Who are you?
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CTA. 2002. Who are you?. Spore User Survey (Supplement to Spore 100). CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47674
If we were to judge by the photographs sent in with this survey, there are two outstanding images of the typical Spore reader.One is of one or more people, equally men and women it seems, working in a field, tending crops and animals, or running...
If we were to judge by the photographs sent in with this survey, there are two outstanding images of the typical Spore reader. One is of one or more people, equally men and women it seems, working in a field, tending crops and animals, or running a small piece of processing equipment. The other is of a group of readers in their local information centre, sharing and debating Spore articles. There are other images, more difficult to draw and easier to see in our minds: the dozens of readers, from farmer to researcher to planner, who have said in many ways that Spore is their Internet and their gateway to a world of information. Or the woman in Nigeria who used Spore s articles on AIDS in Agriculture in her speech to the President s National Conference on HIV/AIDS. Or the Senegalese journalist, reminded to visit an urban farm project in Soweto, South Africa, when he read his Spore at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Or the Malagasy rural radio journalist who drew succour from contact with Spore during some dark days of transition in his country. Or the development planner in eastern Africa who revised his European agency s approach to hydroponics (the cultivation of plants in nutrient rich water) after reading about its scientific value in Spore. Just who are the readers of Spore? What do you do? Only one in 12 respondents is a direct producer in agriculture. In all, 101 respondents (7.7%) said that they are smallholders, commercial producers, animal breeders, pastoralists, fisherfolk, foresters or seed producers. This does not match the most current image of the Spore reader, although many other readers are also direct producers in their own backyard or small plot, in both town and village. The second largest group of respondents belong to the broad category of enablers and suppliers . These 537 people (40.9%) supply seeds, equipment, financial services, extension services, and marketing advice, or are traders, breeders, processors or consultants. The largest group of respondents, 656 and 49.9% in the survey, occupy a wider circle. These are trainers, teachers and researchers; managers of information centres; agricultural journalists; administrators; veterinarians, scientists and engineers. Where do you work? According to the survey, more than one-third of respondents is employed in the government sector. However, because of great discrepancies in the role of the state in ACP agriculture today, this is not a complete picture. In Ethiopia, for example, there is a very high readership of Spore amongst state-employed extension workers but this is much less the case in, for example, West and Central Africa. NGOs, whether local, national or international, account for one-sixth of respondents, with another 10% in farmers associations and community- based organisations. On a region-by-region basis, the growth of civil society and, conversely, the withdrawal of the state is even more visible. In West and southern Africa, there are more Spore readers in civil society bodies than in government; in Central Africa, there are twice as many. In the Pacific and Caribbean, numbers are lower, and mainly governmental, since they date from when CTA started its work by focusing mainly on the public sector. These figures, in particular in Africa, reflect the growing trend of NGOs assuming more responsibilities and the surging emergence of farmers organisations, which are often regarded as a key phenomenon in the transformation of civil society in the 21st century.