A revolution for our soil
Access Agriculture Blog
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2w ago
Degraded soil can be repaired, and replenished with nutrients, until it produces abundant harvests at lower costs, while removing carbon from the atmosphere, and putting it back into the ground. This is the optimistic message of David Montgomery’s book, Growing a Revolution. In many parts of the world, soils have been degraded by frequent plowing. The benefits of releasing a burst of nutrients for the crops and killing weeds are overcome by exposure of the soil to erosion by wind and water. In the Midwestern USA perhaps half of the original prairie soil ..read more
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Battling the fall armyworm
Access Agriculture Blog
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1M ago
In the 1500s, when men on sailing ships were casually spreading crop plants from one continent to the next, maize came to Africa. Fortunately, many of the maize pests stayed behind, in the Americas. But slowly, trade and travel are re-uniting maize with its pests. A caterpillar called the fall armyworm is the latest American pest to reach Africa, and it has spread across the continent, threatening one of Africa’s staple food crops. Just as maize originally came to Africa without its American pests, the fall armyworm arrived without its natural enemies, including a couple ..read more
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Lights, camera, action: Learning to make Access Agriculture-style videos in the Philippines
Access Agriculture Blog
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1M ago
Twelve participants from four development agencies in the Philippines took part recently in a two-week training course to learn the essential skills required to develop high-quality farmer-to-farmer training videos that adhere to Access Agriculture’s strict standards for quality, content and format. The workshop was organised by Access Agriculture in partnership with local partners as part of a project funded by the Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation (KGJF). It was held at EcoPark, University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod, Negros Occidental, the Philippines, from 27 ..read more
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Access Agriculture praised for pioneering work in Egypt
Access Agriculture Blog
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1M ago
The Executive Managing Director of CGIAR, a global agricultural research network, Dr Ismahane Elouafi, has praised the achievements of Access Agriculture in reaching farmers, including women and youth, in remote rural areas of Egypt.  Access Agriculture worked with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Egyptian Agricultural Research Center (ARC) as a key partner in a project funded by the German Government in Egypt. The Innovative Agriculture for Smallholder Resilience (iNASHR) project was implemented ..read more
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Seeing the life in the soil
Access Agriculture Blog
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2M ago
Soils that have many living organisms hold more carbon and nutrients and can better absorb and retain rainwater, all of which are crucial in these times of a disturbed climate. But measuring life in soils can be a time-consuming activity depending on what one wants to measure. While bacteria and fungi cannot be seen by the naked eye, ants, grubs and earthworms can. In one of the training videos that we filmed in Bolivia, Eliseo Mamani from the PROINPA Foundation, a science and technology organisation, shows us meticulously how you can measure the visible soil ..read more
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Need of the hour: Assamese language training videos on agroecology and organic farming
Access Agriculture Blog
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3M ago
Emphasising the relevance of the Assamese language versions of ‘Access Agriculture’ training videos on agroecology and organic farming for the smallholder farmers of Assam state in northeastern India, Dhirendra Nath Kalita, Head of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of Kamrup district, called it the “the need of the hour.” Dr. Kalita was invited as a distinguished guest to give his remarks during the review session of a Video Translation Workshop, which was organised by Access Agriculture, 1-3 November, in Guwahati, Assam, as part of the ‘Support to ..read more
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Soil science, different but right
Access Agriculture Blog
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3M ago
Soil may be the basis of farming, and therefore of almost all of our food, but farmers and soil scientists see the soil in completely different, if equally valid ways. In Bolivia, I was recently making a video with Paul and Marcella on soil tests that extension agents can do with farmers. Our local expert was Eliseo Mamani, a gifted Bolivian agronomist. Before our visit, Eliseo had prepared three soil tests in collaboration with soil scientist Steve Vanek. One of the tests uses bottles and sieves and cloth to separate out the “particulate organic matter ..read more
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Throwing light on the ERA model
Access Agriculture Blog
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3M ago
Access Agriculture’s innovative model of working with young Entrepreneurs for Rural Access (ERAs) to help scale agroecology knowledge among smallholder farmers has been recognised by several international awards. At a recent workshop held in Kampala, Uganda, Ezra Masolaki, Access Agriculture Entrepreneur coach for East Africa, was invited to throw light upon the ERA model for the benefit of the participants. The workshop was held to discuss plans for the implementation of a specific component of an IFAD-funded Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) project. The ..read more
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Micro-chefs
Access Agriculture Blog
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4M ago
In this era when many societies have embraced fast food and convenient, ready-made meals, it was refreshing to watch a documentary on the Korean Air flight back home recently, showing how citizens, chefs and scientists across the globe are increasingly waking up to the importance of nurturing and promoting local food cultures. Dustin Wessa, the presenter in the documentary, “The Chef of Time,” is an American chef who has been living in Korea for 15 years, specialising in fermented food and beverages, such as Makgeolli, a milky and lightly sparkling rice wine ..read more
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Upskilling Community Skills Development Centre teachers in Malawi
Access Agriculture Blog
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4M ago
Fourteen representatives from five Community Skills Development Centres (CSDCs) participated recently in a hands-on training session organised by Access Agriculture in Zomba, Malawi, as part of an AFC/GOPA consulting group project under the GIZ-Empowering Youth in Agribusiness (EYA) initiative. The participants were introduced to the Access Agriculture video platform, which hosts over 250 quality farmer learning videos in 100 languages. They learned how to handle the solar-powered smart projector that contains the entire library of Access Agriculture videos and received ..read more
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