Robynne Anderson's Emerging Thoughts on Ag

UN Stresses Need for Preventing Loss of Agricultural Genetic Resources

The need for the preservation and study of genetic diversity in agriculture took centre-stage during the FAO’s Commission biennial meeting on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on January 19.

In the context of rapidly advancing climate change and a growing global population, FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo was present at the event to stress the need for prevention plans in action specially to preserve agricultural genetic resources that will feed the world.

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Integrated Water & Land Management Position

Dr. Mahmoud Solh is chairperson of the food and nutritional security theme area for the volunteer team working on the International Year of Pulses in 2016. He is a fine leader and it has been a joy to work with him on several projects. His team at The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in Lebanon is part of the CG system.

They are looking for a Director to lead the ICARDA “Integrated Water & Land Management (IWLMP)” Research Program, which focuses on sustainable management of water and land resources in agriculture, with a special focus on improving productivity, combating degradation and enhancing ecosystems function in the developing world’s dry areas and their rural communities. The position will also be the ICARDA Focal Point for the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land & Ecosystems. See www.icarda.org for more information.

Farming First’s Top Ten

Farming First has released a list of Ten Must-See Farming First Videos of 2014 that have gone behind the scenes at food and agriculture conferences throughout the year to bring exclusive expert interviews that dig deeper into the issues facing global food security and development. The must-see topics of the videos include:

  1. Rose Akaki speaks out for female farmers
  2. President of IFAD explains why money matters for smallholders
  3. Ertharin Cousin outlines the World Food Programme’s new approach
  4. African Union Commissioner shares vision for 2014
  5. New IFPRI report on best technologies for food security explained
  6. Concept of resilience takes hold
  7. FARA turns 15
  8. New report uncovers why smallholders adopt new practices
  9. Soil health creeps up global agenda
  10. Why do we need an International Year of Soils?

View the Ten Must-See Farming First Videos of 2014

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Manyinga Working Group Sets Goals for the Next Three Years

Manyinga Working Group

The Manyinga Working Group, L to R – Richard Thiessen, Wendi Thiessen, Cam Dahl, Allan Ronald, Myrna Ronald, Jody Dundas, Robynne Anderson, Dorothy Murrell, Art Enns, Jennifer Karton (missing David Bossman)

Committee members Allan and Myrna Ronald hosting a meeting of the Manyinga Working Group on Wednesday evening, at which the goals and budgets for the next three years were the topic of conversation. The project is entering a period of transition, with ongoing negotiations with the Zambian government to assume responsibility for the funding of the schools. The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas of the project that would continue to be supported by donations and begin developing transition plans for those area that would be transferred to government responsibility.

Many members had not met in person until this event, and we are all thankful to Allan and Myrna for arranging and hosting the gathering.

The Manyinga Project supports two schools built to meet the needs of orphan and vulnerable children at Chinema and Samafunda, small villages in the Manyinga region of Zambia that has been devastated by multiple public health challenges and the grinding reality of poverty.To find out more about the Manyinga Project, please visit manyinga.org.

A Small Investment Today, Returns for a Lifetime

Emerging and myself have been blessed to be involved in the Manyinga Project, supporting two schools built to meet the needs of orphan and vulnerable children at Chinema and Samafunda, small villages in the Manyinga region of Zambia that has been devastated by multiple public health challenges and the grinding reality of poverty.

The two schools have an average annual enrollment of almost 500 students, and a teaching staff of about 12. In addition to a primary education, the students receive basic health care and participate in an agriculture/self-sufficiency program in which the students grow food and raise animals in order to learn essential agriculture skills, provide for a nutritional program for the children and earn a modest income for the schools by selling the surplus.

Now is the time that many think of making an end of year donation to a worthy cause, and I would ask that you consider supporting the Manyinga Project.

Entrance to the new two-room school house the project has funded in Samafunda.

Entrance to the new two-room school house the project has funded in Samafunda.


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