Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Call for entries: PLURAL+ 2013 Youth Video Festival

PLURAL+ 2013 Youth Video FestivalThe United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) again invite the world’s youth to submit original and creative videos focusing on PLURAL+ themes: migration, diversity and social inclusion.
Recognizing youth as powerful agents of social change in a world often characterized by intolerance, and cultural and religious divisions, PLURAL+ invites youth to address key challenges related to migrant integration, inclusiveness, identity, diversity, human rights and social cohesiveness, both at local and global levels.  Young people up to 25 years old are invited to submit short videos of five minutes maximum in length.
Michele Klein-Solomon, IOM Permanent Observer to the United Nations, said, “PLURAL+ videos touch very sensitive issues in a very real way.  They look at the realities that people are facing.  We like to see young people expressing their profound ideas in a manner that allows the opening of a dialogue.”
Jordi Torrent, UNAOC Project Manager, Media and Information Literacy, added: “PLURAL+ videos fit very well in this very relevant conversation: how to build more inclusive societies where we can all live together in harmony.”
PLURAL+ supports young people’s expression of their opinions by providing them with a variety of media platforms and distribution networks, including broadcasts, video festivals, conferences and events around the world.  PLURAL+ also reinforces the firm belief of IOM and UNAOC that youth are powerful and creative agents of social change.
A prestigious international jury will select three winners in each age categories (9-12, 13-17, and 18-25).  All the winners will be invited to New York, all travel expenses paid, to present their work at the PLURAL + 2013 Awards Ceremony at the Paley Center for Media in December 2013.
Mariana Araujo, a member of the PLURAL+ 2012 international jury commented,  “For me PLURAL+ is the best link between intercultural dialogue and intergenerational justice.  I can’t imagine a better way to understand the other but through their own eyes and listen with their ears.   With these videos I can internalize their emotions and realities through their stories.”
PLURAL+ 2013 deadline for video submission is 30 June, 2013. 
Early submissions are encouraged.   Further information, including guidelines, regulations, awards, and the entry form
can be found at the PLURAL+ website at:

For Bangladesh, More Migrants Mean More Money

Remittances sent by migrant workers have emerged as a key driver of poverty reduction in many developing countries. Bangladesh has caught up with growing migration trends since the mid-70s when only 6,000 Bangladeshis were working abroad. Today, there are about 8 million. Migration has now become a major source of gainful employment for Bangladesh’s growing number of unemployed and under-employed labor force. The sharpest increase in the level of manpower exports occurred during 2006–2009. Remittances have grown at a rapid pace, particularly since 2004.remittance_post__photo

So, what are the key correlates of aggregate remittance inflows in Bangladesh? What does the data tell us about Bangladesh? Many researchers have used aggregate data to analyze the macro-economic factors affecting the behavior of remitters. For example, Barua et al (2007) show that income differentials between host and home country and devaluation of home country currency positively and high inflation rate in home country negatively affect workers’ remittances1. Hasan (2008) finds remittances respond positively to home interest rate and incomes in host countries2. Ordinary Least Squares estimation is frequently used to characterize the statistical relationships between aggregate remittance inflows and their proximate macro correlates.

The key finding is that a limited number of macroeconomic factors are important in predicting the behavior of aggregate remittances.

Click here to view full story. Original Post from World Bank, End Poverty in South Asia.

Call for Essays: 2013 International Essay Contest for Young People

goi peace 2013Young people from around the world are invited to enter the 2013 Goi Peace Foundation – UNESCO International Essay Contest for Young People.



Every part of the world has its own culture. Culture includes the arts, traditions and customs of a country or region, as well as the wisdom, values, lifestyles and trends of the people living there. In order to build a peaceful world, we need to acknowledge and respect each other’s cultures. What aspects of the culture in your country or region do you take pride in? How can youth make the most of them to create a better future?


1.    Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of June 30, 2013) in one of the following age categories:
a) Children (ages up to 14)  b) Youth (ages 15 – 25)
2.    Essays must be 700 words or less in English, French, Spanish or German; or 1600 characters or less in Japanese, typed or printed.
3.    Essays must have a cover page indicating (1) category (Children or Youth) (2) essay title (3) your name (4) address (5) phone number (6) e-mail (7) nationality (8) age as of June 30, 2013 (9) gender (10) school name (if applicable) (11) word count.
Teachers and youth directors may submit a collection of essays from their class or group. Please enclose a list of participants’ names and the name and contact information of the submitting teacher or director.
(Entries missing any of the above information will not be considered.)
4.    Entries may be submitted by postal mail or online.
(IMPORTANT: To send your essay online, you must go to the online registration page at and follow the required steps.)
5.    Essays must be original and unpublished.
6.    Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
7.    Copyright of the essays entered will be assigned to the organizers.

DEADLINE:    Entries must be received by JUNE 30, 2013.

AWARDS:    The following awards will be given in the Children’s category and Youth category respectively:
1st Prize:    Certificate and prize of 100,000 Yen (approx. US$1,140 as of January 2013)  … 1 entrant
2nd Prize:   Certificate and prize of 50,000 Yen (approx. US$570 as of January 2013)  … 2 entrants
3rd Prize:    Certificate and gift  … 5 entrants
Honorable Mention:  Certificate and gift  … 25 entrants

1st prize winners will be invited to the award ceremony in Tokyo, Japan scheduled for November 2013.
(Travel expenses will be covered by the organizers.)

All prize winners will be announced in November 2013 on the Goi Peace Foundation web site ( and UNESCO web site (

Call for Application: US Embassy Youth Council 2013

The U.S. Embassy Youth Council is a group of young Nepalese under the age of 30 from all regions of Nepal and representing various backgrounds, castes, religions, professions, genders and political affiliations. The council was created by the Embassy of the United States of America to Nepal.usyac

The council was established to achieve two objectives:

1) To inform the U.S. Embassy about the challenges young Nepalese face and what can be done to address them, and

2) To encourage participation by council members in their communities and the larger civil society.

Youth councils are being created in U.S. embassies all over the world as a way to for the U.S. government to communicate directly with youth about the challenges they face. USYAC aim to provide young people with a place where they can safely express their views, engage in open, constructive dialogue and explore opportunities to make positive changes in their communities.

Deadline for Application is January 20, 2013, 17:00 NST.

Any Nepalese citizen between the ages of 16 and 29 can apply for membership in the U.S. Embassy Youth Council.


How to apply?

1. Fill out the online form at (English); (नेपाली)
2. Email your C.V. with the Subject line “Application for Youth Council – Your Full Name” to


For more details:

The Glacier Trust: Scholarships for Nepali Students

The Glacier Trust provides financial support and expertise for grassroots Non Governmental Organisations working in these high environments, enabling communities to adapt and share their solutions.The Glacier Trust header

The trustees recognise that, if these objectives are to be met, there is a need to build the capacity of Nepali postgraduates to meet the challenges posed by climate change for mountain communities. The Trust is therefore able to provide funding for a limited number of postgraduates to help pay the expenses of their fieldwork and research, whether at MSc (or equivalent) or PhD level. Funds for postdoctoral research will also be considered. Where possible, The Trust tries to add a dimension to this process by sending UK postgraduates to “twin” Nepali postgraduates.

This process is intended

(a) to give Nepali postgraduates experience in computing methods, data gathering and interrogation, Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems and the like which are seen as essential tools in assessing and addressing climate change issues.

(b) It is intended to give UK students access to Nepali culture and insights into the complexities of issues which would otherwise be invisible to them in their research.

Recently the Trust has decided to widen the scope for applications to enable Nepali postgraduate students to apply via their university supervisors. To have the best chance, applications should be submitted before the end of September. In this case the application should contain (a) a CV (no more than two pages), (b) A concept note (no more than 2 pages) and (c) an endorsement from the applicant’s supervisor (no more than 1 page). The Glacier Trust will try, where appropriate, to liaise between the student, supervisor and an NGO to administer the grant.

Please note that the subjects for fieldwork scholarships should be broadly in the area of the effects of climate change on mountain communities and adaptation strategies or subjects relating to the furthering of these studies.


For more details:

Yes! I’m a graduated: 38th convocation of Tribhuvan University

The 38th convocation ceremony of Tribhuvan University (TU) was held at Dasharath stadium, Tripureshwor Kathmandu on Wednesday (January 09, 2013) and around 5,394 students from various stream including humanities and social sciences, education, science and technology, agriculture, forestry, included in the grace list participation.

Agriculture Graduates from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, TU, NepalBatch: 2007-2011

Agriculture Graduates from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), TU, Nepal
Batch: 2007-2011

The convocation ceremony was held for the first time out of the TU premises, considering the participation by a large number of students. The TU has removed the provision of wearing the formal national dress in its convocation ceremony this year onwards. However, the wearing of the gown and scarf provided by TU is compulsory.

Addressing the 38th Convocation Ceremony of Tribhuvan University at Dashrath Stadium in the Capital, PM Bhattarai  said, “Wheel of history moves either forward or backward, role of youth is important in this process.” Prime minister is also the chancellor of Tribhuvan University.

Rector Professor of Bargain University of Bargain Sigmund Gromo, Tribhuvan University Vice Chancellor Hira Lal Maharjan, and Education Minister Dinanath Sharma, among others were present at the programme.


Persons in picture

Top (from Left to right) Akash Koirala, Santosh Sanjel, Anil Adhikari, Vivek Shrestha, Devendra Paudel and  Dinesh Panday

Middle (from Left to right) Dipti Rai, Binita Shrestha, Abiskar Gyawali and Krishna Ghimire

Front (from Left to right) Radhika Bartaula, Pratibha Acharya, Ambika Pandey, Ranjita Adhikari and Pragya Adhikari

Research: Influence of waterlogging on wheat

A joint research by the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Grains Industries, India’s Central Soil Salinity Research Institute and University of WA was conducted into the effects of waterlogging relative to drained conditions on grain yield in the hope of casting light on how different varieties respond in different environments.001_boerderij-image-1140308

“We could never repeat results from different countries—it was a total mystery,” Professor Tim Setter, one of the paper’s authors said. “What we discovered was that any of the background element toxicities in the soil become amplified many times due to waterlogging.
“The waterlogging itself reduces the plant’s energy and knocks out its ability to exclude toxic elements which can normally be handled.

“Some of these elements, such as iron and manganese, increase from 10 to 50 times due to waterlogging.

“All of a sudden there is a whole suite of complex elements to deal with that can increase in amount and these different elements mean different soils.”

In addition to iron and manganese, other element toxins include boron, aluminium, bicarbonate, and sodium.

“Waterlogging affects growth because it limits the oxygen supply to the roots,” Professor Setter says. “The oxygen travels about 10,000 times more slowly through water than the air space that normally occurs in soil.

“When soils are waterlogged, it’s like an immediate suffocation.”

While the problem of waterlogging is complex, Professor Setter stresses it is not complicated.

“The word complex implies you can unravel the bits and that’s what we’ve got here,” he says. “We’ve got a collection of matrices and different key components we need to unravel.”

Using five breeding teams (two in Australia, three in India), researchers first explored different waterlogging problems in each location.

From there, breeders and geneticists were used to screen germplasm and molecular biologists then identified which key genes were important to combine to make the germplasm waterlogging-tolerant in multiple environments.

“We’ve been able to identify material that will probably yield up to three times higher in an Australian environment and certainly yield about 20–25 per cent higher than the highest yielding commercial varieties,” Professor Setter says.
“We’re increasing its tolerance through breeding programs and are currently involved with developing a molecular marker to enable the breeding companies to be able to follow the same path.”


Post Source:||07-jan-2013|Research:%20Influence%20of%20waterlogging%20on%20wheat

New Year’s Resolutions for Farmers

By  David Butler, Alltech

I have been working on my New Year’s Resolutions and have hit a roadblock. Somehow the list looks a lot like it did last year, and the year before that. So, I thought it might be more fun to come up with some resolutions for other people.

So here is a short list of resolutions for farmers, ranchers, and really, anyone in the ag

1. Agvocate

It’s just as easy to be an armchair farmer as it is to be an armchair quarterback. Activists want to reshape agriculture and their best weapon is public opinion. You may believe thatsticks and stones will never hurt you, but they just might result in ill-conceived regulations and requirements that hurt agriculture and drive up the price of food for everyone.

So this year, agvocate (advocate for agriculture). Take some time to talk to people who aren’t familiar with farming. Tell them, or better yet, show them how you produce their food and why you do it that way.

2.  Listen

You can’t have a real discussion if you don’t listen to the other guy. Spend a couple of minutes a day learning what people are saying about your particular corner of agriculture. The easiest way to do this is with a Google Alert. For instance, if you work at a feedlot you could set up an alert for the term “feedlots.” Google will send you updates whenever they find a new article or page that mentions feedlots. You can tell Google to send you an update once a day, once a week or every time they find something. Learn more about Google Alerts.

3. Read

Follow some farm blogs. There are lots of farmers out there discussing tough questions about agriculture every day. I’m definitely not going to start out the new year by leaving anyone off of a “best farm blog list,” so this is just a few links to get you started.

Just Farmers is run by three seasoned Agvocates (Ray Prock Jr., Mike Haley and Jeff Fowle). They feature excellent posts from several other ag bloggers as well so this is a great place to start.

Farmer Bloggers pulls in posts from over 20 different farm blogs. If you want to see their entire list of bloggers, you can go here.

Agriculture Proud is an excellent blog started by Ryan Goodman. He has created a helpful list of great ag blogs.

4. Be Social

If you are not using social media, pick a social network and just start exploring. Set up an account and follow some people. You don’t have to say anything. Just start out listening and get a feel for how it works. Here are links to some very useful guides for beginners.

If you are a little further along the AgChat Foundation has social media tips for agvocates. They also have excellent social media training conferences designed especially for farmers and ranchers.

Thanks for allowing me to put off finishing my own list for a while, even though it was in direct violation of my first  resolution, “Don’t Procrastinate!”

Happy New Year and best of luck keeping your resolutions!


Original Post:

Call for Articles: Emerging markets

Almost all small farms produce both for self-consumption and for the market. Successful participation in the market not only depends on factors such as the organisational capacity or the existing infrastructure, but also on how farmers can take advantage of the existing value chains and on how they strike a balance between the monetary and non-monetary economies. Many programmes for rural  development focus on developing the value chains that link producers to consumers. Most of them assume that, by connecting farmers to people who can buy, process, package, and market their produce, farmers will increase their incomes. However, increasing the efficiency of value chains does not automatically benefit family farmers, particularly in the face of globalisation or price volatility, so the issue of how farmers can increase their share of the value added, or receive a fair portion of the  final price, is often
not addressed.FM 29.2

Issue 29.2 of Farming Matters will look at recent innovations in value chains and emerging agricultural markets. It will look at the ways in which farmers can become more resilient in the face of price  fluctuations, climate  change, or hostile institutions. What strategies do farmers and their organisations employ to meet the challenges posed by the corporate domination of agricultural markets? This issue will examine the policies and institutional frameworks needed to make value systems work for poor farmers, and how the development of “new economies”, local markets and local value chains can improve rural livelihoods in a sustainable way. This also implies strengthening the autonomy of family farmers and enhancing multifunctionality on agro-ecological farms.

Send us your contributions! Please visit our website and make suggestions, comments or ideas for this issue. Articles for the June 2013 issue of Farming Matters should be sent to Jorge Chavez-Tafur, editor, before March 1st, 2013 E-mail:


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