In recent years there has been a shift in development away from agriculture. Governments, donors and NGOs have focused their efforts more on areas like education, health and water. Why is this? In some countries it is because all the resources invested in agriculture for many years have made little impact. Agricultural production in many countries remains poor, farmers’ incomes are low and migration from rural to urban areas continues.

So does agriculture, whether in rural or urban areas, matter? We believe that the answer is definitely yes! Many of the world’s poor depend on farming for most of their food and income. There is a strong link between improving agricultural production and helping people out of extreme poverty.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 54 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 54 click here (746K).

  • Alcohol and advertising

    Advertisements shape what we think and how we feel. They sell more than the product itself. They sell ideas or messages that encourage people to buy the product. Companies that produce alcohol spend a lot of time and money creating images that make drinking alcohol seem attractive. The message they give is that alcohol will make life better.

    Read More
  • Bible study: Investing our lives wisely

    Investing our lives wisely We can do three things with our lives. We can waste them, we can spend them or we can invest them. The Bible teaches us to invest our lives to make a difference for eternity. We should not live on this earth to be a consumer. Instead, we should make a contribution with our lives. We will be held accountable by God for how we invest our lives. Let’s take time to look at how we use our abilities, resources, time and experience.

    Read More
  • Black gold - the importance of compost

    by Peter Musgrave. Compost-making is a vital, life-saving opportunity to save waste and turn it into productive use. Compost is made from mixing together organic waste materials – such as leaves, weed and straw – and leaving them to decompose until a black, crumbly soil is formed. The materials needed to make it are locally available, accessible and free.

    Read More
  • Door-sized gardens

    Many homes, particularly in urban areas, have little room for growing crops or vegetables. However, outside nearly every house is an area of bare ground. The soil may be hard or infertile and people often do not consider using it for growing vegetables. But here is one way of using this unused space for a tiny garden.

    Read More
  • Letters

    Aloe vera I have noticed with interest the popular use of the plant Aloe vera in Nigeria for treatment of various ailments, including skin infections, burns, stomach problems and eye diseases. People are growing the plant in their yards and making money selling its shoots or juice. It can be easily grown by taking leaf cuttings.

    Read More
  • Mineral blocks

    When land is scarce or infertile, livestock often survive on poor diets of scrub, crop waste and straw. In these conditions livestock will grow and reproduce slowly and provide less milk and meat. However, the demand for animal produce, whether for milk, meat or leather, remains high. Any ideas that can encourage better growth and health of livestock are to be welcomed.

    Read More
  • Priming seed

    Crops are like children. If they are given a good start in life they usually grow tall, strong and healthy. But if crops grow slowly after germination they often become stunted, are more likely to be damaged by pests and diseases and will yield less.

    Read More

    One of the main activities of PRODAD in Nicaragua, is encouraging kitchen gardens. PRODAD teaches people that growing vegetables improves both nutrition and the household economy. They use a demonstration plot to encourage families of the benefits of kitchen gardens. PRODAD provides practical training in growing vegetables and medicinal plants.

    Read More
  • Resources

    Solar Water Disinfection: a guide for the application of SODIS EAWAG/ SANDEC recently published a manual on the use of SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection). This was mentioned in Issue 51 of Footsteps. The SODIS manual is written for field staff who are encouraging the use of this system. It contains useful technical information on SODIS, its advantages and limitations, detailed information on its use and important factors to consider. It is based on over ten years experience of promoting ...

    Read More
  • The value of working together

    by Isabel Carter.  The centre pages of Footsteps 53 encouraged people to consider their resources – not just looking at their financial resources (which may be very small) but also other kinds of resources. For example, most people have access to human and social resources. Nearly everyone has family and friends and lives in some kind of community. In difficult situations, working together with other people may bring considerable benefits.

    Read More
  • Underground storage pits

    Underground storage pits can be used to store vegetables in dry areas for a few months. Having a good supply of stored vegetables improves household nutrition and means vegetables can be sold for higher prices later in the year when they are not easily available. Underground storage keeps vegetables cool during the hot season.

    Read More
  • Using waste-water for agriculture

    Nearly half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Their need for clean water supplies continues to increase and often competes with the needs of agriculture for water. Poor people in urban areas often pay a lot to receive supplies of clean water.

    Read More