Taruvinga Magwiroto When I hear development experts extol the virtues of “small grains”, and engage in campaigns for their adoption, I am a bit saddened. It reminds me of my late dear grandmother VaChisaku, and how she knew all about rapoko (rukweza), and how rapoko porridge stays firm in your stomach like a rock. She knew all about finger millet (mhunga) and sorghum (mapfunde) and … Continue reading The fall and rise of agricultural indigenous knowledge in Zimbabwe (Or a word to latter-day Alvords).
Taruvinga Magwiroto In an earlier article, I introduced a way of theorising the emergent informal digital communities made up of multiple actors integrating into WhtasApp groups for purposes of participation, learning and innovating. In this instalment, I want to talk about some of the problems and issues faced by WhtasApp groups, particularly if conceived as development-oriented digital communities of practice. Group composition: the first obvious … Continue reading Adults learning together in WhatsApp Groups: Insights from the discipline of adult education.
Taruvinga Magwiroto If there is one concept that defines development best practice today, it is “participation” and “participatory”. I am more interested in the philosophical issues on participation, and less on “participatory” because I think once something is dubbed “participatory”, be sure that it is not! In fact the development sector (which is unfortunately prone to “herd mentality”) has elevated “participation” to the point of … Continue reading Participation in farming-oriented WhatsApp groups: theory and practice (Part 1).
Taruvinga Magwiroto The world is becoming “digital, digitalised and digitally-mediated at an astonishing pace” (Graham: 1), resulting in changing connectivities at the world’s margin. It is a self-evident fact that ICTs are causing creative disruption in many economic processes globally. While proponents of ICT for Development (ICT4D) would want us to believe that ICTs per se are positive for development, a more nuanced look shows … Continue reading ICT4D: the quest for inclusive rural futures
Taruvinga Magwiroto Recent reports of the on-going outbreak of the tick borne disease Theileriosis (also known as January Disease) in Zimbabwe has laid bare some of the problems and issues facing post land reform Zimbabwe. Theileriosis is more than a problem for livestock farmers. It is symptomatic of failures of social safety nets, institutional failures and the spectre of climate change. Because Zimbabwe is located … Continue reading Tick-borne diseases: symptoms of deeper issues.
Taruvinga Magwiroto A little video on the grasses of the Zimbabwe Highveld, explaining the seasonal changes that happen and the consequences for livestock condition. Highveld grasses of Zimbabwe (Mazowe) Check it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlhyQMAvCN8&feature=youtu.be Watch other videos here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSgf9z8h1gM&t=143s Continue reading Highveld grasses of Zimbabwe
Taruvinga L. Magwiroto One thing that we can be sure of is that all humans aspire to the “good life”, or at least a decent, dignified one. Everybody wants a good life, and deserves one. But what can be in contention is the definition of a good life. Whatever the good life is, we know that in reality, some have it better than others- because … Continue reading Designing our rural futures in post land reform Zimbabwe
Taruvinga Magwiroto When we analyse any situation, we are constantly faced with the task of understanding how a complex situation is created and developed and how important are the various components relative in time and space” (Boyle 1981:40). Patrick Boyle (1981). Planning better programs. McGraw-Hill. Analysing any complex situation is never easy, as that quote from Boyle emphasises. To me the phrase “post land reform … Continue reading Our rural future in post land reform Zimbabwe
Taruvinga Magwiroto Acacia legume plant. Seen here growing at Henderson Researc Station, Mazowe. Planted pastures can be a great way of ensuring adequate nutritious supplies of feed to animals. Lucerne, seen here growing at the University of Zimbabwe Animal House garden, Mt Pleasant. Growing legume plants can be a cheaper way of supplying proteins to animals. It is common cause that the current hyper-inflationary situation … Continue reading Small holder livestock entrepreneurs: survival tactics in tough business environment
Taruvinga Magwiroto As an extension programmer, there is always tension between answering what the farmer asks and designing answers to questions about what you think the farmers ought to ask. The push-pull conundrum is an old ethical question in extension (Roling 1988), and one that is also found in one of the foundational disciplines of extension: adult education (Lawson 1979). To what extent does the … Continue reading Answering unasked questions and questioning given answers: designing a farmers’ information resource in the digital age