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CTA. 2002. Staying power. Spore 99. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47595
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore99.pdf
It s time to say goodbye and 'Thanks!' to a key person in the life of a Spore reader. After eleven and a half years heading the Publications Distribution Service, Nico Roskam has a new challenge: to open an information shop in Cameroon. He...
It s time to say goodbye and 'Thanks!' to a key person in the life of a Spore reader. After eleven and a half years heading the Publications Distribution Service, Nico Roskam has a new challenge: to open an information shop in Cameroon. He should do well there: he was an extension worker in the 1980s after his masters in erosion control, has close family ties, and his direct Dutch way of doing business will foil the smoothest local trader. He knows about keeping customers satisfied: the walls of PDS offices are lined with photos of PDS and Spore subscribers, and the files bulge with 150,000 answered letters. His greatest achievement? Bringing some order into the flow of publication requests reaching CTA. Since 1997, a subscription system has empowered the customer with information on what to select, and how much. That makes sure there is (almost) enough for everybody, each to her or his need. Will PDS outlive Nico? Of course, his hard-working colleagues will see to that. Nico himself foresees more decentralisation to national and regional publishers and distributors, including a controlled form of (subsidised) sales. He is right there; such investment will strengthen the information trade in ACP regions. What will he miss most? Probably the eloquence, guile, charm, and poetry of some subscribers asking in the most fantastic ways for more than their fair share that always won his smile, if not his big heart.