INDESEEM INCORPORATED Opens National Office in Monrovia, Liberia

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 26, 2018

INDESEEM Incorporated Liberia has recently opened our national head office in Monrovia, Liberia. INDESEEM Incorporated is a not-for-profit research, development, and education corporation base in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our vision is to enhance partnerships for development to provide evidence-based technical and non-technical services to assist our partners collaboratively achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We are a not-for-profit organization because we do not have shareholders, our works are focused on research and development with education to ensure sustainability. The revenue we generate from income-based projects and initiatives are not intended for generating profits. Annual excess net revenues are re-invested in new projects and programs design and development, staff enrichment opportunities, scholarships and grants committed to other organizations and members of the civil society recognized for their honorable contributions in their respective communities that directly or indirectly contribute to or reinforce our vision and mission.

We will provide specialized services in sustainable development, environment, and climate change, sustainable agriculture and food systems, poverty reduction, health and sanitation, community-led social business, and information communication technology (ICT). We design or work with our partners to design, implement, manage, and evaluate projects aim at realizing our shared visions, strategic goals, and objectives. 

The Board of Directors in consultation with the management team of INDESEEM, Inc. – USA and our team in Liberia have set up our national office in the Bassa Community on King’s Avenue, Montserrado County, Monrovia, Liberia. INDESEEM Incorporated Liberia is directed and supervised by Mr. Harenton Cashier Chea, Country Director under the auspices of the Board of Incorporators, a designated body of individuals directly appointed by the Board of Directors of INDESEEM, Inc. USA.

The Board of Incorporators of INDESEEM, Inc. Liberia has initiated the process to formalize our existence as an international non-governmental organization. We will work with the public and private sectors to promote and enhance Liberia’s strategic development agenda with interest in ensuring that Liberia meets its sustainable development goals targets and milestones by 2030.

Our work involves recognition and sector clearances from various government entities including the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Development, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Each year, we will strategize ways to apply for and achieve sector clearance from each of the listed government ministries. We will work with other development partners and community-based organizations towards strategic partnerships to harness and utilize our share development goals within the overall development agenda of Liberia.

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Harenton Cashier Chea, Country Director, INDESEEM INCORPORATED Liberia

 

Team setting up systems at the office

Aligning needs with solutions: Data-driven agricultural innovation for Vietnam’s farmers

 by  | Jul 27, 2018

 

In many ways, technology, including information and communication technology (ICT), has made our lives easier and helped solve many of society’s challenges. But how do we make sure that ICT lends itself as well to help those who grow our food?

To help Vietnam’s technology innovators rest assured that their ICT for agriculture (ICT4Ag) solutions do in fact adequately respond to Vietnamese farmers’ current and important challenges, they, together with farmers, convened at a workshop in which both parties gained a deeper appreciation of the challenges in the field on the one hand and existing technology solutions on the other.

Photo by Timm Walker/GIZ

 

Photo by Nguyen Ngoc Son/GIZ   

 

Held at Can Tho University on July 13th, 2018, the workshop titled “Aligning needs with solutions: Data-driven innovation for Vietnam’s agriculture sector” attracted more than 120 farmers, technology providers, researchers, and government representatives from all over Vietnam.

“Having technology developers and farmers in one place is extremely beneficial to both parties,” Ole Henriksen, Senior Technical Advisor for the GIZ-Integrated Coastal Management Programme, said. “For researchers, it provided an opportunity to learn what other challenges farmers face that aren’t currently being addressed by available technologies and that knowledge is the impetus for innovation.”

With officials from some of Vietnam’s key agricultural institutions, such as the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) present, workshop participants also identified ways on how supportive policy could foster a vibrant environment for technology innovation and adoption.

“It was important to involve policymakers and decisionmakers in the very beginning as they will ultimately spell out regulation for the sector. Enhancing individual and institutional capacity and knowledge had been a prime interest in preparing for and conducting this workshop,” Henriksen added.

One of the biggest concerns raised is the affordability of technology solutions, which participants felt, could be addressed if adoption increased and brought down costs due to economies of scale. An enabling policy environment could help increase the adoption of technology solutions by farmers.

At the workshop, participating farmers learned of available, useful technologies, for example, nutrient managers and site-specific agronomic advice delivered through mobile phones, that they never knew existed in Vietnam.

“The technology users – the farmers – are central to technology development,” Dharani Dhar Burra, data scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), said. “In order for us to be able to harness insights from big data, and later develop effective solutions based upon those insights, we first have to consistently know every minutest detail of what goes on in the field. This is where farmers come in.”

 From farmers’ data to climate-smart agronomic information

In a parallel initiative by GRET through the Agro-Ecology Learning Alliance in South East Asia (AliSEA)program, and participated in by CIAT, RT Analytics, and An Giang University-Research Center for Rural Development, rice farmers in Cho Moi upload, through a mobile application, data on their farming activities and management practices in a standardized manner. These data include farm location, and those pertaining to the farm’s production processes such as amount of water used, amount of chemicals used, and others. Data coming from each farm will be entered as a quick response – QR – product code, which can relay to consumers, at point-of-sale, some information regarding the product’s environmental footprint.

Photo grabbed from the Agro-Ecology Learning Alliance Facebook page

“Farmers hate writing the most. The mobile app liberates them from the paper-based farm diary, and that is why they love it,” Le Dang Trung, Chief Scientist at RT Analytics, said. “The data which they enter into the app is then used to help them optimize their farm operations, as well as provide buyers with full traceability.”

Piloted among 20 rice farmers in Cho Moi, the data entry mobile application is seen to expand among more Vietnamese farmers. In fact, maize farmer groups in upland Lai Chau in northern Vietnam will also start using the mobile application this season, with technical support from CIAT, RT Analytics, and Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas (CISDOMA).

According to Trung, beginning next year, RT Analytics will focus on adding artificial intelligence (AI) to the app, to help, for example, diagnose what disease the crop is exposed to after farmers upload a photo into the app. And depending on consumer demand for more information, it can later host more types of data that will contribute to further enhancing the agricultural product’s traceability, and in some cases, the farm’s reputation for food quality and safety.

But that is just the beginning. As farmers become accustomed to uploading all sorts of data – farming schedule, water use, weather observations, pesticide use, crop or yield observations – into the mobile application, researchers receiving all these data will be able to combine these with other data such as satellite weather data and soil data, to develop automated, timely agronomic advice based on each site’s specific conditions.

“It is a give and take situation,” Burra said. “The more data the farmers give and input into the app, the better the quality of information and advice they receive in return. And the better all these data could later inform policy, for example, related to the impact of chemical use at the landscape level.”

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Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the CIAT and retrieved on 08/16/2018 and posted here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM, Inc. accordingly.

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More cassava for less time

Aeroponic-cassava_resized

Aeroponics involves growing the cassava with its roots suspended in air and automatically sprayed with a special solution. Photo by: Neil Palmer / CIAT


By  | Apr 5, 2018


Cassava has a relatively long growth cycle compared to other important crops. It takes an average of 10-12 months — sometimes up to 24 months! — for farmers to harvest the roots; maize, rice, and potato’s growth cycles span less than a third of that.

In other words, farmers can grow cassava at most once a year, or, in some cases, every two years. Dr. Michael Gomez Selvaraj, a CIAT crop physiologist, is working to change that.

There is very little understanding of how and why few roots in cassava turn into organs that store starch, the part of the crop most valued by rural communities and industry.

Together with his colleagues at the CIAT Phenomics Platform, Selvaraj is developing a method that will lead to identifying the genes and factors that cause early bulking of roots. This will help them establish how to shorten the growth cycle of cassava to as little as seven months.

In addition, the technique will help identify the genes and factors that can increase the number of storage roots, so farmers can sell more of these in the market.

A novel technique

The method being tested by Selvaraj and his team involves growing the cassava with its roots suspended in air and automatically sprayed with a special solution.

Known as aeroponics, it offers a controlled environment for breeders to identify the genes that trigger early bulking of roots and the conversion of fibrous roots — which are all what the cassava initially has — to storage roots.

In the past, breeders would need to dig up the root from the soil to study the genetic traits of cassava. But it was difficult to isolate genes as the plant interacted with numerous elements in and around the soil, such as insects, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms.

With aeroponics, breeders can see how and when some roots start to swell and become starch storage organs. Root swelling is the crucial step toward cassava yield. As such, if breeders can learn to manipulate the genes that induce this swelling, they can manipulate cassava yield.

Apart from locating which gene triggers early root bulking, Selvaraj and his team want to know at which point such a gene does this and why the plant selects certain fibrous roots to become storage roots. Temperature and certain types of hormones could be factors, Selvaraj suggested.

With that, breeders will be able to trigger the process of bulking of roots at the earliest possible time and of increasing the number of storage roots the plant develops.

In the future as such, a cassava variety whose roots start bulking at the fourth month and that only has at most 10 storage roots might have roots that would begin bulking from the second month and have 20 storage roots.

“If we can double the storage roots, farmers will have an equivalent of two harvests in one growing season,” said Selvaraj.

Next steps

Selvaraj aims to follow up his experiment with trials to test how the cassava would perform in the field. And he plans to do this again without having to dig up the root from the soil.

One part of the trials will involve the use of the so-called ground-penetrating radar technology or GPR.

GPR can detect objects underneath the surface. It has numerous applications in several fields such as engineering, military, and archeology.

“But this is the first time that the technology will be used on plants,” according to Selvaraj.

GPR can validate whether the roots of cassava are bulking as early as expected. A study found it to be a suitable technology to predict and estimate storage root growth of cassava.

Another part of the future trials will entail using drones to see how the crop is performing depending on the type of soil and level of nutrients. Knowledge of the proper timing for fertilizing cassava is still limited, and drones can provide valuable information on this.

For instance, if the amount of nitrogen is low, the plant will likely be short. But with the right amount of nutrients, the plant will likely grow tall.

For farmers, the taller the cassava plant, the better. This means they have more planting materials for the next growing season, as farmers only need stem cuttings to propagate the crop.

“With the combination of all these innovative technologies, we are hopeful that one day farmers can produce more cassava in less time,” Michael Selvaraj said. “More importantly, this allows them to earn more and have more to feed their families.”

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Additional information:

The project titled “Low-cost 3D Phenotyping of Cassava Roots” is funded by the U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is a partnership between CIAT and the University of Nottingham’s Computer Vision Laboratory.

The use of GPR by the Phenomics Platform is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and forms part of the partnership between CIAT, Texas A&M University, and IDS North America Ltd.


Article Disclaimer: This article was published by the CIAT and retrieved on 04/09/2018 and posted here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM, Inc. accordingly.


 

US-Based NGO Commit to Transforming Education in Liberia

mtm

Source: Front Page Africa Online, 2018


By Jackson F. Kanneh | March 19, 2018|Front Page Africa Online


Klay District Bomi County – The CEO and founder of US-based educational NGO More Than ME (MTM) says her organization’s priority in Liberia is to help the government improve the education sector of the country.

Katie Meyler made the pronouncement Thursday, March 15 at a quizzing competition organized by MTM in Golodee town, Bomi County.

“More Than Me wants to transform the entire primary education of the country. We are going to work with the Ministry of Education to strengthen the educational system from the foundation so that the people and the economy will be strong,” Meyler said.

“These children that we are bringing up will be the future of Liberia. So, More Than Me in partnership with the government of Liberia is calling on our community leaders and school administrators to work together to make a stronger Liberia.”

Madam Meyler also called on parents to encourage teachers to be on campus every day, adding that the work of teachers is difficult; therefore, parents must regularly remind and encourage them about its importance.

“Because when they are coming to school every day, it means our children, the future leaders of this country, will be learning something every day which is good for this country,” she said.

Alexander Duopu, Deputy Education Minister for Instruction, lauded MTM for its impact on the school system while calling on parents to provide their children with the necessary school materials.

“Our parents need to give the children the support they need because our children are our future leaders, so we should support them with the education they need,” Duopu said.

He said the Ministry of Education under the CDC led government will seek legislation for the establishment of an academic crime court for the handling of academic issues.

“When a student leaves another school and come to your school, you as principal must go and check behind that student before admitting them in your institution,” he said.

“This is why we are going to have legislation for us to have an academic crime court in this country – a court that will hold teachers, principals and parents accountable for academic crime.”

Seo Davies, Bomi County Education Officer, praised MTM for organizing the Quizzing competition in the county.

He also called on the NGO to collaborate with local authority of the Ministry of Education in the county to improve the sector.

At the end of the program, the six participating schools were all presented with school materials by MTM while special awards were given to the first, second and third winners respectively.

The Education Time Quizzing competition, which was contested by six schools from Montserrado and Bomi counties attracted vast numbers of residents from Golodee and the surrounding towns.

In the grand final of the competition, More Than Me Academy, the parent school of the NGO located on Ashmun Street in Monrovia, defeated Moore Town public school of Bomi county 80 to 40 points.


Article Disclaimer


This article originally appeared on Front Page Africa Online and was retrieved on 03/21/2018 and republished here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM INCORPORATED accordingly. If you have any question or concern, please send us an email at info@indeseem.org.


 

Meeting on Liberia: Peacebuilding Commission Ambassadorial Level meeting on Liberia

UNDP-Liberia 2018

The people of Liberia have demonstrated resilience and readiness for democratic progress and a resolve to move forward on a path of development. Credit: UNDP.

 


By Achim Steiner | UNDP Administrator | March 13, 2018 |


As prepared for delivery.

At a time of much upheaval in the world, it is a distinct pleasure to meet here today to acknowledge Liberia’s impressive progress and discuss the path forward as the country enters the next phase of its development. While the era of peacekeeping will come to a successful close at the end of this month, long-term success demands sustained focus. Liberia’s partners cannot afford not to invest in Liberia’s future. There are far too many examples of reversal of peace and development at moments such as this to ignore the risks, as we all heard last week from the Secretary-General during his remarks to the General Assembly on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace.  Our support to sustainable development going forward must focus carefully on issues that will secure the peace.

The people of Liberia have already taken the first step in sustaining peace through a successful election and a seamless transition. They have demonstrated resilience and readiness for democratic progress and a resolve to move forward on a path of development. Liberia’s endowment of national resource constitutes an important opportunity if well-managed to promote the aspirations of the people. While the recent achievements deserve to be celebrated the road ahead for Liberia is marked by challenges. The country faces significant economic constraints brought about by the global slump in commodity prices, a narrowing fiscal space and a slow recovery from the Ebola crisis.  Challenges concerning national reconciliation, human rights, rule of law, marginalization of the periphery and basic governance capacity also remains.

The outcome of the election shows that the people of Liberia stand behind a pro-poor vision founded on a decentralized, people-centered approach seeking to narrow the gap between rich and poor and fight corruption. The formulation of the National Development Agenda for 2018-2024 offers a great opportunity to build on the President’s vision and fully incorporate the SDGs with an emphasis on education, health, gender equality and an inclusive economy focusing on jobs especially for women and youth as well as address the key elements of the Liberia Peacebuilding Plan.

The UN Country Team, of course, remains in Liberia after UNMIL’s departure and will spearhead the Secretary-General’s concept of a new generation of Country Teams tailored to national priorities and ensuring the continued availability of UN expertise to the country in critical areas. It will naturally be a reduced UN footprint compared to the peacekeeping era but the Secretary-General has requested a strengthened Resident Coordinator’s Office and the establishment of a Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Liberia to ensure our strong, coherent and coordinated support to the country’s efforts in implementing its vision and achieving the SDGs which will ultimately lead to sustained peace for the people of Liberia. While the MPTF will initially be based on the United Nations Development Assistance Framework and informed by the priorities of the peacebuilding plan, it will ultimately be one of the principle mechanisms in implementing the next national development plan and achieving the SDGs.  The MPTF will ensure that strategic seed funding for priorities is available for both government institutions and UN Agencies. that not only includes sustained financial support but also ensures a coordinated and coherent approach to achieving peace.

We cannot expect the government of Liberia to meet the broad and demanding challenges they face without our continued support. In this regard, I would like to thank the Peacebuilding Configuration for their continued support to the government of Liberia and the United Nation during the transition period.  The new Government will continue requiring the direct support from the Peacebuilding Configuration and all international partners.  The “Liberia Moment” on 23 of March presents an important opportunity for the Government, the PBC, and development partners to jointly kickstart the formulation of a Framework of Engagement, that will define the collaboration between the Government of Liberia, the UN and the international community in meeting their obligations with respect to sustaining peace agenda and meeting the SDGs.


 

Article Disclaimer


This article originally appeared on UNDP and was retrieved on 03/19/2018 and republished here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM INCORPORATED accordingly. If you have any question or concern, please send us an email at info@indeseem.org.


 

Innovative wood and furniture testing centre opens in Ghana

By Juan Pablo Davila | UNIDO | 6 FEB  2018|


3I1A7745_0

UNIDO-Ghana 2018


ACCRA, 6 February – An innovative, new wood and furniture testing centre in Ghana was officially commissioned today by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with support from the Government of Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Located at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), in Fumesua in the Ashanti Region, the Centre will ensure trade facilitation and support the Government’s efforts in promoting industrialization across all sectors.

The Wood and Furniture Testing Centre (WFTC) is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region and the third in Africa, following Egypt and South Africa, allowing Ghanaian and imported wood and furniture products to be tested to ensure they meet the required trade standards for consumer use and protection. Entrepreneurs in the wood industry will now be able to conduct tests to determine the strength of the materials used in producing wood products, including the bonding quality of plywood, and the durability, stability and strength of tables and chairs. These tests determine the lifespan of wooden products and their ability to perform the functions for which they are designed, and will help to ensure durable wood products in the Ghanaian and global market. The UNIDO Country Representative to Ghana, Fakhruddin Azizi noted that “The UNIDO-SECO partnership has given fruitful results in Ghana and the TCB Programme is truly a flagship example of confidence and trust between strategic partners.”

He encouraged CSIR – FORIG to effectively manage this wood and furniture facility to achieve sustainability and ensure that it creates positive lasting impact for the wood and furniture sector in Ghana and in the global market place.

Daniel Lauchenauer, representing the Embassy of Switzerland in Ghana, emphasized the important contribution the new centre can make towards the enhanced international competitiveness of Ghana’s wood and furniture sector and with this, to a much needed increased diversification of the economy, in line with the objectives of the government of Ghana.

“It is my hope that our support to CSIR – FORIG has a much greater impact and leverages existing government strategies such as the One District, One Factory (1D1F) to go a long way in supporting the wood and furniture industry in Ghana effectively,” added Azizi.

For further information, please contact:

Juan Pablo Davila, Project Manager

UNIDO’s Trade, Investment and Innovation Department (TII)

UNIDO Trade Capacity Building Programme for Ghana

Email

For the full image gallery, please see here



Article Disclaimer


This article originally appeared on UNIDO and was retrieved on 02/19/2018 and republished here for information and educational purposes only. The views and contents of the article remain those of the authors. We will not be held accountable for the reliability and accuracy of the materials. If you need additional information on the published contents and materials, please contact the original authors and publisher. Please cite the authors, original source, and INDESEEM INCORPORATED accordingly. If you have any question or concern, please send us an email at info@indeseem.org.


 

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