| September 13, 2010

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    First we’d like to welcome our new subscribers:  Makgethwa Mphogo from the Higher Learning Institution, in South Africa; Hubert Abikanlou from La Cible Production, in Benin; Mark Ndipita from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, in Malawi; Hamisi Masasa from the Tanzania Agricultural Partnership, in Tanzania; Bertrand Lambo from GIC, Justin Nekoanoudji from Radio vie et développement de Tcholliré and Jude Viban from Foundation Radio, all three from Cameroun and finally, Albert Inima from Community Foundation Western Province, in Kenya.

    This week, we bring you the last of our four stories on soil health. In this week’s story, farmers in dry regions of Burkina Faso plant trees around their fields and find that soils and yields improve.

    The four stories from around Africa have covered farmers’ experiences with compost, contour farming, stone barriers and the use of trees to promote soil health. Together with the script package on soil health, we hope these make a useful resource for your programming. We welcome your reactions and experiences. We’d like to thank The McLean Foundation for supporting the soil health package. For easy reference, here are the previous stories on soil health:

    Malawi: For good yields, feed the soil:  http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/08/23/1-malawi-for-good-yields-feed-the-soil-by-gladson-makowa-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-malawi/

    Madagascar: Improving soil health and fertility with agroecology: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/08/30/1-madagascar-improving-soil-health-and-fertility-with-agroecology-by-armel-gentien-fao-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-madagascar/

    Uganda: Farmers adopt contour farming and plant trees on the slopes of Mount Elgon: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/09/06/1-uganda-farmers-adopt-contour-farming-and-plant-trees-on-the-slopes-of-mount-elgon-by-sawa-pius-for-farm-radio-weekly-in-uganda/

    Our second news story this week is about a cross-border co-operative, and arises from the 2010 FANRPAN (Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network) Regional Food Security Policy Dialogue held in Windhoek, Namibia at the beginning of September. Over 200 policymakers, farmers, scientists and non-governmental organizations met to address African priorities on food security and climate change. IPS Terra Viva Africa covered the event. We will bring you another story from this gathering next week.

    Small-scale agriculture in Africa is very much back on the international development agenda and in the news this week. Farmers in Niger are currently suffering the effects of flooding after months of drought, as you can read in our news brief. Wheat prices are rising, which has caused people to riot in Maputo, Mozambique, as the price of bread rose by 30 per cent. Meanwhile, Kofi Annan received the Borlaug Medallion from the World Food Prize Foundation.  This recognizes his commitment to improving food security in Africa. Mr. Annan is chair of the board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, AGRA, which works to achieve food security in Africa. He said, “The time is right to invest in African agriculture and our smallholder farmers.”

    Those of you reading this by email may notice that we have made a few slight changes to the layout. To read the non-news items in full, you will need to click on the links and access the newsletter on our website. We are making some technical improvements to the way we distribute the newsletter and we would like to know how this affects you. Does your internet connection allow you to click through easily and quickly? Send us your thoughts as we work to improve our systems: farmradioweekly@farmradio.org.

     Happy reading!

    -The Farm Radio Weekly team