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# 75: Forecasting Environmental Change

Through years of practiced observation farmers have developed traditional ways to forecast environmental changes. By using indicators such as the flowering time of certain trees, the direction and speed of the winds, and even insect behaviour, farmers monitor and predict changes in their surroundings. These types of ‘grassroots indicators’ are often an informal early warning system for drought and desertification.

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# 74: Agroforestry in Africa

Agroforestry is the system of growing trees in combination with other farm enterprises such as crops and livestock. Trees provide farmers with many products and services that can bring much needed income to rural families and ensure food and nutritional security especially in drought periods.

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# 73: HIV/AIDS and Food Security

The impact of HIV and AIDS on food production and rural households in sub-Saharan Africa is undeniable. AIDS generally hits people in their most productive years, between the ages of 15 and 49. People become too sick to farm and feed themselves and their families. Significant losses in food production also result from deaths in families, and time taken to attend funerals and other mourning rituals.

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# 72: Integrated Pest Management Strategies for Farmers

The eleven scripts published in the September 2004 package cover different aspects of pest control: everything from deciding when an insect becomes a pest, to possible solutions to weed and insect pests in certain crops, and the potential dangers of applying chemical pesticides. The messages woven throughout the scripts are similar: learn about pests; use that knowledge to decide what control methods to use; use many different methods at the same time; and reduce dependence on chemical pesticides.

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# 71: Water Management & Rainwater Harvesting

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we decided to canvass our partners directly to help set the theme for the June package. We were surprised how many responses we received requesting information about specific crops, as well as water management and rainwater harvesting techniques. It seems fitting that our anniversary package represents somewhat of a return to our “roots”: providing simple, affordable and sustainable farming techniques and water harvesting solutions that will help to increase food security.

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