing for this (by giving out
      > half as a loan to be returned and then loaned out to another).
      > Generally, the advocate would receive 200 USD in work and 200 USD in a
      > no-interest loan, much as we're working with Peter Ongele. They would
      > be responsible for guiding and motivating practitioners.
      > * to ask for 625 x 100 USD for no-interest loans for local practitioners
      > . We would provide 75% cofinancing for this (loaning out the money
      > about four times per year). The practitioners who are interested to
      > "work for free" in our networks would get no-interest loans. I will
      > propose that 25% of the loans go to people to apply RIU innovations,
      > another 25% go to such people but for other projects they may have, and
      > another 50% go to small projects in general. I will explain that this
      > will make for an ecosystem of small projects that fleshes out, along
      > with the food stories, the food supply chain, and will grab global
      > attention onto it. A major goal of our ambassadors, storytellers, local
      > leaders, local advocates is that we make a simple way for people,
      > schools, churches, organizations to support such small projects, much as
      > we have at Minciu Sodas, with a system that is straightforward like
      > Kiva. So our goal and exit strategy is to gain more and more
      > cofinancing in the spirit of our lab.
      >
      > We will also have more cofinancing in the form of our volunteer time,
      > both Westerners and Africans. Also, we will provide on our own all of
      > the video bridge equipment, Internet access, mobile phone time, and any
      > physical locations. We will do this over the course of three years. We
      > can find other resources for that and we are ever flexible. We want
      > cash from the grant.
      >
      > I spoke with Ben de Vries and he is interested to travel to Africa. I
      > am glad that Edward Cherlin might likewise. And we can fund or support
      > trips by Pamela McLean, Maria Agnese Giraudo, Jeff Buderer and Joy Tang
      > and others, depending on if that makes sense. Often we may share
      > resources. You know me that I am both miserly and generous, but also
      > that I am trying to open up resources that we can apply to support our
      > individual dreams.
      >
      > David, it would be great if you might think with Mark, Jeff, Ben and
      > others, what kind of bases might we think in terms of in Silicon Valley
      > where an African might stay? An urban base (such as Mark's apartment in
      > the San Mateo ecovillage) and a rural base (such as the Dharma Gates
      > farm). These bases can be simply a couch and Internet access, but as
      > you know, it is invaluable to have a place to stay in Silicon Valley.
      > We will be able to provide each year $2,000 for an urban agriculture
      > project, $2,000 for a rural agriculture project, and a few thousand
      > dollars for rent and food for African visitors. Similarly, we can do
      > this for Marcin's farm in Missouri along with David Ellison-Bey's home
      > in Chicago as an urban base, and likewise in Austria and in Lithuania.
      > Imagine an African staying at Marcin's farm and learning how to make
      > videos and write blog posts and share stories and generate interest in
      > Marcin's work and learn how to do that and apply that back in Africa. Or
      > an African staying with David Ellison-Bey and learning about his Moorish
      > Cultural Workshop and promoting him and generating interest to buy the
      > vacant lots next to his house and make them available for urban
      > agriculture and other global village projects.
      >
      > So these small bits of money can have a big impact in terms of
      > supporting our ambassadors whose job it is to generate interest among
      > people who might participate in our microresearch and no-interest
      > microloan projects and to see how "food stories" help to build those
      > connections and stimulate projects. I hope you see how this global work
      > can end up having an enormous impact in Kenya and other African
      > countries, much as we have already, by bringing a global excitement and
      > fellowship and affirmation to the local work that can draw participation
      > just as we did with Pyramid of Peace. The global connections can open
      > doors to people who actually probably don't just care about their farm
      > but want to think bigger if they can, which is why they are leaving for
      > the cities. Instead we provide people with urban and rural bases and
      > with global friendship and opportunities and orientation. That's my
      > hunch and I think this is an original approach grounded in our
      > successful practice and so I believe we have a chance to win. But even
      > if we don't, we will be taking steps towards a vision relevant for our
      > lab, rather than contorting ourselves to try to win a funder who
      > actually isn't grounded in any values that they would live or die for.
      > David, I ask you and all for your thoughts, what might you do with such
      > resources? Also, we could build our online software networking system
      > (and microresearch, microloan system) so that it works with your
      > knowledge database vision perhaps. Please write more about that, what
      > would you like? And I ask us all to look at the concrete database of
      > innovations that we have to work with:
      > http://www.stepsystemsdata.co.uk/cgi-bin/RIU.isa
      >
      > Peter Ongele, Thank you for your letter:
      > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/learnhowtolearn/message/298
      > Please write how you envisage concretely, what can we accomplish with
      > such microloans of $100 or $200? And what problems we might run into?
      > And what successes might we have? Your practical examples - and those
      > of others in Africa - would be very helpful.
      >
      > Edward Cherlin,
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/message/2195
      > I hope my vision is a bit clearer. I would be excited if you might
      > travel to Africa. Also, we will have some funds for the software
      > system. We will have a "microresearch" support system so if that might
      > fit with your educational ideas that would be great. Please write more
      > about what you would like to do and your vision. Also, I want to write
      > a proposal for Afghanistan's Ghor province and that is a place where
      > OLPC could be very relevant as Internet and electricity are in short
      > supply. What can we propose regarding that? Please write separately
      > about "Afghanistan".
      >
      > Rachel Wambui Kungu, wonderful to see you at the Ushahidi blog
      > http://blog.ushahidi.com/index.php/2008/08/11/rachels-peace-caravan-in-kenya/
      >
      > how might you participate in our proposal? I also ask Dennis Kimambo
      > and our many participants in Kenya.
      >
      > Arul Das, Welcome! Thank you for writing about love.
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/message/3618
      >
      > Tom Wayburn,
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/message/3619
      > The most beautiful sight is the maturing of the mature. I am moved by
      > your inventory of your weaknesses, which is to say, how you might yet
      > grow. At your age a 2% change makes a 100% difference. That is the
      > stance of eternal life, that we can forever grow. We spoke once that
      > your deepest value is "the triumph of reason". I feel my own quest
      > confirmed that in so many ways you find a sense to "the possibility of
      > God". Since childhood I have felt this was the door that I would rather
      > keep open than close, and through which I have slowly felt the relevance
      > of the reality, the response, the fellowship, the love, the existence or
      > nonexistence of God. I look forward to your reflections. Thank you to
      > Benoit Couture, Vinay Gupta, Patrick Reilly, Michel Bauwens for your
      > testimony.
      >
      > Surya Rao Maturu
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/message/3628
      > Thank you for your critical thinking. As I wrote above to Graham, I
      > will take the crass point of view, that we can work for money, and yet
      > do the work so that we further our own visions. I ask your help so that
      > we all make clear our visions and be true to them, and that we promote
      > those UK innovations which do the most good and the least damage.
      >
      > Benoit Couture, Fred Kayiwa,
      > I apologize that our chat room and our RSS feeds are not working at the
      > moment. We installed new versions of PHP, MySQL and Apache because I
      > want to set up the Ringside Networks so that we have a social networking
      > capability (compatible with Facebook). It seems that the PHP is the
      > issue and it will take a week or more to fix. Fred, congratulations on
      > teaching the children with the phonics flash cards! I'm curious how you
      > do that.
      >
      > Franz Nahrada and I spoke today. He's making great steps in
      > establishing a new base (and someday, home) at a former monastery in
      > Neuberg, Austria. He envisages a center based on the "Village
      > Principle" and a conference in 2009. Christine Ax is excited by Marcin
      > Jakubowski's Factor E Farm and she wants a virtual village. Franz and
      > I agreed that I will try to set up the social networking functionality
      > as a core for our online venues and a basis for participation in such a
      > virtual village. He is interested to lead a "school for villagers" that
      > would provide a vision and context for many working groups at our
      > laboratory.
      >
      > Kofi Thompson, Thank you for your letters. I hope that what I propose
      > will support the infrastructure that fosters the connections that lead
      > to the businesses as you point to that links Ghana and Italy.
      > http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/mendenyo/message/1920
      >
      > I conclude with some examples from the database of innovations for
      > Kenya. Which ones seem positive? or negative? Which crops are most
      > interesting for us? There are more here:
      > http://www.stepsystemsdata.co.uk/cgi-bin/RIU.isa My plan is that we
      > will focus on engaging and organizing the people who have already
      > participated in these projects.
      >
      > Thank you all for this great burst of energy! We will surely have more
      > proposals and I invite us to take the lead and engage us as I am.
      >
      > Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt, ms@..., +1 312
      > 618 3345
      >
      > --------------------------------------
      >
      > ------------------
      > Kenya
      > ------------------
      >
      > Private sector serves horticultural industry in Kenya
      >
      > Small companies are springing up in Kenya to help growers comply with
      > international food safety standards. The export market for fresh
      > vegetables is fairly well-developed but small growers are often left out
      > when it comes to know-how on food safety and hygiene, and consumer
      > preferences. But, by following advice from new small businesses, more than
      > 23 farmer groups in the Central, Eastern and Rift Valley provinces have
      > become certified, and more are in the pipeline. These business services
      > spread very quickly to the Rift Valley, Coast and Western Kenya, and are
      > rapidly expanding to other areas. Private-sector extension services could
      > have a major impact on small-scale horticultural producers in East Africa,
      > particularly for high-value crops where producers are more able to pay.
      >
      > Kale seed multiplication schemes take off in Kenya
      >
      > Smallholders in Kenya are producing healthy, good quality kale seed thanks
      > to a new model for sustainable multiplication. The first step was to
      > establish the primary virus diseases responsible for crop loss. Then,
      > researchers identified and compared new, improved varieties with
      > resistance to the major threats to farmer varieties. They also surveyed
      > farmer preferences to determine their preferred multiplication methods.
      > The new model, together with a scheme for improved seed certification, has
      > reached more than 1000 farmers, NGOs and micro-entrepreneurs.
      > Multiplication plots are providing large batches of seed and farmers have
      > been set up as seed producers in remote zones.
      >
      > Promotion of sustainable approaches for the management of root-knot
      > nematodes on vegetables in Kenya
      >
      > The project aimed to verify and promote sustainable approaches to the
      > management of root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) through the use of
      > micro-organisms, cultural techniques and plant resistance. Through
      > research participation, smallholders have been acquainted with the
      > production constraint and of potential ways of its alleviation. The
      > novelty has been the use of naturally occurring biological control
      > organisms within the cropping system. This will become an accepted
      > practice when the national regulatory authority approves the use of
      > biopesticides , when organisations have the capability to mass produce
      > these products at an acceptable price and when there are appropriate
      > channels to deliver them to the smallholder grower community. Progress has
      > been achieved with each of these stages ensuring the long term benefit to
      > all sectors of the vegetable producing community in Kenya. The amendments
      > to the pesticide legislation to include those defined as biopesticides
      > such as Pochonia chlamydosporia and Pasteuria penetrans, have been drafted
      > and await final legislative ratification. This will then enable companies
      > to produce and market these products.
      >
      > Sweet potato cultivars with improved keeping qualities for East Africa
      >
      > The objective of this project was to facilitate development of sweet
      > potato cultivars with improved post-harvest qualities, especially improved
      > shelf-life and storability, thus improving food security and income
      > generation through better marketing and storage. Breeding initiatives for
      > sweet potato are at an early stage compared to other staples, so there is
      > particular potential for crop improvement, and a need to understand
      > quality characteristics and how to select them. A book entitled 'Sweet
      > potato post-harvest assessment: Experiences from East Africa' has been
      > produced as a collaboration between the Natural Resources Institute, the
      > Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture and the International Potato Center with
      > input from the National Agricultural Research Laboratories of Kenya and
      > the National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda. This book
      > consolidates information and expertise gained in this and earlier projects
      > and is to be disseminated to organisations involved in sweet potato
      > breeding, throughout the world.
      >
      > Community Parliaments make voices heard and needs felt
      >
      > Community Parliaments (CPs) offer well-structured, innovative mechanisms
      > for making local voices heard. They also improve coordination and dialogue
      > among community groups, creating an empowering platform to steer local
      > development. In Kenya, farmers had little access to market-chain
      > information, and lacked basic farm inputs, labour and credit.
      > Intermediaries, who deprived farmers of their profits, ran markets.
      > Finally, poor infrastructure made it difficult to get farm produce to
      > markets. Community Parliaments have helped to change this picture in four
      > parts of Kenya, addressing these and other problems. Micro-credit is one
      > of the important services they offer. The government, private companies,
      > and development agencies are using CPs to reach almost 10,000 people in
      > the four locations and the model is quickly spreading to other parts of
      > the country.
      >
      > The donkey radio shows: helping producers care for draught animals
      >
      > In Kenya, weekly radio programmes have helped listeners to keep their
      > precious donkeys healthy. Donkeys are a useful source of draught power,
      > and poor families need to learn how to ensure that they stay healthy and
      > have long working lives. Broadcasting to isolated rural communities also
      > gave listeners the opportunity to ask specific questions about their own
      > animals. And, recording the shows on CD-ROM provided a useful set of
      > information that is being used around the world. The project outputs are
      > already benefiting users in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya. And to ensure
      > that this very useful exercise can be reproduced in other countries, the
      > project has produced a booklet explaining how to set up a radio show that
      > will improve animal welfare.
      >
      > Evaluation of selected non-industrial tree species and development of
      > approaches to facilitate utilisation of results
      >
      > The project was designed to investigate improvements to the current
      > widespread utilisation of sub-optimal germplasm in agroforestry
      > programmes, the poor uptake of results from agroforestry tree evaluation
      > programmes, and the lack of availability of seed of superior agroforestry
      > tree provenances. The research activities included investigating
      > improvements to network management, investigation of uptake pathways for
      > research results and development of guidelines for improvements to seed
      > orchard design.
      >
      > A new animal health and livestock training network for sub-Saharan Africa -
      > 3
      >
      > A new network of African universities is being developed to produce
      > teaching materials for disseminating the results of DFID-funded research
      > into animal health and livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa. It aims
      > to overcome the fact that the massive amount of DFID-funded research done
      > to improve animal health and livestock keeping has had very little impact
      > - mainly because new knowledge simply isn t reaching the people who need
      > it. The African Universities Veterinary E-Learning Consortium (AUVEC)
      > therefore aims to provide bite-sized, easy-to-revise, distance-learning
      > materials that animal health professionals can use to regularly update
      > their knowledge and skills. This developing network consists of veterinary
      > departments and veterinary bodies in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan,
      > Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
      >
      > An easy-to-use computer program to help plan farmer-friendly tsetse control
      >
      > A range of new information is now available to make people aware that
      > effective farmer-friendly control methods do exist for tsetse fly, and to
      > help them plan better ways of putting them into practice effectively.
      > Examples include an easy-to-use program called Tsetse Plan', which helps
      > users design and implement tsetse control using bait techniques like
      > insecticide-treated cattle and odour-baited traps. A range of other
      > information is also available, including slide shows (demonstrating how
      > technologies like traps can be built) and the www.tsetse.org website,
      > which contains a wealth of information. These resources are now being used
      > across many countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania,
      > Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, tremendous scope still exists to
      > extend this coverage.
      >
      > Basket of remedies revives ailing Ugandan banana industry
      >
      > In Uganda, worn-out soils, pests, diseases and social problems mean
      > trouble for the banana industry. A basket of remedies is helping the
      > industry get back on its feet - new varieties, manuring and mulching,
      > biological controls for pests, and disease-free planting material. New
      > varieties of banana are already being sold in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and
      > Tanzania. Several agencies distribute clean plantlets produced by tissue
      > culture to farmers in these countries, and in Burundi and D.R. Congo as
      > well. Plus, in Uganda, a local laboratory has been set up that could
      > produce 10 million plantlets a year. Consumers like the new varieties.
      > Prices are rising and farmers are expanding their plantings to meet
      > demand. So, Uganda has a great opportunity to supply bananas to urban and
      > regional markets.
      >
      > Maize for food and forage in East Africa
      >
      > Now, there s a basket of proven ways for farmers to meet both food and
      > forage needs. Farmers in densely populated regions of Kenya need
      > dual-purpose maize. They want maize that is good to eat but that also has
      > lots of stem and leaf for animal feed. Previously, the focus was on
      > raising grain yields in maize. Pests and diseases that affected maize
      > foliage, and thus animal feed, were ignored. Small farmers in Kenya,
      > Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia now use new techniques that work
      > best for them. Some opt for maize varieties that are resistant to maize
      > streak virus or stem borers. Others grow a fodder legume that repels stem
      > borers. These and other techniques mean more and better animal feed in the
      > dry season.
      >
      > Making stakeholders aware of advances in smallholder dairy farming
      >
      > A new toolbox has been developed to make it easier for organizations to
      > provide easy-to-understand information to anyone involved in smallholder
      > dairy production. Known as the Smallholder Dairy Toolbox (SDTB), its
      > software allows users to access useful information and provide it in
      > formats that are appropriate to a whole range of stakeholders - from
      > farmers and delivery agents to planners and policy makers. The toolbox is
      > intended to overcome the fact that the training and information materials
      > currently available are often inadequate and difficult to access -
      > especially for farmers and extension workers who have very little spare
      > time. It is available on CD or as a download from the project website, and
      > is already being used in some parts of Kenya.
      >
      > Maize farmers in East Africa have a new basket of options
      >
      > Farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are using a new basket of options
      > to fight a maize disease know as grey leaf spot (GLS). They tested and
      > approved the practices in farmer field schools, and posters, leaflets,
      > radio programmes, videos and a television documentary are helping to
      > spread the new knowledge. Seed companies are also using a rapid screening
      > method to select locally available varieties with good levels of
      > resistance. A wide range of stakeholders in the East African region,
      > including individual farmers, farmer groups, seed companies,
      > community-based organisations, NGOs and researchers, is using these new
      > options. More than 20,000 households are benefiting from the package, and
      > demand for the promotional materials continues to grow.
      >
      > Successful strategies for promoting new farming technologies
      >
      > A systematic approach to planning and applying effective pyramidal
      > training and dissemination strategies is now available to help get new
      > techniques into use by farmers. Originally developed to promote integrated
      > pest management (IPM), the system can be used to build capacity in a wide
      > range of fields. From innovative, interactive and enjoyable training
      > courses for trainers and farmers, to training guides, farmer pocket books
      > and pest identification cards, a host of useful and well-targeted outputs
      > have already been produced. These are being used in 40 countries. Plus,
      > the generic training strategy has already been successfully used locally
      > by government agencies and NGOs such as Harvest Help and SACDEP in 10
      > countries: Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Jamaica, Cameroon, Ghana, Lesotho,
      > Zambia, Mauritius and India.
      >
      > Talking pictures: new tools to boost smallholders milk production
      >
      > New tools have been developed and tested in Bolivia, Tanzania, Kenya and
      > India to help smallholder dairy farmers manage their animals better and
      > greatly boost the amount of milk they produce. The improved breeds of
      > cattle now available can produce up to 25 litres of milk per day, but many
      > are producing similar amounts to local breeds simply because of poor
      > management. To overcome this, researchers have produced software like the
      > dairy rationing system for the tropics (DRASTIC), which trained users can
      > use to predict what effect a particular mix of feeds will have on milk
      > production. Another tool is Talking Pictures Dairy (TP-D) which can be
      > used to generate pictorial guides that local producers can easily
      > understand and relate to.
      >
      > More shrubs mean more milk in East Africa
      >
      > Two million small farmers in East Africa could increase milk production
      > simply by planting fodder shrubs - as an extra high-protein feed for cows
      > and goats. The shrubs don t take up valuable land. They can be planted
      > alongside paths, on field boundaries and banks. Plus, not a lot of labour
      > is involved. About 48,000 farmers in Kenya, 33,000 in Uganda, 11,000 in
      > Rwanda and 8,000 in northern Tanzania now grow fodder shrubs because they
      > quickly reap substantial benefits. Farmers consistently report an increase
      > of around 1-2 litres of milk per animal per day. So, the market for seeds
      > of fodder shrubs is thriving. Over 40 dealers now market seed and
      > seedlings across Kenya.
      >
      > Farmers take the lead in learning
      >
      > Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are helping to turn research results into
      > improved livelihoods for the poor in Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda and
      > Tanzania. In these open-air schools, farmers participate in evaluating new
      > technologies, methods and knowledge. They also select the crops they wish
      > to focus on, identify the problems they need to solve, and select the
      > technologies they want to use. This approach fosters rapid uptake and has
      > helped to improve the production of maize, beans, sweet potatoes, sorghum
      > and tomatoes. Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools bring together orphaned
      > youths in areas with high HIV/AIDS prevalence. They place a strong focus
      > on health, nutrition and income generation and use drama and theatre to
      > develop self esteem and confidence among the youths.
      >
      > Bridging the knowledge gap on a valuable tree
      >
      > A project to bridge a critical information gap on the valuable mesquite
      > tree, with inputs from 10 countries, has resulted in many valuable
      > publications. These include a field guide, country-specific policy briefs
      > on India, Ethiopia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Brazil, other
      > briefs on the weed problem and global issues, and many journal and popular
      > articles, as well as a video. Mesquite, Prosopis juliflora, is a common
      > species in the world s hot, arid and semi-arid regions. It provides fuel,
      > food, fodder, wood products (parquet floors, furniture, fence posts), and
      > bee pasturage. However, in many parts of Asia and Africa it remains
      > under-used, and is often regarded as an invasive weed. Over 18,000 copies
      > of the publications were downloaded from the project website in 2006
      > alone; 70% of this demand was from sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
      >
      > Fussy eaters: improving the benefits of dry-season feed
      >
      > A newly developed self-selection technique can boost the amount that
      > stall-fed animals will eat. Sorghum stover is a traditional and important
      > dry-season forage in countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya. However,
      > it isn t particularly nutritious or palatable - so animals often don t
      > each as much as they should. Research has found, however, that giving
      > animals much more stover than they need allows them to select the tastiest
      > bits of feed. This means that they eat much more. Plus, the feed that they
      > reject isn t wasted, because it can be treated with urea to make it more
      > palatable and then fed to them again. Promoting this simple technique
      > could make a real difference to the lives of smallholders who struggle to
      > keep their animals healthy.
      >
      > Information maps: a path to effective solutions
      >
      > Practical software tools - known as Step Tools - are helping local users
      > to make better and more effective use of information, creating flexible,
      > database-driven solutions without the need for high-level technical
      > expertise. This contributes to pro-poor development by improving local
      > practices and information flow. The innovations apply information mapping
      > to help users visualise their requirements. Customised programming
      > transforms the information maps into searchable web-based databases. The
      > methodologies and tools were developed and pilot-tested with partners in
      > Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe. They are currently in use in Kenya,
      > Malawi, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda.
      >
      > Biological controls to combat root-knot nematodes
      >
      > In East Africa, a combination of biological controls, cultural practices
      > and new pest-resistant varieties helps reduce damage to valuable tomato
      > export crops. Root-knot nematodes are a chronic problem for vegetable
      > growers. Crops do not thrive on land that s severely affected, so it s
      > often abandoned. Export markets for vegetables from East Africa are
      > booming. But growers must make sure their produce meets the safety
      > standards set by importing countries. This means they can t use harmful
      > pesticides. Many smallholders in western Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda now
      > practice safe production, using biological controls and resistant
      > varieties. A small company in Kenya already produces 40 kilogrammes a week
      > of a biological fungicide. And Kenya has amended its registration system
      > to include biopesticides. So, there s a huge potential.
      >
      > Community breeding to improve poor farmers flocks
      >
      > Creating local associations and community-based buck stations allows local
      > farmers to undertake breeding programmes designed to improve their goat
      > flocks. Small-scale resource-poor livestock keepers usually can t access
      > government services for breed improvement, and this limits their ability
      > to improve the productivity of their animals. In Kenya, however, new
      > schemes have overcome this by providing poor livestock keepers with
      > training, and by setting up community-based buck stations and supporting
      > the establishment of local community breeding associations. The model has
      > proved popular and is now being used in a range of countries. Examples
      > include Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.
      >
      > Better sweet potatoes boost farmers from subsistence to the market economy
      >
      > Sweet potato growers in Uganda have gone from not having enough produce to
      > eat, to wondering how best to market all the sweet potatoes they harvest.
      > Previously, vines for planting sweet potato crops were in extremely short
      > supply. Plus, sweet potato virus severely damaged tubers. Now, farmer
      > groups produce and market plenty of quality planting material - varieties
      > resistant to virus disease. The new sweet potatoes, high in beta-carotene,
      > also help reduce serious vitamin A deficiencies which affect 30% of
      > children and 50% of women. Quality sweet potatoes for export fetch high
      > prices. A new growers association is already working to export the new
      > varieties. The potential is huge and the improved varieties have spread to
      > D.R. Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and even Chad.
      >
      > Easy-to-use software provides the poor with access to information
      >
      > Interactive learning software has been created to give users in Kenya and
      > Bolivia access to information. The Daktari and Promotor programs are
      > suitable for use even by the illiterate, and can give poor households who
      > aren t reached by the extension services access to vital information. Poor
      > users access the software through kiosks placed in their community. And,
      > despite the fact that only a small number of these kiosks are available,
      > these programs have already been used by more than 6000 households. The
      > programs are also complemented by digital forums. These can be accessed by
      > policy makers and planners who want to gain better insights into the needs
      > of the poor by finding out what information they are requesting.
      >
      > Farmers control bean root rot with a blend of science and indigenous
      > knowledge
      >
      > African farmers - and women farmers in particular -are using a wide range
      > of integrated management options to protect against bean root rot.
      > Researchers and partners in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa are
      > using manuals describing new tools, methods and techniques, and Village
      > Information Centres are helping community members to access appropriate
      > information and technologies. Participatory rural appraisals and surveys
      > of indigenous technical knowledge were combined with sophisticated
      > screening, selection and diagnostic techniques to come up the management
      > components, which are specially designed for use in south-western Uganda,
      > as well as in areas with similar conditions.
      >
      > Credit and know-how boost farm incomes
      >
      > Farm households in the highlands of western Kenya are improving their
      > livelihoods using a community credit scheme and a set of decision-support
      > tools. Depleted soils, due to continuous maize cropping, together with
      > Striga infestation, have trapped farmers in a cycle of low yields and poor
      > soil fertility. To diversify into higher value crops on their limited
      > land, households must intensify maize production. The credit scheme lets
      > farmers invest in fertilisers, while the decision-support tools help
      > borrowers with land management questions. Although developed in Kenya,
      > these tools are applicable to many areas of Africa dominated by poor,
      > food-deficient, semi-subsistence farm households. In Kenya, the tools are
      > promoted by a World Bank-funded project, and they have also been
      > introduced in Uganda.
      >
      > Village forecasts combat armyworm plagues in eastern and southern Africa
      >
      > Villages in eastern and southern Africa now make their own forecasts of
      > armyworm outbreaks. The low-cost system - using a single trap to catch
      > armyworm moths and a rain gauge - means that farmers no longer depend on
      > warnings from central pest offices. Warnings from central offices were
      > often too late and too general to be useful. Villages now organise the
      > forecasts themselves. They decide who will be trained to use the equipment
      > and work out the forecast from the moth catch and rainfall data, and who
      > will warn everyone. The self-contained forecasts, proven to be accurate
      > four times out of five in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, help farmers
      > prepare for outbreaks and prevent damage to their crops.
      >
      > There for the picking: cheap feed options and worm treatments
      >
      > Research in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, India and Kenya has identified
      > tree fruits as a promising option for improving the diets of goats. Poor
      > goat keepers can t afford to buy commercial feeds to supplement diets in
      > the dry season. This causes slow growth and high death rates among kids -
      > which are mainly born either at the end or at the beginning of the dry
      > season. Tree fruits are a good cheap option to feed pregnant or suckling
      > goats, because they can easily be collected and stored for use when
      > needed. Related research in Tanzania has also shown that tannin-rich tree
      > forages could help to reduce the amount of worms in the stomachs of sheep,
      > improving productivity and the animals health.
      >
      > Why are research results not reaching farmers fields?
      >
      > A compilation of the constraints limiting uptake and scaling-up of natural
      > resources research results in Eastern Africa is helping policy makers get
      > a better idea of these barriers. Awareness-raising products are explaining
      > to researchers their role in the process. Training materials, including a
      > learning manual, are helping build the capacity of researchers to
      > influence institutional strategies and also design and implement plans for
      > communication, sharing, promoting uptake, and scaling-up of their own
      > research outputs. These materials are now used extensively throughout
      > Eastern and Southern Africa, including in Angola, Botswana, Burundi,
      > Comoros, D.R. Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar,
      > Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa,
      > the Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
      >
      > A new animal health and livestock training network for sub-Saharan Africa -
      > 1
      >
      > A new network of African universities is being developed to produce
      > teaching materials for disseminating the results of DFID-funded research
      > into animal health and livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa. It aims
      > to overcome the fact that the massive amount of DFID-funded research done
      > to improve animal health and livestock keeping has had very little impact
      > mainly because new knowledge simply isn t reaching the people who need it.
      > The African Universities Veterinary E-Learning Consortium (AUVEC)
      > therefore aims to provide bite-sized, easy-to-revise, distance-learning
      > materials that animal health professionals can use to regularly update
      > their knowledge and skills. This developing network consists of veterinary
      > departments and veterinary bodies in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan,
      > Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
      >
      > -------------------------
      >
      > Questions for the proposal:
      >
      > 2.4 Please write a brief description of the existing initiative and how
      > RNRRS information and RIU investment will add value to it. (Word limit:
      > 400 words) (Score 20 marks) Use the RIU database (available on our
      > website) to obtain information on the validated RNRRS outputs. State the
      > relevant RNRRS programme(s) and R numbers, giving a brief description of
      > the technology, process or policy it produced. Briefly outline how you
      > propose to up scale and /or out scale, and your objectives and approach.
      > Explain how the demand was articulated, by whom and for whom? What was
      > the process used to identify this demand? (Are these clients represented
      > in your partnership? If not we advise you to engage with them and ensure
      > that they are key partners represented in your coalition). You must also
      > make clear the outcome you propose to produce within the life of the
      > initiative.
      >
      > 2.5 Who are the client groups? How will these client groups benefit from
      > the activities? (Word Limit: 200 words) (Score 10 marks) Client groups
      > are the users of the RNRRS information-these may be farmers,
      > pastoralists, fisher and forest folk, desert dwellers, processors, (not
      > just the advantaged but also disadvantaged, marginalised and socially
      > excluded) , extension agents, NGOs, entrepreneurs, traders, policy
      > makers, journalists, other communication and media specialists.
      >
      > 2.6a How many people will benefit from your initiative and by when will
      > they benefit? (Word limit 200 words) (Score 10 marks) Please provide
      > justification for the numbers here.
      >
      > 2.6b Explain how the above (2.6a) will be monitored during the project
      > and describe what impact you are looking for as a result of your
      > initiative. (Word Limit 200 words) (Score 10 marks)
      >
      > 2.7 Explain why this research is not getting into use at the present
      > time, and how the RIU investment will address these constraints. (Word
      > limit: 200 words) (Score 10 marks)
      >
      > 2.8 Indicate the risks that might hinder achievement of your objectives
      > in the given timeframe, and state whether the risk is a high, medium or
      > low. (Word limit: 200 words) (Score 10 marks)
      >
      > 2.9 What is the exit strategy for the initiative? (Word limit: 200
      > words) (Score 10 marks)
      >
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