Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Only in the darkness can you see the stars. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope. ~Pittacus Lore.
“Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship.” Benjamin Franklin.
Yesterday, I came across a very interesting article in the Daily Monitor Newspaper regarding peoples’ spending habits. I found it related to my previous article titled “Living within our means for a better tomorrow” and was therefore prompted to share it with you this day.
The phrase, “Failing to make ends meet ” is common in Uganda and it means that a person has got into a pattern where their income does not cover the money they spend month after month. In our book, “Make Sense of Your Money” we describe this situation as having more months at the end of the money- meaning the salary gets finished several days before the next pay cheque.
Recently, a group of people attending a personal money management course that I was facilitating shared with me their major spending mistakes;
Living above means was a major spending mistake mentioned, for instance having expenses to an amount that is twice your income. Another was relying on anticipated income i.e one of the participants said his biggest spending mistake arose out of spending money in anticipation of future income. However, the most common mistake was the “What will people say syndrome” where several participants said their spending mistake was that they spent money out of fear of the opinion of other people and they cited several examples to illustrate this issue. By James Abola.
Yesterday, I was part of a market place convention held in Kampala, Uganda. This convention is held once every year and brings together Christians from different walks of life in the job market. For instance, some of the companies that were represented included Renault car company,Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA), to mention but a few.
The theme for the night was Facing the Giants with the guest speaker being Mrs. Angela Kirabwire from Capital Markets Authority, Uganda. This convention is aimed at empowering christians with knowledge and skills required to prosper and leave a mark in whichever field they encounter. It also offers an opportunity for people to interact, network, and make connections in the job market.
Individuals who have been in the field of work for a long time (20 years or so) are given a platform to share their stories and experience in the job market. They also talk about the challenges encountered, how they handled them, as well as the crucial lessons learnt in the due process. This is meant to provide mentorship to the young graduates and those just starting out in their careers.
Mrs. Angela Kirabwire took the stage and put the theme of the night “Facing the Giants” into context using her story of about 20 years in the job market. She ably illustrated various scenarios in which she had been put in very compromising situations involving graft, bribery and corruption in its ultimate description. Angella then added that she stood firm by her values of Integrity inspite of the insurmountable consequences.
She later on emphasised the importance of giving our best and working diligently however small the tasks at hand seem to be. This lays a firm foundation on which we can slowly and progressively build our careers.
True economic development starts with people in the economy, and Integrity is a core value eessential for personal development.
If only every individual were to steward their resources faithfully, our economy would grow and develop exponentially!
Cereals have for years, if not centuries been used as feeds for animals, fish and chicken. With the current shortage in production being a result of the prevalent drought especially in the tropical regions, it is imminent that a suitable alternative be found as soon as now.
There should be a significant reduction in the use of cereals as feeds. This can be done in a “green” economy by increasing food energy efficiency using fish discards, capture and recycling of post harvest losses, waste and development of new technology, thereby increasing food energy efficiency by 30-50% at the current production levels.
According to The Environmental Food Crisis, increasing the food energy efficiency provides a critical path for significant growth in food supply without compromising environmental sustainability.
As a result, the individuals living in drought stricken regions could have an extra meal or two contrary to what they can currently afford.
Inorder to decrease the risk of highly volatile prices, price regulation on commodities and larger cereal stocks should be created to buffer the tight markets of food commodities and subsequent risks of speculation in markets.
This includes reorganizing the food market infrastructure and institutions to regulate food prices and provide food safety nets aimed at alleviating the impact of rising food prices and food shortage, including both direct and indirect transfers, such as a global fund to support micro-finance to boost small-scale farmer productivity. The Environmental Food Crisis
We ought to support farmers in developing diversified and resilient eco-agriculture systems that provide critical ecosystem services (water supply and regulation, habitat for wild plants and animals genetic diversity, pollination, pest control, climate regulation), as well as adequate food to meet local and consumer needs.
This also includes managing extreme rainfall and using inter-cropping to minimize dependency on external inputs like artificial fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation water and the development, implementation and support of green technology for small-scale farmers. The Environmental Food Crisis.
Food waste contributes greatly to world hunger. One solution includes placing a greater emphasis on post-harvest food preservation methods such as solar refridgeration, intelligent packaging and creating a world food preservation center. Charles. L. Wilson, Ph.D
Drought normally hits crops at the flowering and seed stages, which is critical in determining the size of a crop’s harvest. Therefore, we need to look beyond the traditional food crops that we have become accustomed to, and start growing those that can withstand harsh weather conditions.
According to Science Daily, lead researcher Dr. Kai Xun Chan from the ANU Research of Biology said that the team discovered an enzyme that senses adverse drought and sunlight conditions, and how it works from atomic to overall plant levels.
This way the crops will be able to react and adjust in terms of nutrient intake. In turn, they will be able to grow to maturity despite the harsh weather conditions.
Given that we can only do much to change the current weather and climatic patterns, why not adapt to them accordingly?
The talk of food shortage in the tropical regions has dominated headlines of late. This has largely been because of the prolonged dry spell that has of recent faded away.
Irrigation has proven to be a viable remedy to the unpredictable prolonged dry spells across the globe. Many countries that are geographically located in hot and semi-arid regions ,like Egypt have established mega Irrigation schemes that support plantations in the hottest of times.
In my opinion, countries in East Africa with Uganda being the case in point, ought to borrow a leaf or two and go the Irrigation way. This way, production of food crops could be enhanced, especially among the large scale farmers.
As a result, not only will there be increased production, but the surplus produce could also counter increased demand in times of food shortage.