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BATOURI, Cameroon (PAMACC News) - Wildlife officials in Batouri-Cameroon on Wednesday November 13, 2019 arrested two people for elephant ivory trafficking. The two were found in illegal possession of two ivory tusks. The arrest was carried out during a crackdown operation led by the Kadey Divisional Delegation for Forestry and Wildlife in collaboration with the gendarmerie. A non-governmental organization called LAGA assisted wildlife officials in the operation. The two suspects aged 30 and 29 were attempting to sell the ivory tusks in Batouri after travelling from Kenzou in the East Region with the tusks wrapped in a blanket and hidden inside a travelling bag. When they arrived the town a day before their arrest, they took up lodging at a hotel and were just about succeeding in selling the tusks when wildlife officials stepped in the hotel room to find them red handed. They violently resisted arrest as the team made swift moves to subdue and handcuffed the fighting pair. The bag of ivory was found hidden under the hotel bed. Sources close to the investigations that spoke on condition of anonymity say they are part of an even bigger network based in Kenzou which is close to the border with the Central African Republic and equally located along the Bertoua to Yokadouma road. Ivory trafficking networks have developed an illegal flourishing business there. The networks control ivory trafficking from the Central African Republic and the small town serves as a collection point for ivory coming in from the neighbouring country. Ivory and pangolin scales that arrives the country are stocked there before being moved to bigger towns such as Bertoua, Yaounde and Douala. The same sources say the one of the traffickers had been twice with ivory tusks and released without any charges made. He arrested in March 2019 in Yokadouma by the gendarmerie with over 250kg of ivory seized. He was released and no charges filed against him and wildlife officials who have competence over the management of such cases where never involved in the matter bringing to question what happened with the dozens of ivory tusks seized. He had equally been arrested with ivory tusks in Gamboula in the East Region and released with no chargers made. When traffickers are arrested and released, they simply step up the killing and trafficking in parts of protected species to make up for what they lost in terms of bribing and products seized. Elephants are classified as protected species according to the wildlife law governing the sector and over the years dozens of traffickers have been arrested in the country with ivory. This has been achieving results with substantial fall in ivory prices witnessed all over the country and also leading to a drop in the black market demand for ivory. This equally indicates the importance of international commitment in stopping the trade as China which is the main destination for ivory products have recently been making efforts to clamp down on the trade, hampering the flow of ivory into…
IBADAN, Nigeria (PAMACC News) - Journalists from Africa reporting on agriculture have been drilled on the importance of using research findings to enrich and better tell stories. The three days training November 11-13 organised by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture,IITA with support from the International Fund of Agriculture Development,IFAD in Ibadan-Nigeria brings together some 20 Journalists from different African countries.Experts say research evidence is a rich resource which could be used by journalists to create exciting stories to impact the different actors or intermediaries in the development value chain.“The works of researchers will not achieve the needed results if the target population don’t have the information. It is the role of the media to relay research results to farmers and policy makers,” says Dr. Razack Adeoti, agricultural economist, CGIAR.For example he noted that news articles based on findings from an agricultural research project on a new seed variety can inform extension workers about how to improve the crop resilience, yield, and income of farmers, noted.Participants examined among others, opportunities and challenges facing African agriculture, overcoming obstacles to reporting science and policies,reporting skills for journalists, etc.A document from IITA notes that researchers working for universities, governments or private companies are doing vital investigation into issues food security and sexual health – that directly affect the everyday life of people around the world. However they often communicate the results only to other researchers.Agriculture experts called on Journalists to help researchers get their results out to the wider public.“Research results can make good stories reason why journalists must work hand in hand with researchers,” notes Djana Mignouna ,regional economists with CGIAR.He adds that research results can create powerful stories for news and features that are directly relevant to audiences. The training accordingly offered Journalists support and ideas on using research to create debates and inform people of problems and possible solutions that can change or even save their lives.The director general of IITA Nteranya Sanginga promise to hence work with journalists to get research results to the target public.The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) accordingly,received a three-year research grant for “Enhancing capacity to apply research evidence in policy for youth engagement in agribusiness and rural economic activities in Africa” (CARE) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The grant is designed to provide opportunities to engage youth to improve the availability and use of evidence for youth policies and decision-making related to youth participation in agribusiness and rural economic activitiesThe overarching objective of the project is to improve the availability, exchange, dissemination and use of research findings in the field of agribusiness and rural economic activities from young African scholars into policy and practice in support of economic growth and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, working at local, national and regional levels in Africa.CARE ultimately intends to have an impact on youth and their partners’ capacities to deliver improved policies and investments that are effective at supporting youth in agriculture,IITA revealed.
OPINIONA recent article in the appearing in one of Kenya’s dailies titled ‘Acidic soils deal blow to food security efforts’ painted a true picture of the soil health condition in some parts of the country. However, it is important to note that soil health is just one of the aspects that determine crop yields. If a farmer plants low quality seed in healthy soils, then the yields will still disappoint. Adoption of good agronomic practices and timing of the planting period based on the prevailing climatic conditions also determines the yields – particularly for farmers who rely on rainfall. Overall having assurance at the marketing end serves as a great incentive for farmers to uptake appropriate seeds, appropriate fertilizers, good agronomic practices and other technologies.It therefore calls for an integrated approach of the above elements augmented with reliable weather and climate information services, and extension service provision to advise farmers on particular agronomical practices based on agroecological zones.It is also important to note that as much as Kenyan soils are already ‘sick,’ there is a lot happening on the ground with various organizations working out solutions to the existing problems as Kenya walk towards a green revolution and self reliance.In 2014 for example, with support from the World Bank and the European Union, the National Accelerated Agricultural Inputs Access Programme (NAAIAP) in collaboration with Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO) and the Department of Kenya Soil Survey undertook a study to evaluate soil suitability for maize production in Kenya, where over 4000 soil samples were analyzed. One of the aims of this survey was to identify key soil fertility constraints so as to improve crop yield within the project areas, and to provide recommendations of most appropriate fertilizer formulation/blend for the cropping systems and soil fertility combinations.As a result, there was no one all inclusive recommendation for Kenyan farmers. Different counties and sub-counties had different types of soils that required different forms of interventions to meet the crop nutrients demand for improved productivity.Following these results, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) commissioned another study in 2018, which identified some key issues constraining the effectiveness of the Kenyan fertilizer system. One of them was lack of awareness among smallholder famers about the availability of fertilizer blends in the market.But even worse, the study reported inadequate knowledge and capacity among the fertilizer companies to manufacture appropriate balanced fertilizer blends and other soil amelioration inputs such as lime.In addition, some of the lime producing companies continues to produce the powder form of lime while others have granulated lime all of which are of different quality and reactivity hence different application rates are recommended to farmers. The study further found that some of the companies do not even have capacity to granulate the lime. There is also need to explore possibilities of blending the multi-nutrient fertilizers with the granulated lime to reduce labour costs for farmers.Until recently, the country had relied predominantly on commodity fertilizers DAP, NPK, urea and CAN.…
Press statement It is now official: Chile will not host COP25. In a speech on Wednesday, President Sebastian Piñera blamed a fortnight of civil unrest for the 11th hour cancelation. The fallouts that led to Chile’s withdrawal from hosting COP25 have been immediate. The UNFCCC is now in a frantic search for an alternative venue. Across the world, governments and other actors of the global climate change movement are grappling with logistical headaches. It is the first time a host has pulled the plugs on a major climate change gathering. In every sense, the organisational challenges that will beset the coming weeks will be huge, widespread and will leave long-terms consequences. It also creates a leadership crisis. Chile plans to continue chairing COP25 despite not hosting the summit. If the UNFCCC eventually finds a new venue, as it would likely do, it would take exceptional leadership to coordinate between Chile, the new host and the UNFCCC Secretariat. Even then, COP25 would, at best, be cast in the shadow of the Chilean crisis and the consequences of its last-minute change of heart. The cancellation of Santiago 2019 was to be expected. Chile’s ongoing political unrests are the worst in nearly two decades. Transport infrastructure has been severely damaged in Santiago and there are no signs that the security situation in the country will improve significantly to host thousands of delegates to the climate change summit. Even then, rumours of this eventuality began spreading during SB50 in Bonn, Germany last June . With little prevision, the chaos caused by the last-minute withdrawal could have been minimised. President Piñera has demonstrated a lack of foresight in his management of the COP25 chairmanship. Only last week, he was still adamant that the country would host the climate summit, as well as the Asia Pacific Economic Forum. Yet, it now appears no plans were made to deal with a damaged transport system in Santiago and the obvious logistical and security challenges of hosting thousands of people from around the world. This will be a huge loss for Chile. The choice of Santiago to host the COP25 seemed sensible in many ways. Until the recent unrests, Chile was one of the most stable countries in Latin America. It was a significantly better option to Brazil, which had just elected a climate change-denier and fiercely right-wing President. Chile was preferred over Costa Rica on the assumption that it had a better capacity to deal with the huge logistical challenges that come with hosting a COP. In the end, it is these assumptions that have helped expose the precarity of Chilean politics. We believe attention should now turn to President Piñera’s handling of the ongoing crisis and its fallouts. Respecting the rights of citizens is fundamental to our collective effort to address climate change and the range of intertwined challenges that now face humanity. We can no longer have governments that cannot assure the rights of its people at the helm of global climate change negotiations. Clearly, Chile…
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