Thuthukani Ndlovu

TEDxUFS

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How can Africa create an Agribusiness Revolution with it's youth?

What practical solutions are available to assist the Youth of Africa in the Agriculture business?

  • May 15 2014: Just grow your own food, create your own energy, build your own homes and it all starts with education. Everything you need to know is already on the internet. You can get your basic knowledge on Wikipedia, health knowledge on web-MD and visual how to's from YouTube and any other questions you have ask Google. You can get as simple or as complicated as you want, all from your living room or hut. If you have access to the internet and I see you do, there is absolutely no excuse for not being educated.
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      May 15 2014: That's true. thank you for your contribution .
      • May 15 2014: You are welcome, I am always happy to help someone who is willing to work, work is the key to success I know of no other way. Pay attention what these folks tell you, they will never steer you the wrong way: Lejan you just met, Colleen, Theodore, Morton, Fritzie and Don just to name a few of the people who have not only inspired me but are excellent straight shooters, no B.S., just tell you if they know and not afraid to say they don't know. The last part is the most important to me. I don't really care how much you know but when you start telling me stuff you don't know, we are finished talking.
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    Lejan .

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    May 14 2014: First of all, stay independent and away from patented seeds and GMO's.
    Foster and care for the soil. Learn from it, understand it. Its a whole and complex organism on its own.

    A very interesting aspect for soil is Terra Preta: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta

    Think in organic cycles and wherever possible, try to avoid mono cultures.
    Stay organic and use as little herbicides and pesticides as possible. Use natural balance instead.

    Produce locally and avoid, wherever possible, to centralize or concentrate production in just certain areas.

    Personally I learned a lot about new ways in Agribusiness by Rebecca Hosking in her BBC documentary called:

    A farm for the future
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXZUpzwOOZ8

    Certainly her focus is on European farming, which may differ in climate conditions from Africa, yet her basic ideas are transferable.
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    May 14 2014: There has to be a curiosity, interest in what we consume and how it affects us. There has to be education, life experience growing foods and tending to personal gardens. The accomplishment of growing your own vegetables and contributing to your environment in a positive way, is enough to motivate the youth into taking it to the next level. It has to start small, to build up to a Revolution.
    Where does your interest for Agrobusiness come from?
    My fascination with the process from seed to table, comes from my family's roots in Colombia. I grew up in the city, but was able to visit my grandfather's coffee farm, and saw the production process first hand.
    Education is the key, and a whole lot of determination to reach our goals.
    There is definitely a sense of urgency in this subject, there is a lot of work to be done!
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      May 15 2014: wow. That;s very inspiring. It's true that it has to start small, then it will build into a revolution. thank you for your contribution .
  • May 13 2014: Aquaponics deserves a good look. There is much I do not know of this form of agriculture. But a basic understanding of it makes dirt-farming look quite primitive.
  • May 17 2014: Hi Thuthukani.... The foundation of ALL successful endeavors rests upon the CORE pre requisite of the RIGHT Growth/success-oriented MINDSET . With the right mindset and SWIFT focused action...- all is possible....


    Namaste'

    Tony Dovale
    Life Masters
  • May 16 2014: Hi Dear Thuthukani,when I read the topic,it reminds me of my uncle(my mom's the youngest brother),Because of China's culture revolution,my uncle didn't get chance to go to school to finish primary school education.But he is really intelligent and happy being a farmer since he got own land to plant all kinds of grains.He booked agriculture magzine which guides farmers to learn better way to grown grains.So all his grown grains are the best in the villages and selling good price in the supermarket,and because of my uncles intengrity,people do like buying my uncles' plantings:tomatos,rice,sugarcane,green bean...And more lots of young people farmers like to come to learn from my uncle,it seems my uncle is very pround of sharing hisagriculture skills with others farmers,And my uncle two children,all just graduated from universities,the pity is he said no his child likes to come back to herit his career...
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    R H

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    May 16 2014: I don't know much about Agribusiness, but I do know a little about people. And if you possess even just half the character displayed that responded to the comments here, and produced your TED profile, then there is true hope in the youth of this world. All the very best, my young friend.
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    May 16 2014: I think that if the U.S gov't went to Africa or is a organization went down to Africa we could share and help out with some primary resources on how they too can make a profit and a way better living.
  • May 16 2014: I believe if the government get involve with the activities of the youths by empowering them and supporting small scale agriculture, it will go along way in improving agriculture in africa. And also curbing corruption among political leaders.
  • May 16 2014: First is population control. No one should make children that they cannot afford to raise to be good productive citizens. Some time population can overwhelm all development.

    Africa needs lots of new agriculture technology including high tech fast growing high productivity crops that mean genetically modified seeds, lots of forests (Israel can help) , lots if bicycles so people can have mobility that can help taking product from country side to population center without middleman taking away all the profit. Then you need dairy farming and system of milk collectives(know how source India). Couple of cows can increase poor rural family's living standard substantially. Plant lots of trees to create new forest to replace one's being destroyed. A town can grow its own sustainable firewood. Lots of well drilling for water in rural area.

    I am talking about small things. Those who have gone to foreign country form there ask from them cow or bike money rather than fancy sneakers of clothes, If foreign Government give one million to your Government few people will drive cars but they can give 25000 bikes to you for that money doubling that many families access to cities, buy and sell products, etc.

    I lived in India as a kid in a town with no road but trails, no running water (had to go to lake one mile away. A bicycle made it lot easier to get that water. Now they have water come through pipe at every home. People use. bicycle to go to work, to buy thing from city nearby that were impossible before. It is cheap transportation that often people do not have to spend to go by bus. Every little saving counts when people are poor.

    I am talking this from my childhood experience.These are fancy glamorous things but it uplifts poor from country side.

    Best wishes
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    May 15 2014: well, I'm very oriented toward the maasai of kenya, who only live on milk and beef from their cattle, so I point toward milk-producing animals such as cows, goats, and sheep. For five years now I have been living on milk, every day I drink about two gallons (7.5 liters) of cow milk, and don't eat or drink anything else. It has been fantastic for my health.
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    May 13 2014: i don't have much to say here but i in my small way have identified one problem on agricultural pertaining to Africa. most people on the continents particularly the youth frowns on farming as a whole but some respects is given to cash crop farming cos its demand in Europe. another problem is real estate, in the case of Ghana, most farm lands have been converted to mining zones and buildings at the disadvantage of farming
    a careful study on such areas and the necessary measures from citizens can help curb the problem.
  • May 13 2014: Hi Thuthukani Ndlovu,

    Part of the problem with any agriculture is water. Can we get enough water to farm the land. If we can find a simple way of getting some quantities of desalinated water to the fields, you can grow almost anything. The ocean has a vast amount of water, but the salt makes it useless for farming. Separate the salt from the water and you can have an endless supply of water. The goal isn't to create a lush garden of eden, that would take way too much water. the goal is to allow plants to prosper. Ways of desalinization, would be to create large clear plastic covered pools of saltwater. The sun will evaporate the water and separate the salt. The large clear plastic sheet will collect the evaporated water and you can collect it as it condenses on the plastic. You'll have a salt farm at the same time. Since you're in Zimbabwe you will need to rely on your neighboring countries to farm the water or you can acquire land near the ocean.

    Once you have the water, focus on growing native plants that provided food in the past. There is a reason why these plants prospered in the past, mainly because they are drought resistant. After the soil becomes more fertile, you can plant other crops.

    Everyone should have a chance to work hard to grow enough food to feed the people. Hopefully the youth of Zimbabwe can accomplish this. Good luck and I'm cheering for you.
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      May 15 2014: Thanks a lot hey . I'll most definately try it out
      • May 15 2014: I'm sure there are indigenous techniques for collecting water. Try to use that also. Some places try to catch dew from the morning clouds on nets in mountainous areas. Others dig wells. Some build catchment areas to collect seasonal rain. Start with a small field and end up with a largest farm in Africa. When you get there invite me over to see it. Good luck.
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    May 13 2014: The concept of agriculture results in average more kilometers per food per person than during "hunter-gatherer times".
    A revolution would be to refocus on indigenous knowledge of food sourcing and on the use of small scale permaculture or organic farming to cover own needs directly without any export and the detour of money which makes some rich and many poor.
    This will result in less need for water and a better use of soils.
    Humans can only survive on earth when using minimal resources. Any export or sells will add need for resources and negatively affect our survival.
    Today's youth has to understand that the way of our parents generation did not do too good to humanity and the rest of the natural world. We have to be brave to go new ways while fascilitating indigenous skills and knowledge.
  • May 13 2014: Thuthukani

    Africa is a pretty big place. Do you have any particular region in mind?
    As Africa gave birth to Man, developing a strong agricultural industry should be no problem. I researched the web site of the World bank with regards to your question and it would seem that they have proposed the following solution.

    Higher and sustained growth will require attention to five core areas of public action:
    - Facilitating agricultural markets and trade;
    - Improving agricultural productivity;
    - Investing in public infrastructure for agricultural growth
    - Reducing rural vulnerability and insecurity; and
    - Improving agricultural policy and institutions.

    It would seem that government insecurity, stability and corruption are big problems and with such a state of affairs any real tangible progress, in any industry, is questionable. I would also think that the mind set plays an important role. I also noticed that Africa has the youngest population in the world, which would be a plus if there was a sense of individual achievement,
    Crop yield per acre is the lowest in the world; why is this----irrigation and the lack of mechanization?
    The UN seems to be playing a major role in this area. I would kick them out.
    Perhaps this is an over simplification to a very large problem, but I would research the history of agricultural development in the US and learn from it. Understand its failings and its tremendous successes. Understand the mind set of the people, their great sense of independence and at the same time their willingness to work together to achieve a common goal, their creativity and innovation. We called it capitalism. Times have changed however, but government stability and honesty will go a long way to solve your problem. So to will a spirit of independence.
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      May 15 2014: Thank you so much for your contribution. And yes, it would be a positive factor if there was a sense of individual achievement since Africa has the youngest population in the world. Corruption is definitely a big problem that we still face today, I just hope things change soon
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    May 15 2014: thanks for the tip. I did some research on it, and I found it very helpful and interesting.
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    May 15 2014: Thank you all for your feedback. I really appreciate your responses, and I have learnt a lot from all of you. Thank you once again.