Welcome to another issue packed with news on African agricultural developments. We extend a special greeting to our newest subscribers, Tou Zoumana, from the NGO CIRDES, in Burkina Faso, and Tigistu Amsalu Oljira, from the Agriculture and Rural Development Office of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia.
This week, we bring you the story of a major development in agricultural marketing – the new Ethiopia Commodity Exchange. Based in the capital of Addis Ababa and reaching out to farming communities around the country, this new exchange system is designed to make trading fair and reliable for farmers and traders. It’s been called a model that other African countries should follow – read the story and see what you think!
Two other stories update you on important agricultural diseases. H5N1 bird flu has once again been detected in parts of Nigeria. We explain some of the factors that can make a country susceptible to bird flu, and describe the steps farmers can take to keep it out of their farms. In Ghana, coastal regions have been hit with coconut lethal yellowing disease. We explore the impact of this disease on livelihoods, and one proposed way to mitigate the problem.
If you have not yet visited the Farm Radio Weekly website (http://weekly.farmradio.org/), why not check in out today? You can use the website to browse through past editions, cast your vote in a poll, and use the comments section to discuss the issues of the day with other readers.
Through the month of July, readers left thoughtful comments, telling how issues in the news resonate in their area. Responding to a news story about drip irrigation in Senegal, Emily Arayo wrote about an adaptation of this by Ugandan farmers. “In Uganda, farmers are using the plastic mineral water bottles to irrigate crops. This is done by making a small hole at the bottom of the bottle, which is placed at the root of the plant. This allows water to drip down to the roots of the plant,” she explained.
Reader Wikano was interested in an initiative supported by Farm Radio to help Nigerian farmers cope with climate change, and said it’s time for Kenyans to take action against climate change. Wikano writes, “It’s sad to witness people here in Kenya fell trees anyhow, clear the only standing rain forests. It’s so sad that even the struggle to curb the menace falls on deaf ears. Let us care about our every action as human beings.” We hope that this week’s news stories inspire you to share your thoughts with other readers.
-The Farm Radio Weekly Team