Monthly Archives: April 2012

Earth Day 2012 -A chance for us to appreciate mother nature

Tomorrow April 22, is the “World Earth day” a chance for us to appreciate mother nature for all it has offered us through out the years. 

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a rural parts of Kenya and as a son of a farmer I was lucky to have spend time in the village near a forest. I used to take look after my fathers cattle every evening after school and on weekends my friends and I used to take the cattle to the grazing fields by the sides of the forest. Those were the best times of my life and I have come to cherish them so much., The sound of the birds singing, the baboons and gazelles were a must watch and what I loved the most was the childhood adventures we had.

In late 1990’s, the government gave permission to people to do farming near the forest. The locals were so excited to get this opportunity, but to us children we were so sad because  it meant we were going to miss our playing field which was converted to a farmland. That was just the start of things getting from bad to worse, we watched with shock as people cut down tress to create a farm lands without thinking about the consequences. By the time the government stopped this activity and reclaimed this farm, thousands of hectares of forest land had been destroyed and it still hurts me date.

We moved from the area in 2005 and we now live in a few miles away from the area now and it has completely changed, though the memories of such a wonderful and serene place is still clear in my mind. What I learned from it is  that our resources aren’t going to be around forever, and I saw that firsthand on  the good forest that is there no more. What the locals should have known is that you get out what you put in, and if you don’t replenish what you take away, you’re going to lose out, and lose out big time.

As I grew older I had a chance to travel to different parts of the country from and see how beautiful our country is. I was also able to read and follow the events Mau  forest . I now live in the city but truth is, I miss the country side and especially my fathers cows, the fresh food from the farms, the cool air, the sound of the birds, milking the cows and

As we celebrate the earth day I wanna remind everyone really appreciate mother earth, be in your you should probably be on your greenest of green behavior. You can decide to plant a tree alternatively the you can participate in any of the following earth day events.

As this quote put it,

“There is no ‘work’ involved with ‘appreciating’ Me. Just come out into my spaces and Love me, enjoy me, drink me, breathe me, sense me. It will fill you back up. And you will ‘save’ Me as well. Your Love for the trees, the streams, the rocks, the animals will feed them and keep them safe. Your appreciation of me will ‘appreciate’ me, will lift me up in vibratory rate, will strengthen me and I will be able to give you my beauty and love back.”

To Know more about this day Visit Earth day 2012 website. You can also watch the video below.

Happy Earth day Fans

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BAKE AWARDS 2012

I am so excited to announce that I have been nominated for the BAKE Awards 2012… That’s the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE). The awards which will be held on 28th April 2012.

I am so humbled by this great recognition.

I would like to take this chance to request you all to vote for me via thisVoting link … in the Agriculture category!

Voting closes on the 26th April 2012…. so GET VOTING people!!

Thank you all again for faithfully reading my blog, and supporting me in the the struggle towards an Agribusiness driven economy with the youth playing a bigger role through innovative ideas.

VOTE for me!!!

 

Tim Unwin's Blog

I’ve just had a great question posed to me by Brooke Kania: “I was just wondering, what are you looking for in students who are coming out of IDEV or ICT4D programs – what do you think the field needs from academic training? What advice would you give to aspiring ICT4D professionals?”.  The question is easy; the answer is not!  Fueled by a couple of very good glasses of Chianti, let me have a go at responding.  Here then are the ten things I would look for, and also some reflections as to why:

  • A willingness to cross boundaries.  The great thing about ICT4D is that it is not (yet) a specific discipline, but brings together people from many different backgrounds.  Exciting things happen at the edges!  Get a computer scientist and a philosopher talking together, and great things can happen.  The only trouble is that most academic ‘life’…

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Agriculture can solve the problem of youth unemployment

Youth unemployment is one of the most acute problems affecting developing countries Kenya included. A lack of basic education ranks high among the reasons for this problem. However, youth unemployment is compounded by the fact that a large portion of the population in developing countries tends to be youth.

The formal economy is unable to create enough employment opportunities to absorb this constant supply of labour-seeking youth. Most youth finish their studies and go to towns in search of jobs and it takes most of them them an average of 2-3 years to get a Job which pays Ksh. 40,ooo a Month. This 3 years is a time which goes into waste and the graduates should have used this time to venture into agriculture and make more money . Its is a fact that agriculture has a potential to lift a lot of people out of poverty by creating Jobs in the Agriculture sector and boosting food security in our nation thus freeing the resources used to import food to be used in other development projects, This will hasten the achievement of Kenya’s Vision 2030 as they say-  “A wellfed nation is a free nation”

From my observation youth participation in the agricultural sector is very low, largely because the sector is highly unattractive – due to risks, costs, inefficiency and its labour-intensive nature. Motivating the youth to view agriculture as a career opportunity will require a a lot of l intervention from all sectors. The Government and the stake holders should come up with realistic strategies  to attract gadget-loving and efficiency-prone young people into the agricultural sector

In the first instance, those within the school  system must be targeted. There are various ways the youth can venture into agribusiness, one being integration of ICT in agriculture I want to highlight the case of MFarm Kenya   a software solution and agribusiness company based in Nairobi who are doing a wonderful job of connecting farmers with the market and also providing advice on best farming practices. Some of the services they offer are:

  1. Enable farmers to inquire current market prices of different crops from different regions and/or specific markets.
  2. Aggregate farmers needs/orders and connect them with farm input suppliers.
  3. Enable farmers to sell collectively and connect them with a ready market.
These are the kind of creative ideas that our youth should be encouraged to come up with- Solutions to the problems we face in the field.
The second way is staring up a business e.g green house farming. For a long time the youth had been having problems getting a start up capital but thanks to the government the youth can get loans through Youth Fund  and the good news is that the President has  promised to improve the youth kitty, which was established in 2007 with an initial capital of Sh1 billion, but now stands at Sh3.8 billion.
With these structures now in place I urge my fellow graduates to rise to the challenge as the ball is now on their court.
Happy Easter People

Why not harvest the rain water during this short rain season?

The rains are here with us again. This is good news for many people who had prepared their farms ready to plant. The bad news about it is that the rains may not be here for long.The Meteorological department is warning Kenyans in the arid and semi arid regions not to plant any crop as the rain will not be able to sustain the crop to maturity. I really doubt if Kenyans are heeding this advice and for the few that are doing so I really doubt whether they are putting in place any measures to cope with this situation.

The rains have come with blessings and also a share of problems the most recent being the landslide in Mathare slums that claimed lives. There has also been the problem of poor roads with the Government doing very little to solve this recurrent problem.  The rains will give way to sunshine and again, people will complain about drought and lack of food and — as has now become traditional- the Government will appeal to the international community for aid.

We beg for help when there is rain and still hold the same bowls when it is shining. Must we always be a nation of beggars? We need to come up with a good strategies to solve our problems and ensure that we have a long term solution so that we avoid the same old business of Kenyans for Kenya.

Rain water harvesting is the best possible way to conserve water and awaken the society towards the importance of water. The method is simple and cost effective too. It is especially beneficial in the areas, which faces the scarcity of water. During the rainy season lots of water goes waste into the gutters. And this is when Rain water Harvesting proves to be the most effective way to conserve water. We can collect the rain water into the tanks and prevent it from flowing into drains and being wasted. It is practiced on the large scale in the metropolitan cities.

A recent report by the United Nations Environmental Programme estimates that Nairobi has potential to harvest almost ten million cubic meters of water each year, if rainwater harvesting measures were in place in the city’s rooftops, roads, open grounds and forest-covered areas. The survey report titled: ‘Potential for Rain Water Harvesting in Ten African Cities’, shows the capital city has potential to supply the water needs of between six and 10 million people “…with 60 litres of water a day if rainwater were efficiently and effectively harvested”

Harvested water is very beneficial to the community. Rainwater harvesting first of all increases water security. It is the perfect solution to meet water requirements especially in the areas which do not have sufficient water resources. It helps in improving the quality of the ground water and increasing the level of the ground level. It also helps in improving the overall floral system. It reduces the loss of top layer of the soil. If we capture the water directly we need not to depend much on the water storage dams. It is the good solution to the increasing water crises. Rain water harvesting reduces the flooding on roads and further prevents it from contamination. And in the last it decreases the menace of floods on regional scale.

I want to urge each and every one of us to consider this option this season.

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