Page 30, THISD AY, Vol 16, No. 5869
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Food Security: Plant Clinics Scheme Gets £6.8m Boost "Plant clinic" scheme to improve food security in developing nations has received a £6.8m boost from O,e United Kingdom and Swiss governments respectively. TIle clinics, similar to human doctors' surgeries. offer local fanners advice on how to treat pests and diseases according to a report by BBC news. Organisers hope to collate Ole data by front-line "plant doctors" in order to provide an early warning system. It is hoped that more O,an 400 clinics will be established in 40 countries over the next five years. The Chief Executive Officer. Centre for Agriculture
(CAB!). a not-for-profit science body. Dr. Trevor Nicholls. said the investment of £ Im from Ole UK govemment and £5.8m from Swiss ministers was a
"significant endorsement for Ole initiative",
By Chinazor Megbolu wilh ogenc), reports
NichoUs said the "plant clinics" operated in a similar way to doctors' surgeries in human health. "So far. there has not bet!n a service like that or plants. but that is what we are looking to do:' he explained. "The farmers come to the plant doctors with whatever problem they are experiencing in Oleircrops. As a resultof Olat. it is very much more responsive to what is causing trouble for the farmers at that particular point. "The clinic goes back to the same place week in and week out so it is a regular fixture that the fallT1ers know that they go to." Nicholls said that. at present. there were clinics operating in
15 countries across Africa. Asia and Latin America. "Each ctinie, over time, serves a huge number of farmers in the local area. We find Olat farmers are travelling anything up to 50 miles to attend these clinics. so certainly the advice the "doctors" are giving seem to be highly valued." The clinics will operate as
pm of a "Plantwise knowledge bank" . which is set to begin in June and act as a bio-security early warning system. "In exacOy Ole same way that a GP might pick up the first signs of an outbreak of bird flu etc. so the plant doctors can be there on the ground to pick up Ole first signs of a new pest, or something that has not been picked
up previously." Nicholls explained. 'The knowledge bank will be a valuable tool for plant doctors within a country to communicate wi th each other. Often . countries do not have the resourres to set up a website so we are fulfilling that function by allowing one person to see what another person is doing in
another pm of the country. "If you begin to see the spread nf a pest. you can begin to ask questions about how it correlates to weather patterns, trade or people movements etc. This means OlOt you might be able to identify areas 013t are at risk in the future . allowing you to take preventative measwes". he said.
Internet Use's Transforming Poorest Nations - UN
eople tiving in the world's poorest countries are experiencing a surge in mobile telephone use. the United
Nations telecommunications agency has reported , but cautioned that Internet usage in
those nations still lags far behind. In figures released at the recent Fourlh UN Conference on [he Ll"ast Developed Countries (LOCs) in Istanbul , Turke)', the International Telecommunications Union
(lTU) reported that over the past 10 years mobile connc(.;ti vit)' in the 48 countries classed as LDCs hact lisen by 28 per cent. bringing increasing 'mobile access to almost 25'0 million people. According to Ole ITU. the Sleep rise in the use of information and communications technologies (ICl's) exceeds the targets previously set by the lbird UN Conference on the LDCs in Brussels in 200./.. which called ror average tele:' phone density in L1SCs to reach <11 least 5 per cent by 2011. But while mobile phone access in the world "s poorest nations has musruuomed over the past decade , tile ITU warned lhat thel'e are slill too few lntemet users in the LDCs, according to <l UN release. "People ask me if intemet penetration is really such a high priority for people who.
By Abimbola A kosile on a daily basis. face a lack of safe drinking water, rising food prices. and a chronic shortage of heal01 care:' said Hamadoun TOllre. the ITU Secretar\,General.
:"rvt y <lllswer is a resounding 'yes .r Because the fn tell1et -
and especiall y broadband - is an extraordinary enabler, whi ch has potential to massively expand the effective delivery of vital services. such as healdl care and education. Nowhere is this more important than ill countries where people are chronically deprived of these services." With average internet penetration ill LDC bloc countries having reached only 2.5 per cent in 2010. Dr. Toure pointed out that web access remains well below the 10 per cent tar2et set in Brussels bur expressed optinlism that the. trend would soon improve. "IJl the past two years alone we have seen a remarkable SiuTge in national and intemationru bandwidth in developing count ries. wi th several new subm ..uine cables being landed, and new advanced teclmologies \\'hkh can help afford ably bridge the digital divide .... he said .
r.Tne1BtisinessTEAM _. -
.. . -
Capital Market Editor GODOY EGENE
Deputy Group Business Editors
ABIMBOlAAKOSllE FRANCIS UGWOKE
(Advettisilg & Marlceling)
Group Business Editor
Energy Editor CHIKAAMANZE-NWACHUKU Maritime Editor JOHNIWORI Agribusiness & Industry Editor CRUSOE OSAGtE Communications & e-Business Editor EFEMNKANGA
Correspondents CHINEDU EZE (Avialion) NNAMDI DURU (InsurancelPension) LINDA EROKE (Labour) EROMOSELE ABIODUN (Capital Mid)
EJtOFOR AliKE (Energy) JAMES EMEJO (Nalion's Capital) OBINNA CHIMA (Mooey Markel) SAM ADEGBE (Produdion tillor)
-L-R: Director, Sales & A1arTcel;'lg, Briscoe Technologies}Mr, Aloy AZlIgwu, Communication Mallageij .HotOl'o/a Solutions, Nalzeed.4hmed and tile Africa Sales Ala"ager, AIr, Nicolas COlissillOllX, at Afotorola Media Chat, held at Eko Hotel, Lagos ... recelltly PHOTO Sunday Acli£lIll
Centre Proposes Alternative Devt Strategy for Nigeria he African Centre for Leadership . Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) in line with its vision of Aftican Society where there is dynamic. strategic and visionary leadership committed to sustainable development, is organising a poJjC} dialogue on aitel1lative development strategy for Nigeria This is also to fe-awaken the consciousneSis of policy makers to identify O,e pliorities of Ni ge ria . the resources available in the country and how to harl1 e~s the resources to bring about improvement in the life of the citizens. A statement by Programme Officer of the Centre. Mr. Monday Osasah . states that O,e event. scheduled to hold on May 17. would help define the contellls of an a lternative development strategy that will lead to an increased capacity of people to have control over material assets. intellectual resources and ideology. It is also expected to allow them obtain physical necessiues of life (food. clothing & shelter) , employment. equal ity. pal1icipation in government , political and ~conomic independence. adequate education . gender equality. sustainable development and peace. According to the Executive Director. Dr. Otive Igbuzor. "the strategies that have been fOllT1ulated and implemented in Nigeria since the colonial times ha~e not translated into the developme nt expectation of Nigerians." He points out that "develop-
bEVELO~MENT . ] By Abimbol.a Akosile
ment can be acce lerated if there is political will combined with good policy ideas which are then translated into nationally owned, nationally dri ve n development strategies guided by good science. good economics and transparent accountable e.overnance:' 111e dialogue wi ll be moderated by a renowned development expert and philanthropist. Dr. Kole· ·Shettima. the Africa Director of the MacArthur Foundation. Lead papers will be presented by several schol-
ars and practitioners including Dr. Omano Edigheji . a leadi ng scholar of Ole Developmental State from South Africa. OOler speakers include Mr. Emma Anoliefo of Change Africa Network. Mr. Sam Adikpe of the Chartered Institute of Development Studies (ClDS) and Dr. Otive Igbuzor of the AfJican Centre for Leadership. Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) . Labour perspecth'es will be provided by the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress while media perspectives will be provided by Mr. Chidi Nwafo of Action Media International . TIle Policy dialogue is being
organised by the African Centre for Leadership. Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) with the support of Frederich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in collaboration with Ch<lnee Africa Network and the Youth for Peace Against Violence International. The policy dialogue has been structured in stich H '.vay that the contents of an alternati ve deve lopment strategy will be delineated and a strategy worked out on how to implement it in Nigeria. [n addition. the role of k.nowledge. media and labour in pushing for an alternative development strategy will be ex haustively examined.
Ericsson Outlines Growth Plan.s
bile equipment vendor Ericsson has laid out its plans to grow annual net ales by 4- 10 percent through 2013 and operating inoome by 5- 15 percent in the same period. At a management briefing in Ne\v York, president and CEO Hans Vestberg said the world's Imgest mobile netwOlx innastructure vendor wi II focus on a number of major areas: expanding its presence in lruge and fust-growing marl<ets (eg the US . South Korea and Thailand) . in=ing its share of operntors' capital and ope!"ating expenditure. entering into partnerships and M&A octivity. moving further into new growth areas such as
TELECOM S machi ne-to-machine (and outside the core telecoms sector to utilities. health and transport) and "portfolio momentum in mobile broadband. managed services and BSS IOSS transfollT1ation ." Vestberg added that opportunities in tbe oompany s traditional mobile network business (where it has a 32 percent marl<et share) remain strong. with roughly 5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions expected by 2016. with roughly 55 peroent of total mobile subscriptions being broadband. Ericsson's need to div",s ify IV'J'nO<:>OC-
n p t_
work-equipment giant faces mounting competiti on from livals lhat are merging. as well as from up-start Chinese vendors wiUing to sell their products at a low",· price. At its Business Innovation Forum in California earlier this week tbe vendor talked of its vision of a 'Networked Society' with chief strategist Douglas Gilstrap claiming the company bel ieves that "anything that should be connected will be oonnected ." The ooncept made headlines last year when Ericsson predicted that the number of oonnected devices wi ll surge to 50 billion over the next 10 years . via the widespread use of embedded modules.