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Making communication work for the rural agriculture in the Niger Delta: the Global Citizen Journey experience

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Computers in Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4th World Congress Conference, Proceedings of the 24-26 July 2006 (Orlando, Florida USA) Publication Date 24 July 2006  701P0606.(doi:10.13031/2013.21838)
Authors:   Sylvester Aigbe
Keywords:   Communication, vision, patience, persistence, courage, trust, rural agriculture, farmers, community, Global, Citizen, riverine, Niger, delta, Nigeria, library, books, cassava, agriculture

Communication is not a panacea for the removal of constraints to rural agriculture. But when accompanied with vision, hard work, patience, persistence, great courage and above all trust, it does bring new understanding and resources for all involved. It can create committed farmers in the community better disposed to working and understanding one another while bridging cultural and economic differences. The Global Citizen Journey demonstrated the practicability of these in November 2005 when Members of this organization traveled to the riverine communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria to build the first friendship library in the region. The library, stocked with books (including agricultural books), computers, video and DVD players and soon to be provided Internet access is fast translating into a gateway for receiving and communicating with the world. The Global Citizen Journeys visit also opened up windows of agricultural opportunities; I, being an Agriculturist and delegate demonstrated to the rural women on how to grow and process cassava. This is now leading to the formation of a women cassava grower and processing group in the community. Another delegate also took the women through a session on how to practice fish farming and cattle rearing. Since after the journey, a web based yahoo group has been formed to continue the networking begun at the village. New communication channels are opening up for the rural agriculture in these communities, thus offering means for bridging the gaps between rural farmers, agriculture professionals and agricultural organizations.

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