Encore Volunteer Focuses His Lens on Food Security
By Erin Madsen on Monday, January 31st, 2011
Over the past 3 months, Larry Badger (Azerbaijan 2005-2007) has been working with the International Fertilizer Development Center’s (IFDC) East and Southern Africa Division (ESA) based in Nairobi, Kenya to help facilitate new communication projects that are launched. Over the last 35 years, IFDC has focused on increasing and sustaining food security and agricultural productivity in over 130 developing countries through the development and transfer of effective and environmentally sound crop nutrient technology and agribusiness expertise. Here is an update from Larry on his service:
I’m attempting to write and produce three videos for IFDC while I am here. I picked one photographer and spent two days north of Nairobi photographing farmers and Agro-Dealers in the field and shops. It was the first attempt to put the two of these people together, which is such an integral part of the production and marketing chain in Kenyan agriculture. Everything I had seen to date did not do this. My goal is to turn this video into a piece to be used in Uganda about learning to work around and avoid counterfeit agriculture products, such as seeds, fertilizer and pesticides.
The purpose of [the second] video is to demonstrate to donors, governments and trade organizations the difficulties of distributing fertilizer and supplies to farmers in this land-locked country. Materials coming into the port of Dar es Salaam must come through Tanzania and into the most Southern part of Rwanda. Fertilizer moving from Mombasa, Kenya, must move by truck from Mombasa to Nairobi and then up through Kenya, into Uganda and then into Rwanda. The passing of two borders is both time consuming and expensive; adding to the cost per ton for fertilizer. These costs are always passed along to the importers and eventually farmers. This video will address these issues and the fact that government and the private sector are making efforts to transfer the control of purchase and distribution to the private sector.
The experience here has been fantastic. I’ve learned so much about Africa and its people. I’ve come to know and understand how IFDC works in this part of the world. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with each and every member of the IFDC team. Top to bottom. Great people and very gracious to this RPCV and Encore Volunteer. I hope I’ve given as much as I have received. Thank you Encore.
Larry is currently in Mozambique working on the third video for IFDC. To learn more about IFDC’s work, click here.