BrightWorld

Dreams, Optimism, Wisdom

AGRI-INFRASTRUCTURE UPSCALE IN GHANA, MALI, MADAGASCAR August 18, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Consistently following ‘physical economy’ practices would mean a sustained construction and renovation of agricultural infrastructures. Conversely, the sustained destruction of such infrastructures will lead to rapid agricultural decay, such as what’s happening in the USA.

Africans know their physical economy principles well, and practice them precisely by boosting agricultural infrastructures. Below is a news item that captures relevant efforts in Ghana, Mali and Madagascar.

Enjoy your read!

[30 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Ghana, Madagascar, Mali get agricultural revamp

Bandé Moussa Sissoko & Rivonala Razafison

19 June 2008 | EN

USAID

Small-scale farmers in Ghana, Madagascar and Mali are the first beneficiaries of a multi-billion dollar project to rehabilitate agricultural infrastructure.

The project, part of the efforts to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals tackling poverty, will later be expanded to other developing countries.

Kofi Annan, of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), signed a memorandum of understanding this month (11 June) with the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Under the agreement, infrastructure will be established or improved, agricultural research will be strengthened, and seeds and other technologies will be distributed to small-scale farmers.

Mosa Justin of Madagascar’s Millennium Challenge Account, which distributes MCC money, says the joint project will work with researchers to better distribute seeds in three different zones: maize in Antsiranana, rice and butter beans in Menabe, and maize and rice in Boeny.

The Malagasy agriculture ministry has also signed a partnership with private fertiliser companies to increase production. “There is a need to create a fertiliser map according to the type and variety of soils, and then a blending plant to make the most appropriate fertiliser,” says Justin. Fertiliser use in Madagascar is currently one twelfth of the African average.

In landlocked Mali, the Millennium Challenge Account has begun a large rice irrigation project in the central Alatona region, which relies on water from the Niger river delta.

Project director Tidiani Traoré says work will begin on extending the Sahel Canal by 23 kilometres, building a new 63 kilometre canal and boosting the banks of the Malado Fala — an ancient dry stream bed used as a natural canal — by December this year.

About 16,000 hectares of farmland — roughly half the Alatona region — will receive improved irrigation, Traoré told SciDev.Net.

Traoré says plans also include formalising land titles, education about land tenure rights, increasing farmers’ access to agricultural advice and training in fish, livestock and financial management.

The Mali project also aims to construct a bridge and tar the first 81 kilometres of road from the rice paddies in the Niono inland delta, which floods annually, by October 2008.

Ghanaian plans include starting a dialogue between the private and public sector on how best to work together in getting seeds of new crop varieties to farmers fields.

Link to Memorandum of Understanding between MCC and AGRA [16.5kB]

 

BOOSTING SCIENCE FOR YOUNG: MERCOSUR’S LEAD

Erle Frayne Argonza

Boosting science and technology among the young has been the dream of many countries across the centuries. In the United States, this dream is being rekindled after studies show that its kids lag behind those of other countries’ in science and math tests.

To be lackadaisical on the quality of science instruction to youth have dire repercussions in the economy in the long run. A growing emerging market can crash back to Stone Age if it does so for a period of two (2) decades straight.

Incidentally, the Mercosur experts know the lessons well regarding S&T and the physical economy, and so they are taking the lead in boosting S&T education. Read the news caption below for the report.

Enjoy your read!

[31 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to SciDev database news.]

Ministros del Mercosur promueven ciencia en la escuela

Fuente: La Prensa

18 junio 2008 | ES

Ministro Juan Carlos Tedesco, durante la 34º Reunión de Ministros de Educación del Mercosur

Ministerio de Educación de Argentina

La matemática y las ciencias exactas deben enseñarse desde los primeros años de la infancia, pues está comprobado que eso favorece el posterior desarrollo de estos conocimientos, fundamentales para formar ciudadanos más calificados.

Así lo aseguró el ministro de Educación de Argentina, Juan Carlos Tedesco, durante la 34º Reunión de Ministros de Educación del Mercosur (Argentina, Brasil, Paraguay y Uruguay) realizada en Buenos Aires la semana pasada, según informó el diario argentino La Prensa el sábado 14 de junio.  

En este encuentro, las autoridades educativas del Mercosur debatieron sobre la enseñanza de las ciencias y discutieron sobre la necesidad de una mejor capacitación y acreditación docente y de las carreras científicas. 

“La salud, los alimentos, el consumo de transgénicos o el problema de la energía no son objeto del debate democrático. Es más, forman parte de las decisiones de empresas multinacionales y creo que a muchas de ellas no les viene nada mal el analfabetismo científico de las personas”, opinó la ministra de Educación uruguaya, María Simón, durante el debate. 

“Las mujeres en Uruguay representan 60 por ciento del alumnado en la universidad, pero sólo ocupan 25 por ciento en carreras de ingeniería”, detalló Simón, quien fue decana de la Facultad de Ingeniería estatal.

“Se asume prejuiciosamente que las ciencias son para los varones”, agregó.

Por su parte, según detalló La Prensa, el ministro colombiano, Gabriel Burgos Mantilla, estimó que habría que evaluar a los docentes “que hacen que los niños aborrezcan las matemáticas” y capacitarlos. 

Asimismo, la viceministra de Paraguay, Marta Lafuente, dijo que hay que pensar cómo lograr un efectivo aporte de la universidad en la enseñanza de las ciencias básicas, una opción que sólo elige 30 por ciento de los que ingresan al nivel superior en ese país.

Enlace al artículo completo

 

 
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