Archive for June, 2013

Such an inspiring piece.

The FARA Social Reporters Blog

“It isn’t where you came from,
its where you’re going that counts.”
—Ella Fitzgerald

Few young people raise to a position, early in their career, where they can inspire others and make a change. For those who do, even fewer dare to take the risk then, to stand up, and push for changes.

Idowu Okheren Ejere is one of those few. As a young Nigerian diplomat and researcher, she is presently the Communication and Public Awareness Officer at FARA. Given the opportunity to coordinate the media outreach at the upcoming Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), she took her task as an opportunity to use young people’s enthusiasm for social media, and pull them into the conference’s social reporting team.

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Thaddeus Mubiru who is Iryn Namubiru personal manager has confessed and apologized to Iryn; “The drug saga started and ended up in Japan.’’ Below is the full letter apologizing to Iryn Namubiru;

I Thaddeus Mubiru manager to Iryn Namubiru would like to apologise firstly to you Iryn,family,friends,fans and all people that stood with her during her detention at Chiba Prefectural Police in Japan for the prejudice and troubles i caused to her when i knowingly refused to reveal the vital information that could enable her early release.

I would like to make it clear that Iryn Namubiru had no hand in it is solely transacted with Kim Tumwesigye Ueno on her behalf from the origin. I feared for my life and i was so selfish when I lied to you Iryn that i had not gotten anything from Kim Tumwesigye but the fact is that earlier on the 26th April before your departure to Japan during our whatsapp conversation, Kim Tumwesigye offered me USD 500 which he told me not to mention to anybody as a tip or token of appreciation. Maybe this manipulated me and made me persuade you carry him his baggage. Iryn had no idea of what she was carrying to be delivered to Kim Tumwesigye in Japan.

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ImageCoffee is the second most heavily traded commodity in the world.  It originates from either plantations that are traditionally run and owned by wealthy landowners or small family-run operations that are primarily owned by impoverished farmers.  These small farmers frequently live in isolated communities, relying on middlemen in addition to processors, creditors, exporters, and brokers to buy their coffee.

Fluctuating prices on the commodities market make it very difficult for farmers to plan for the future.  Prices are often below the cost of production.  The way the system is set up, the farmer can not get a just return for their labor.  When we purchase coffee, we unwittingly participate in a system that traps so many coffee farmers and their families in the developing world in an inescapable cycle of poverty.  In addition, many large producers have switched to a variety of coffee that needs full sunlight, unlike traditional coffee bushes that grow in the shade.  To produce “sun-grown coffee,” trees must be removed.  Clear-cutting forests destroys the ecosystem and endangers local and migratory birds.

Hundreds of thousands of small coffee farmers and workers have lost their jobs due to the current coffee crisis.  In many situations, these farmers must choose between starvation and growing illicit crops like coca, which is used to make cocaine.  Others have lost their land or left their homes in search of jobs so they can feed their families.

Despite all these gloomy facts and figures, the world’s small coffee farmers can survive and maybe even thrive.   We can help our neighbors accomplish this by buying fair trade coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate and other products.  Fair trade is an alternative economic model based on the premise that “good business” and “the common good” are NOT mutually exclusive terms.