African women adopt smart solutions for climate change

Climate-smart agriculture practices are helping to counter the devastating conditions faced by farmers in Africa in recent years. Sithembile Ndema Mwamakamba is Programme Manager for the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), a longstanding CTA partner. She explains how women are at the forefront of farmers’ efforts to build resilience to climate change.


Making Farming Smart and Sustainable

Making Farming Smart and Sustainable which Involves linking Data to information to knowledge to wisdom is a pillar for availability and usability of key data for farmers.

The vast majority of smallholder farmers live in remote areas, where good, fast internet connectivity reaches less than 30% of the population. Women constitute almost half of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, yet they are less likely to access the internet than men in the same communities.

If this “digital divide” were closed, smallholder farmers could access information and knowledge-related to weather, rainfall or market demand, allowing them to grow and harvest food more efficiently. Timing has increasingly become a key source of competitiveness, and access to real-time information is crucial. To be truly transformational, internet access must be reliable, affordable and secure.

My resources, while significant, represent only a fraction of what is needed. Collaborating effectively with others maximizes our collective impact in helping farming families.

Youth Can Farm

Generally youth are willing to adopt new ideas and technologies and therefore agricultural extension services should target youth to transform agriculture. The youth could be the
ideal catalyst to change the poor image of persons involved in agriculture, especially in the rural communities given their greater possibility to adapt new ideas, concept and technology which are all important to changing the way agriculture is practiced and perceived. Agricultural extension services can effectively address these issues
by encouraging and supporting youth  participation in agriculture. Improving their capacities and increasing their involvement will also help in changing the negative perception about farmers as “uneducated and unskilled, physical labourers engaged in a glamourless vocation with extremely low economic returns”.

Soil Management

Soil Management, the basis of all scientific agriculture, which involves six essential practices: proper tillage; maintenance of a proper supply of organic matter in the soil; maintenance of a proper nutrient supply; control of soil pollution; maintenance of the correct soil acidity; and control of erosion.

Web2.0 and Social Media for Development Lusaka,2012.

By Shepherd Mulwanda,

While in my learning i have discovered  that Web 2.0 refers to free or low-cost interactive web-based services that help people share information and collaborate online more easily than with earlier tools,and it emphasizes the possibility for many people to share and collaborate, not just the “webmasters” or people with advanced technical skills. In short Web 2.0 is primarily a social, rather than a technological evolution.


These web-based tools often called “social media” because they go beyond content, to our connection to that content and to each other and we can use them for development. In this view Social media makes it easy for us to work across four broad areas which include;
1.connecting with other people via social networks;
2.collaborating and doing things with other people;
3.creating and sharing content; and
4.finding, using, organizing and reusing content.

Social networking is the practice of individuals connecting and communicating around a common interest using online tools and social networking sites.Social networking sites are websites that provide the technology for social networking, including;profiles,discussions,email,social network visualization tools that show our connections to other people in a picture; and content sharing tools.

The photo below shows people with common interest sharing information.

social media

Collaborating via groupware
While social media tools connect us, they also help us do things together.
With the understanding gained  now i will use of some of these tools to coordinate a remote work group or create a channel of communication with other organizations and Friends.
There tools are sometimes called “groupware” because they are designed to help groups with specific features to;
plan,do tasks together,share resources,communicate, and create the possibility of joint action or collaboration.
The focus of these tools is getting things done. More and more people in development have to work with people who are scattered around the world, and these tools help.
However, working with groupware requires more than technology. Teams and groups must establish working agreements and processes, as well as have clear goals and roles. Actually Without these, groupware is often ignored and work doesn’t get done.

Creating and publishing – user generated content
The other amazing thing is knowing the fact that social media allows people to publish out to the world via the Internet. No longer are traditional media or big, well-resourced organizations the only ones who are creating and disseminating information.Not only can anyone publish text, but also share links, photos, audio and video.
So now when we have people with limited ability to read and write, they can use video or audio to share ideas. Content can be uploaded to share and downloaded to use offline in areas of limited connectivity.The value here is that content made available on the internet becomes available as a global public good, not just a private thing stuck on someone’s hard drive on their computer.

Finding, organizing and re-using
Through the learning i have seen how people can find others with common interests, create content and collaborate.
With all this content available, there needs to be ways to easily find, organize and even re-use this content in creative ways.
Content can be useful to someone else. For example, teachers may search for curricula posted by other teachers, then adapt it to their local context. Social media helps us do this!
There are a number of key strategies for working with content using social media. They include;Collaborative Searching, Finding and Filtering Content,Tagging Content,Rating or Commenting on Content and Re-using or Re-mixing Content.

The tags allow the same piece of content to be identified in different ways by different people. They also allows us to filter a vast amount of content based on how many people tagged it, with the assumption they found it valuable.

All in all i can say with Social media will help you to connect and interact with other people, collaborate and do things with others even at great distances, create and share content, and find, use and organize content that is relevant in your work.

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