Posted tagged ‘news’

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Evolve from ‘capitalist markets’ to ‘social markets’

February 25, 2015

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Evolve from ‘capitalist markets’ to ‘social markets’

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

 

The ‘capitalist market’ (or simply ‘market’) is the haven of financial predators and market sharks, while the absence of market is the homestead of the rent-seeker and exclusively-privileged partocrat (single party bureaucrat). As the cases of the ‘mixed economies’ and that of China’s have demonstrated, the market impeccably performs a   pivotal role in stimulating growth & development, and should not be wished away too soon. Rather, we should evolve a market that is not a ‘pure market’ in the classical sense.

As experiences world-wide have transparently indicated, leaving everything to the market redounds to: (a) diminished welfare, as indicated by low wages, low accessibility to social services, high unemployment, and massive exploitation of labor; (b) ecological disaster, indicated by environmental degradation, depleted natural resource base, destruction of indigenous communities and their natural habitats; (c) speculation in the capital and realty markets, leading to further instabilities and proneness to shocks, both internal and external; and, (d) lackluster product innovation due to low value given to S&T development, in societies where there is a lack of entrepreneurs, such as the Philippine case demonstrates.

The balance lies in developing a ‘social market’, where concern for private initiatives as well as for welfare are harmonized and balanced, while at the same time controlling speculation and optimizing conditions that induce innovations. Within the context of a social market, there should increasingly evolve ‘social enterprises’ or collectively-owned enterprises: cooperatives, people’s corporations, grammin, and other related types that are rising though still at an experimental phase. While private enterprises should continue to prevail, large-scale enterprises should begin to innovate on new physical asset-ownership schemes that would eventually see a large portion of the assets co-owned by ordinary folks and corporate employees. In the long run, the ‘social market’ will be a terrain where both wealth gaining and welfare providing functions will be fused exquisitely, signifying the end of state-induced welfare and the return of welfare functions to communities.

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004. For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

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NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Go back to basic needs

January 20, 2015

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Go back to basic needs

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

 

“Spend for your needs but save as much as you can!” would be an apt idiom that could encapsulate the need to build up national savings within the context of an increasingly consumer-driven economy. It is argued that moderate consumption would be a most fitting behavior in today’s context, while under-consumption and over-consumption are out as they could burn us all out in the process. Consumption saved the day for us in the aftermath of the Asian crisis in 1997, so there is no reason to be morally repulsive about consumerism—provided that it should be a moderated consumerism. Low consumerism brings us back to export-driven strategies, our aggregated wealth production subjected to the vagaries of external markets that are beyond our control; high consumerism, contributing further to high debt levels, as the credit card culture entice people to acquire more articles of consumption through debts, perennially driving our economy to ‘bubble bursts’.

The emerging situation should have taught our market players the appropriate lessons at this time. The era of omnipresent and omnipotent markets—for goods of relatively ageless utility, stored in large inventories—is now a foregone era. What we have now is fragmented markets (chaos economics explains this well; see Tom Peters’ works), so the adjustment would be in the form of market niches. Market players should veer away from storing large inventories of a broad array of products, as obsolescence and changing consumer taste undermine the profit-gaining side of such a practice. Rather, they should be sensitive to emerging demands, and customize services and/or tangible goods based on such demands. We Filipinos particularly change taste so often, “madaling magsawa” as we say it in the vernacular. Which means that fixed products, based on fixed ideas, are simply out of context and out-of-date, and must be reformulated towards more flexible product mixes matrixed with constantly emerging ideas.

On a macro-scale, there is the continuing need to ensure ‘food security’ and its expression in other sectors as well. We should continue to be sensitive to the needs of the larger economy, such as the need for capital goods. We should design ‘vital & strategic commodity security’ frameworks and policies through a combination of domestic production of such goods as well as importation strategies. The continuing absence of strategic industries such as integrated steel could prove degenerative for development efforts such as it has done to our country, while completely shutting us off the international markets for some other goods could likewise be deleterious in the long run since domestic producers would be exercising rent-seeking, pricing articles way beyond five hundred percent (500%) of their opportunity costs as amply demonstrated by industrial chemicals (before the country began importing from China). As current experiments in grain & livestock management show, with appreciable success, the strategy should be to combine domestically produced goods with imported articles, the proper mix of which should be the subject of continuing eco-scanning and constant studies. In the end, all of our individual, community and national needs will be met, building stability and security amid a ‘chaotic’ or turbulent global condition.

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004. For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?…ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING

February 25, 2014

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?…ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

We cannot deny, as shown by evidences, that Earth changes are taking place today. There are no fixed interpretations of the changes though, and the scientific community is the least unified about such interpretations.

Whether the fixed idea of ‘global warming is carbon-based monstrosity’ is fully accepted across the sciences and civic groups remains as a hot issue. It is, for one thing, too contentious, and in my opinion as a social scientist, too reductionist with pugnacious eco-fascist underpinnings.

Astronomers have recently reported updates about all planets of the solar system undergoing changes in their polar areas. Even the sun does not escape its own equivalent changes that have repercussions on the electromagnetic belt of our very own planet.

Unfortunately, global Establishment media and information niches have released the news in separate, isolated packets so that they won’t be noticed by the public, thus sustaining the rather erroneous and suspicious fixed idea of a carbon-based or human intervention-induced Earth changes.

Below is a news item about an Australian rocket scientist who was previously among the most vocal interpellators of a carbon-based global warming problematic. The same scientist has now backtracked on his previous statement, indicating as such the disagreements within the scientific community about the subject.

[27 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

 

Former Global Warming Rocket Scientist Cools to Reality

July 18, 2008 (EIRNS)—

An Australian Greenhouse Office consultant from 1999 to 2005, David Evans, now slams the global warming theory he once supported. In an opinion piece in Rupert Murdoch’s national newspaper, The Australian, Evans stated that: I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.”We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.”

Evans said he initially thought the evidence seemed “pretty good,” but had admitted it was not conclusive. Now he says straight out: “There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. [They are] going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.”

VATICAN OKEYED ALIENS’ EXISTENCE, WILL WORLD POWERS FOLLOW SUIT?

February 11, 2014

VATICAN OKEYED ALIENS’ EXISTENCE, WILL WORLD POWERS FOLLOW SUIT?

Erle Frayne  Argonza

 

The BRA (Britain-America-Russia) ‘triumvirate of alien researchers’ holds something so special in their respective vaults of knowledge that each power held as top secret for many decades now. It has a great deal to do with the Extra-Terrestrial Intelligences or ETIs, the results of which were actually inferred through systematic research and interaction with ETIs. 

The question that the rest of us Earth humans or Earthans are asking now is, why has there been so much secrecy regarding the ETI phenomenon? Does it suffice to claim that humanity is not prepared yet for the knowledge about the ETIs, and so the policy of the BRA Establishment is to keep mum about the matter? Or is it because the knowledge derived from the research is of military significance, and anything militarily-oriented is classified information?

We could say that all of the above reasons held true last century, more so in the decades after World War I. Humanity was still mired in superstition and Victorian mindsets than, the level of knowledge was still in the level of the Enlightenment Era and was pathetically narrow to comprehend ETIs, and the military information given by the ETIs whom the BRA interacted with were pure and plain classified.

But that was true for the 20th century though. Mankind had moved on since those early exploratory decades. It may be time to make public pronouncements about the ETIs.

Fact is, the Nazi Germans were the first to study the ETIs intensively and may have received knowledge from some ETI groups. The same knowledge may have been used to design the nuclear bomb, and were it not that Allied onslaught wiped out German military production altogether, the same Bomb could have been dropped on Germany’s enemies, permitting Germany to establish its 1000-year Reich. Japan and Italy could have benefitted enormously from the 1000-year tyranny, thanks to ETI technology.

It did not happen that way though. The BRA countries, which were the core leaders of the Allied Forces, also had their own intensive R&D done on the subject, at the same time when relativity theory and quantum mechanics were revolutionizing the sciences. They later got hold of Nazi scientists who were ETI researchers, and secretly employed the same in their own research pursuits.

But another world power, the Vatican, silently observed those occurrences during the past decades. Little did the world outside know that after Vatican II, the church installed its own ETI research bureau, headed by a cardinal and staffed with scientist priests and lay. The bureau was instrumental in collating previous data and evidences, the most baffling being some skulls of unusual shape—deposited in Vatican relics—that do not at all cohere with any of the hominoid and hominid skulls known to man. These were alien skulls right inside the Vatican!

As the Vatican ETI bureau did its work silently, only occasionally coming out with seemingly independent views by church members, it also secured its own information about what the BRA ‘triumvirate’ was doing about ETI and their state-of-the-art technological applications.

Now that the planet had entered the starting phase of its post-industrial, Information Age phase, humans are simply ready to accept knowledge about their own brethren beyond our star systems. The Vatican was expecting that the secular BRA triumvirate, reinforced by UN and international scientific circles, should make the pronouncement now, at this very moment, when people are looking for some hope to be able to get out of the growing global chaos.

But the BRA officialdom failed to do its part, for one reason or another. And this could have prompted the Vatican hierarchy to do the first salvo of revelation, by utilizing an astronomer priest to pronounce the official policy about ETIs. Accordingly, God created many life forms and life streams, including human-related beings, and so ETIs are well within the ambit of the integrity of Creation. 

What a bombshell this revelation is! A true bombshell! Now the Vatican is examining the public feedback from the pronouncement to see if there are hostile or antipathetic thoughts whatsoever. And there are none! Which now empowers the Church all the more, mandating it to make the official heraldry about ETIs in the next couple of years.  

There’s no way that the BRA countries would counter this move with PR slanders against the Church for the latter to keep its mouth shut. No force on Earth can do that on the Vatican, remember. Or else the Church will mastermind the economic collapse and fragmentation of the world power involved, this being its sanguine leverage against any arrogantly abusive power.

[28 May 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

VATICAN’S ALIEN BOMBSHELL, GLOBAL OLIGARCHS’ ALIEN GENES

February 3, 2014

VATICAN’S ALIEN BOMBSHELL, GLOBAL OLIGARCHS’ ALIEN GENES

Erle Frayne  Argonza

In a previous article, this writer tackled the ETI research that has gone on among the BRA countries (BRA is short for Britain- America- Russia), that there has been so much secrecy about the subject. As this was happening, another world power, the Vatican, silently did its own research, and had stumbled upon information whose impact not only humiliates world powers but could also devastate the financier-industrial oligarchs completely. 

The secrecy behind the ETI phenomenon, according to my own researches both as a social scientist and as a mystic (who secures high knowledge by yoga methods), has got so much to do both with the real existence of ETIs and the technologies they passed on to the BRA countries, technologies regarded as classified information because they are militarily-oriented. 

But there’s another secrecy which is hardly any secret to the ‘3rd Force’, the Vatican: that our very own creation, as Earth humans, cannot be set apart from a cosmic creation that includes human and human-related species on other planets in some other star systems. Furthermore, the Vatican may well be knowledgeable about the very special knowledge that we Earth humans were created with the aid of ETIs.  

As theosophical founder Blavatsky was saying, nature by itself cannot evolve humans whose consciousness are sparks from God. Over 1 million planets across the physical universe were habitable, thanks to their life support systems, by human species. Such indeed was the case, as we mystics accepted, that human life-streams were created by the ‘pitris’ (fathers or collectively Father), that we peoples of Earth were aided in creation and evolution by the ‘lunar pitris’ (lunar fathers) and ‘solar pitris’ (solar fathers) in the very ancient times.  

There is no way that this information, knowledge-based this time, can be hidden from the Church, which silently did its own task of researching on the subject. And maybe, to its own horror, it could have stumbled upon information that some of the leading families among the world’s elites themselves are not pure homo sapiens but are in fact hybrid aliens.  

The hybridization points out to the Reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis, or Reptoids, who are acknowledged as contributory to the evolution of present Earth humans or Earthans. The negative characteristics of cold bloodedness, deception, manipulation, domineering, and so on, are heritage of the Reptoids. There isn’t one of us who doesn’t possess this genetic sub-stream (of reptilian traits), though our main human form was patterned largely after the Neanderthals and cro-magnon by our ETI ‘pitris’.  

However, there is still a narrower stream of present humans who had a more advanced hybridization program, done in the past, that makes them part human and part reptile. The reptilian side of them ensures occult powers that can enable its gene holders to be in constant contact with Higher Powers of whatever nature, possibly evil. The same Powers can them help these gene-holders to monopolize power and wealth across countries and regions.  

The Church could have stumbled on such knowledge, and maintains it as information to leverage its own powers in the future. But the Church ETI bureau could also be aware of the fact that this information can’t be held for long, because peoples’ 3rd eyes are gradually opening due to the vibratory changes in the Earth’s own frequency. Sooner or later the elites, who possess the Draconian bloodline, and others who may be hybrid Zeta Reticuli (Grey, like the one on ET film and Indiana Jones), will be discovered by the more sensitive Earthans without aid of yogic meditation or vision.  

Imagine the great shock that will meet many people, probably as high as 40% of our population, in the coming years when their 3rd eyes will enable perception of Reptoid hybrids. Leaders of states, big business, big media, corporate foundations, international NGOs will be affected by the unveiling of the ‘energy veil’ and will no longer be able to hide their true identities.  

That includes you, fellows. Many of you will be able to see with your own eyes. We mystics, being adept at yogic visioning, have already perceived them in advance of the rest. But we’ve kept quite silent about our shocking discoveries. Now the Vatican is taking the cudgels for us all, including us mystics, and we may as well welcome the Vatican ETI bombshell. This could be for our good in the long run. 

[28 May 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

CRITICAL STATE OF PLANET

May 12, 2012

CRITICAL STATE OF PLANET

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Social scientists over the last decade came up with researches that show an alarming increase of patters pointing to a critical state of the planet. Man’s intrusive intervention in many spheres of life has scaled up, sufficient to cause a tipping point towards even greater uncertainties.

The interconnectedness of politics, economics, culture, and institutions of private sphere has entered a seemingly new phase of even greater couplings. Thus, the very wellbeing of human civilization is at risk of catastrophic results of interventions that tip off to the uncontrollable.

Today, there has been a greater need for scientists across disciplines to come together and look at the problems in multi-faceted ways, added to anticipating models of emerging realities that project the different dimensions concerned.

Below is a very interesting sum up of the views of scientists on the state of the planet.

[Philippines, 19 April 2012]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/planet-under-pressure-2012-2/news/planet-is-in-critical-state-warns-science-declaration.html
Planet is in critical state, warns science declaration
Aisling Irwin
30 March 2012 | EN | ES
[LONDON] Earth has only one decade to pull itself back from various environmental ‘tipping points’ — points at which the damage becomes irreversible, scientists have said.
If it fails to do so, it is likely to witness a series of breakdowns in the systems that sustain people, such as oceans and soil, according to a major meeting on safeguarding the planet’s future, the Planet Under Pressure conference (26–29 March).
“Research now demonstrates that the continued functioning of the Earth system as it has supported the wellbeing of human civilization in recent centuries is at risk,” said some of the world’s leading documenters of global environmental change in the first ‘State of the Planet’ declaration.
They also admitted that scientists could no longer continue with ‘business as usual’.
This article is part of our Planet Under Pressure 2012 coverage — which takes place 26–29 March 2012. To read insights from our conference team please visit our blog.
“We have been far better at documenting the problem and understanding the processes than engaging with solutions,” said Mark Stafford Smith, science director of the Climate Adaptation Flagship at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia’s national science agency.
Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, in Sweden, said it was “absolutely shocking” that scientists had not answered questions such as “how much biodiversity [do] we need in order to sustain landscapes for our economy?”.
He told a press conference: “I and many scientists are still profoundly frustrated that we don’t know whether we are heading for a two degree or six degree temperature rise — that’s not satisfactory for any decision makers”.
The declaration says that three changes over the last decade make scientists’ warnings qualitatively different from before.
First, a decade of research is leading to the consensus that we inhabit a new epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans are dominating planetary-scale processes.
Second, science has revealed that many planetary processes are interconnected, as are, increasingly, society and the economy. This interconnectedness can confer stability and accelerate innovation, says the declaration, but it also leaves us vulnerable to abrupt and rapid crises.
Third, social research has demonstrated that our current ways of governing global environmental change are not dealing effectively with problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Many researchers conclude that local, national and regional partnerships are also needed as an insurance policy against failures of governance at a global level.
The declaration supports some of the ideas that are being promoted for inclusion in the Rio+20 agreement, to be finalised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (20–22 June) in Brazil.
These include: the need to go beyond GDP (gross domestic product) by taking into account the value of natural capital when measuring progress; a framework for developing global sustainability goals; the creation of a UN Sustainable Development Council to integrate social, economic and environmental policy at the global level; and the production of regular global sustainability analyses.
One key outcome of the meeting was agreement on the need to push forward a scheme to redirect global change science, so-called ‘Future Earth’, which will pull together an wide variety of disciplines to answer questions that societies need to tackle.
Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO, who attended the final day, praised the Future Earth initiative for being “unprecedented in its creativity”.
Liz Thomson, executive coordinator of the Rio+20 summit, told the meeting that many of the messages from the scientific community, which has been lobbying for some time over the Rio+20 agreement, had already made it into the ‘zero draft’ of Rio+20’s outcome document, and that the declaration would “increase the pressure on policymakers to get the message and act on it”.
The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon said in a recorded address that he was “taking forward” a recommendation from his high-level science panel that he appoint a science advisor.
Co-chair of the meeting, Lidia Brito, director of science policy and capacity building in natural sciences at UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), said: “We have a positive message: strong leadership from all sectors, and harnessing [our] increased connectivity, offer hope that the risk of long-term environmental crises can be minimised”.
But some delegates said that while the conference linked natural and social scientists, it was less successful in luring policymakers and business representatives.
Nigel Cameron, president of the US-based Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, told the meeting that he did not see venture capitalists or heads of research and development from industry “around the table … and the reason for that is that the people around the table don’t want them [there]”.
And others said that scientists might be overestimating the influence they could have. Carlos Nobre, of Brazil’s ministry of science, technology and innovation, talked of “the stark reality of anti-science political power … no matter how good we become as communicators we have to recognize it is very effective at blocking action”.
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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA SOCIAL BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://talangguro.blogfree.net, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://efdargon.multiply.com,
http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://www.facebook.com

DEVELOPMENT SITES:
http://www.adb.org, http://www.asean.org, http://www.bis.org, http://www.devex.com, http://www.eldis.org, http://www.fao.org, http://www.icc-cpi.int, http://www.imf.org, http://www.iom.int, http://www.scidev.net, http://www.un.org, http://www.undp.org, http://www.unescap.org, http://www.unesco.org, http://www.unhabitat.org, http://www.unhcr.org, http://www.unido.org, http://www.unis.unvienna.org, http://www.who.int, http://www.worldbank.org, http://www.wto.org

VISIONING AFRICAN FUTURE FARMS

May 12, 2012

VISIONING AFRICAN FUTURE FARMS

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Africa’s agriculture research & development has come a long way since the ‘take-off’ decades of the post-colonial era. Slow and slowed further by internecine conflicts as well (political-military), conflicts that were bred by the polarity games of the Western oligarchy aimed at controlling Africans in the long term, science R&D as a whole sputtered across the decades.

The landscape has since changed, as political stability in the fractious countries have quite cemented. Funding for research from the emerging markets has salved the funds lack of enthused researchers. End-users have increased from local to global.

Just exactly what innovative ways can be launched across the decades for the whole continent that would, in the main, reverse the food production problems of Africans and ensure food security in the very long run?

An interesting interview of the African food security expert Denis Kyetere is shown below.

[Philippines, 18 April 2012]

Source: http://www.scidev.net/en/agriculture-and-environment/features/q-a-denis-kyetere-on-innovative-technologies-for-africa-s-farmers–1.html
Q&A: Denis Kyetere on innovative technologies for Africa’s farmers
Busani Bafana
5 April 2012 | EN
Kyetere: ‘We must understand the specific challenges our farmers face, prioritize them, and apply science to seeking a solution’
Denis Kyetere, executive director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, outlines his vision for the continent’s farmers.
At the start of this year, Denis Kyetere, a prominent Ugandan geneticist and plant breeder, assumed his new post as executive director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), a non-profit organisation that promotes partnerships to deliver appropriate agricultural technologies to smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Kyetere studied in Uganda, the United Kingdom and the United States. His previous roles include director of research at the Coffee Research Institute, and board chair of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa. Prior to his arrival at the AATF, he had served for five years as director-general of Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation.
As a scientist, his achievements include being a member of the research team that identified and mapped the maize streak virus gene 1, and the subsequent development of the virus-resistant maize variety Longe 1, which is now grown widely in Uganda.
SciDev.Net spoke to Kyetere about his vision for the AAFT and the foundation’s efforts in research and technology development for African farmers.
What are your priorities in taking the helm of the AATF?
My key priority will be supporting AATF’s mission — to ensure smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to the same affordable and productive agriculture technologies available to farmers in most parts of the world.
To do this I will focus on innovative partnerships and effective product stewardship. In addition, I want to expand our resource and technology base.
Would you say that current investment by governments and private sector in technology use in agriculture is adequate?
In Africa, it is generally not adequate, especially when one notes that most of the continent is still battling age-old problems of pests and diseases and facing new challenges such as the changing growing conditions caused by climate change.
However, it is important to note that African governments are aware of the need to increase investments in agriculture, as evidenced in the Maputo Declaration in 2003, where governments committed to allocating at least ten per cent of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development.
We have also seen encouraging efforts by some countries such as Ghana and Malawi, which have made enormous progress by investing more in agriculture. As a continent, we have still not reached the desired investment levels — levels that will see Africa attain meaningful growth. As historical evidence from places like the United States and Asia shows, investing in agriculture leads to improvements in the broader economy.
Recently Malawi showed that, even with the few challenges that cropped up, indeed, increasing investments in our farmers pays dividends. We need to continue urging our governments to invest more since there is enormous evidence showing that it makes a difference in terms of boosting agricultural productivity and overall economic growth.
Are African farmers taking advantage of the available agricultural technologies to boost food productivity?
In Africa, there are different types of farmers and farming systems that influence technology use.
Large commercial farmers in countries such as South Africa have different needs to smallholders in a country such as Uganda, which makes it difficult to generalise. However, I believe I would not be off the mark to say that technology use is generally low, especially among smallholder, resource-challenged farmers. There are many factors that contribute to this, such as financial constraints, lack of credit, and lack of awareness of available technologies. But perhaps the most crippling aspect is related to market access.
Farmers are entrepreneurs and where opportunities and markets exist, I believe that farmers are entrepreneurs and where opportunities are available and markets exist, they will do what they can to benefit. Where markets are not readily accessible, farmers will see technology investments as a risk. But we also need to expand our extension services so that farmers are at least more aware and able to take advantage of valuable technologies that are appropriate for their farming systems.
The case of maize hybrid seeds is a good example of a beneficial technology that is making a difference in increasing yields but has yet to be widely used by farmers in Africa. Zimbabwe, for instance, was an early beneficiary of hybrid maize [developed through the Zimbabwe national maize breeding programme]. It contributed to doubling maize production between 1980 and 1986.
Which technologies have worked, and which have not, for smallholder farmers in Africa?
I would say technologies that have worked are those that have made a difference to the particular issue that farmers had to address in the first place. Technologies come in different forms, aiming at addressing different constraints and farmers’ selection will be based on their need at the time. A few examples come to mind.
In Kenya, maize yields started to increase following the adoption of hybrid maize varieties and the accompanying high fertilizer use in the 1980s such that by 1986, average national yields were over two tonnes per hectare. To date about 80 per cent of farmers have adopted hybrid maize in the country.
The New Rice for Africa (NERICA) rice varieties developed by the Africa Rice Center have gained popularity among rice farmers in a relatively short period of time. The NERICA varieties have good agronomic performance and are resistant to harsh growing conditions, and have short growth duration. These are traits that are very attractive to farmers. NERICA varieties have shown great potential and are already disseminated on an estimated more than 300,000 hectares.
The other technology that has worked is the fertilizer micro-dosing technique which has reintroduced fertilizer use in countries such as Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. In West Africa, some 25,000 smallholder farmers in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have learned the technique and experienced increases in sorghum and millet yields of 44 to 120 per cent, along with an increase in their family incomes of 50 to 130 per cent.
How can we best put scientific research on agricultural technologies to practical use in Africa?
First, we must understand the specific challenges our farmers face, prioritise them, and apply science to seeking a solution. Second, we need to ensure policymakers are our partners [and] can consider how certain policies and strategic investments in scientific research can lead to meaningful progress for our farmers and our countries.
Do you think Africa has prioritised the role of research and technology in developing its agriculture?
Yes, I believe it has as different countries recognise that scientific research has a role to play in contributing to overall development and have stated this in their planning documents and even at the continental level. What we may still need to see are more instances in which this stated commitment is put into action, so that research can benefit from country budgets and policy discussions.
Where do you see AATF in five years?
AATF is already making inroads in facilitating the development and delivery of innovative technologies that will make a difference to the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Africa. In five years time some of the projects that AATF is participating in such as striga control in maize will have been widely adopted by farmers and made a difference to their lives.
The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, which is developing drought-tolerant maize varieties, and the cowpea improvement project that is working on insect-resistant varieties of the legume, will be at the deployment stage, with some initial varieties already in the hands of local seed companies and farmers. This will be a major milestone for the Foundation.
I also see AATF able to establish new partnerships that will enable it access and add more innovative technologies to its portfolio that will address already identified constraints facing smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, we may also see AATF able to partner with more countries to increase access to appropriate technologies for resource-poor farmers.
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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA WEBSITE: http://erleargonza.com

ARGONZA SOCIAL BLOGS & LINKS:
http://erleargonza.blogspot.com, https://unladtau.wordpress.com, http://www.facebook.com, http://www.newciv.org, http://sta.rtup.biz, http://magicalsecretgarden.socialparadox.com, http://en.netlog.com/erlefrayne, http://talangguro.blogfree.net, http://www.blogster.com/erleargonza, http://efdargon.multiply.com,
http://internationalpeaceandconflict.org, http://erleargonza.seekopia.com, http://lovingenergies.spruz.com, http://www.articlesforfree.net, http://www.facebook.com

DEVELOPMENT SITES:
http://www.adb.org, http://www.asean.org, http://www.bis.org, http://www.devex.com, http://www.eldis.org, http://www.fao.org, http://www.icc-cpi.int, http://www.imf.org, http://www.iom.int, http://www.scidev.net, http://www.un.org, http://www.undp.org, http://www.unescap.org, http://www.unesco.org, http://www.unhabitat.org, http://www.unhcr.org, http://www.unido.org, http://www.unis.unvienna.org, http://www.who.int, http://www.worldbank.org, http://www.wto.org