Exciting imaginations: New media formats to reach women and young people with agricultural extension messages

Malawi women listening to radio
Women keep in touch through the power of radio

Campaigns create greater equality of access to information across farming households, but formats are as important as channels, argue Duncan Sones of the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) delivery team…

The ASHC campaign-based approach explored the use of a variety of channels to build multiple media campaigns. ASHC has been testing the hypothesis that the more varied the channels of information reaching a farming household – the more likely they’re to trial or adopt new technologies. For example, evidence collected from the outcome evaluation of the Scaling-up Improved Legumes Technologies (SILT) in Tanzania suggested this is the case.

What we’re doing is increasing the equality of access to information. Over the next 18 months we’ll be looking for evidence that greater access to information, especially by women and young people, changes the conversations in farming households.

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‘Switching’ onto ICT approaches to gender in extension services

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Duncan Sones, of the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) delivery team, looks back on six years of concept and project development that could unlock changes in farmer’s ability to effectively access improved technologies…

I don’t know about you but when I hear about something for the first time, I rarely take in all the nuanced details. However, ask me to sing an advertising jingle for a store than hasn’t existed for 40 years and I am probably able to sing it! My father knew all of the kings and queens of England in order. Well he did and he didn’t – he knew a rhyme that he could reel off 75 years after he learned it!

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Capitalising on Africa’s agriculture to achieve ‘zero hunger’

 

 

It’s a sobering fact that, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), nearly 233 million children, women and men in Africa went to bed each night hungry in 2014-16.

CABI Board Member and 2017 Africa Food Prize winner Professor Ruth Oniang’o has devoted her career helping farmers grow nutritious and healthy crops, to not only help reduce hunger but to achieve sustainable and profitable livelihoods.

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Low salt diets could allow iodine-deficiency diseases to re-emerge

Salt has been used for thousands of years to flavor
& preserve food BUT reliance on fast food, biscuits and tinned goods, with
their hidden salt content, has created for us a high salt diet and with it an
alarming rise in cardiovascular disease.
SaltshakercreditPHILandamandamillls_cropped3

Reducing our salt intake, by working
with food industry and educating the public (World Salt Awareness Week), should
counter this disease epidemic.  BUT take this too far, and could an old
disease re-emerge? I speak of iodine deficiency in the diet, which can cause abortion,
stillbirth, goitres, mental retardation & birth defects: iodized salt
solved it.

WHO recommend universal salt
iodization for developing countries as a simple, safe and cost-effective
measure to address iodine deficiency, and many developed countries follow this
too. 

                                                                        Image: Amanda Mills, USDA. 

People afraid of salt so a disease re-emerges or is unaddressed?

If we ever needed
a reminder of the importance of iodized salt & public attitudes to health, you
only had to read “salt
rumors add to health crisis in pakistan
” (Washington Post).

A fuller discussion of these issues can be found in the March issue of Global Health Knowledge Basealong with the latest research on iodine
deficiency and salt iodisation.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Is ‘more efficient’ food production a threat to animal welfare?

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Ahead of the upcoming Biodiversity Institute Conference, Marian Stamp Dawkins, Professor of Animal Behaviour at the University of Oxford, highlights the pioneering work of two women who spoke out about the negative effects on animals of greater efficiency in food production.

‘Greater efficiency’ may for some people be an obvious goal for producing sustainable food for an increasing human population, but it sends shivers down the spine of the animal welfare community. Fifty years ago, Ruth Harrison published her landmark book Animal Machines and drew the public's attention to what was being done in the name of more efficient food production: hens in battery cages, veal calves in crates, sows in stalls.

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Jumping the red light – Do consumers pay attention to nutritional labels?

There have been many labelling schemes to make clearer to consumers the healthiness of foods, such as traffic light codes with green for healthy and red for less healthy. But do consumers actually make use of the labels and choose healthier foods?Trafficlight2
In a paper in CAB Reviews, Sophie Hieke and Jo Wills of the European Food Information Council examine the recent evidence. A consistent finding is the “attitude-behaviour gap, meaning that consumers will say one thing and do another.” Some experiments suggest that people will try to avoid “red traffic-light” foods. However, a German study showed people could distinguish the healthiest drink using such a “traffic-light” coding system, but did not choose the healthy option when picking out their meal for the next day.

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Can Haiti’s struggling agro-economy recover?

The earthquake that hit Haiti may have killed as many as 200,000, and delivering food to survivors is proving very difficult. However, Haiti was already suffering from major problems in trying to feed itself well before the earthquake struck, as detailed in many papers on CAB Abstracts.

Haiti has a notable problem of food security, write Furio Massolino and Andrea Pardini from Movimondo, Italy in an paper in CAB Abstracts. Even before the earthquake, 48% of people had insufficient food, food prices doubled from 1980 and 1990 and further increased 5 times between 1991 and 2000, they report. Water availability and quality is another problems to be added to food insufficiency. Haiti is among the countries with the biggest sub nutrition and global malnutrition rates at a world-wide level says Dixis Figueroa Pedraza of the Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Brazil.

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Earthquake damage in a poor area of Port-Au-Prince (UNDP)

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