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Friday, 05 June 2009

The Africa Report: Rice, a new cash crop for Uganda's busy farmers

by Gemma Ware

A specially-developed new grain is helping farmers earn more money than they do from growing maize,and it is beginning to drive a revolution in smallholder farming

Sprouting up amid fields of matoke, maize and coffee which carpet the hills of eastern Uganda is a new cash crop.  Rice, which is also fast becoming the food of choice for a young generation reluctant to spend time preparing the traditional maize-porridge ugali, has helped spark a revolution in smallholder farming. 

A sea change came with the energetic dissemination of the New Rice for Africa (NERICA), which was developed in West Africa in 1992. A hybrid of African and Asian rice varieties, it is high-yielding, diseaseresistant and well-suited to both Uganda’s rain-fed upland areas and its swampy dambo or wet areas. 

Smallholder rice farming in Uganda has doubled as farmers have seen the advantages of growing rice as a cash crop. The area cultivated for upland rice grew from 1,500 ha in 2002 to 40,000 ha in 2008. Rice farmers are [...]More
From The APC Blog by dk on 05 Jun 2009Permalink

Thursday, 04 June 2009

News from the French press

France's secondary school reform controversial

From L'Humanité, 3 June 2009

Former Minister of Education Jack Lang has recently conferred upon current President of the French Republic Nicholas Sarkozy his suggestion of secondary school reform. After spending several months consulting high school students, teachers, and social partners, Lang’s conclusions highlight the necessity to “correct what doesn’t work” and “preserve what does.” His nation-wide tour took him to 80 schools in 76 different districts.

His objective: nullify the reforms instituted by current Minister of Education Xavier Darcos in April 2008. Said reforms were quickly abandoned after the riots and protests in Athens, Greece in December 2008 led by “the 600-euro” generation, that is to say high school and college age students whose entry-level jobs pay around 600 euros. The reason: Darcos was made to serve under the administration of a leftist president, one with strong ties to national education, and one who increased educational budget restrictions. Seeing these attempted reforms stagnate, and Darcos quietly back down, Richard Descoings became heavily involved in the debate over secondary school education as of January 12, 2009. With his assessment as director of the Paris Institute for Political Studies and his hands-on education experience as a ré [...]More
From The APC Blog by dk on 04 Jun 2009Permalink

Wednesday, 03 June 2009

Weekly Audit: EFCA Vital for Recovery

by Zach Carter, Media Consortium MediaWire Blogger

It's official: The U.S. economy has been in a recession for a year and a half and many of the economic troubles worrying progressives in 2007 have yet to be addressed. While the Obama administration has taken steps to relieve some problems, a series of counterproductive bailouts, woefully inadequate labor laws and rampant inequality are still in urgent need of attention.

Severe economic inequality has persisted for decades in the U.S., but the current crisis is bringing things into focus. Unfortunately, while Wall Street excess and the corporate jet-setting of Detroit executives have dominated headlines and garnered plenty of justified outrage, the other side of the inequality coin has been largely neglected. As Katrina vanden Heuvel explains in The Nation, the routine exploitation of day laborers and domestic workers has grown even more pervasive since the recession began. Workers who managed to survive by laboring for predatory wages under abusive conditions now see those wages stolen with increasing regularity, as contractors simply refuse to pay up when the work is done. Huge portions [...]More
From The APC Blog by meb on 03 Jun 2009Permalink

Tuesday, 02 June 2009

News from the French press

The global economic crisis and global warming represent two of the most important issues of our time.  Enormous amounts of time, personnel, and resources have been spent in attempts to stem the exponential continuation of both of these problems.  Jakob von Weizsäcke, member of European think tank Breugel, offers a simple solution; green the debt ("Verdir la dette").  This idea, proposed in Alternatives Economiques, consists of instilling emissions quotas and internationally taxing countries for their CO2 emissions in order to provide stimulus funds.  Such green fiscal reciepts would simultaneously ameliorate the environmental situation and create a coordinated debt relief effort. 

From The APC Blog by dk on 02 Jun 2009Permalink

Monday, 01 June 2009

Weekly Immigration Wire: Child of Immigrants Nominated to Supreme Court

by Nezua, TMC MediaWire Blogger

On Tuesday, President Obama announced Sonia Sotomayor as his pick to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter. Sotomayor could be the first Latina appointed to the Supreme Court. Predictably, attacks and slurs from the Right are already flying. Regardless, Sotomayor would be an excellent choice for the Supreme Court, signaling to Latino/as that the White House is aware of our need for more representation in government.

Reporting on Sotomayor's nomination, the Washington Independent's Daphne Eviatar notes that, while the choice doesn't push the envelope in terms of liberalness, it does indicate that Obama was "willing to stand up to unfounded criticism of Sotomayor as a far-left liberal." Interestingly enough, President George H. W. Bush originally nominated Sotomayor for the district court, and her life reads like Many GOP-adored tales of hard work leading to success.

Which leads one to wonder why are they attacking Sotomayor's nomination with such vitriol, by painting her as a "radical, judicial activist/scary Latina feminist/underqualified

From The APC Blog by meb on 01 Jun 2009Permalink
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