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Ayub Chege, Wednesday, 26-11-14 23:06

More direct action of the named organisations are usually directed towards developing countries. It is true that these are the foremost beneficiaries owing to the almost no food insecurity status. However, higher food losses are in the developed world where many are too keen on sell-by dates as well as store value lines that many are quick to shun. Long term stocking is also apparently not necessary as companies compete to stock the numerous outlet stores.

Perhaps if focus was directed primarily to the developed world by flagging policies targeting food wastage while promoting effective storage means in the developing world there could be less food wastage and thus reduced investments in cropping and attendant environmental degradation.

Artur Behr, Tuesday, 29-07-14 16:13

Dear Editor,

In the above-mentioned article, the principle of the machinery ring is imprecisely or inadequately described. The notion of the machinery ring goes back to Erich Geiersberger, who tried out his idea in
Buchhofen (Bavaria in Germany) in 1958. Then, in 1960, the first machinery ring was founded in Neufahrn / Lower Bavaria. The basic idea was to enable farms to survive and boost their efficiency.

In contrast to traditional forms of co-operation between the farmers of a village, such as machinery cooperatives (common ownership) or lending machinery as an act of neighbourly help, the machinery ring has the following features:
- There is no common ownership of machinery; the ring is not an owner of machinery.
- The machines alone are not lent out.
- Each member can buy a service (performance and operation of a machine) from another member at a fixed rate.
- Each member can offer others services with his machinery via the machinery ring.
- The machinery ring organises the deployment of machines by coordinating demand and supply in the course of the farming year and does the accounting for services rendered.

The first wave of the post-1945 mechanisation of agriculture involved the deployment of – mainly still simple – machinery on small and medium-sized farms. As the larger, more powerful and, above all, technically more sophisticated machines became available, it was apparent in 1960 that, given the predominant farm sizes, the individual farmer would often be unable to finance the new equipment or recover his costs by operating only on his own farm. So the machinery ring brought the benefits of further mechanisation by enabling a farmer to make appropriate use of all kinds of large-scale machinery and achieving increased or full-capacity field performance by operating on other farms.

The flexibility of the machinery ring means that supply and demand can be matched in all its forms, ranging from the pure agricultural service supply agency, on the supply side, down to secondary-occupation farming without any machine ownership, on the demand side.

The essential principles, i.e. no common ownership of machinery and no lending solely of machinery, are not sufficiently highlighted in the above article. The idea of sharing and jointly using a machine actually runs counter to the principle of the machinery ring. Using his own equipment, each provider of services in the machinery ring is supposed to perform the outside work himself or by assigning trained staff. This is a principle that makes the safe and efficient use of highly advanced agricultural technology possible in the first place. Such modern equipment can no longer be simply hired out or used on shared basis.

Kind regards,
Dr. Artur Behr, Hermannsburg, Germany

Abubakar Hussaini, Thursday, 03-04-14 02:33

Nigerian Govt create more grazing reserves & social facilities for the nomadic, by going that the conflicts between the crop farmers will be contained

Amrit Patel, Wednesday, 26-03-14 18:30

Brief and precise presentation of views of different experts on the subject.It is difficult to grasp thinking of several presenters in the conference and it is even more difficult to translate into brief proceedings of the discussion in the meeting. My experience suggests thst in developing countries more emphasis is given on " Lab to Land" meaning transfering the research findings to fields through " Seeing is Believing". However, equal importance must be given to the concept of " Land to Lab" meaning thereby that traditionally farmers particularly women have adjusted themselves with the nature to conduct farming operations that have proved to mitigate risks in farming. These field experiences should be appreciated by researchers and given due importance while deciding their new research programs in that agro-climatic regions. I would like to attach separately to Ms Silvia Richter my article on " Lab to Land & Land to Lab". for information. In the context of family farming this gives good deal of understanding for further improvements. Dr Amrit Patel

Patrick MILIMO, Saturday, 25-01-14 16:56

Dear Sir/Madame,
I'm interested in dryland plant products as raw materials for cosmetics, flavours and fragrances. In Addition to the economic importance, this will promote conservation and Management of the woodlands by increasing their appreciation by the local communities.

Would Kfw finance such enterprice? If it does, please advise me on how I may initiate the process.


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