The Reality of Using Technology in Classroom

 Guest Post by Gary Searcy

Technology has always been a main focus on Education. There is a hot debate around the globe regarding the use of technology in the classroom. A lot of people support the use of technology in classroom and others oppose it for various reasons. The reality is that technology really helps the students to improve their learning in all means.

We live in a world where technology is influenced in every field. Students are growing in technology developed world and they need to know everything about technology to be competitive in workplace. Hence, technology should be used in classroom and let the students to travel along with the ever-changing or developing technology.

Enhance Better Learning

Using technology in the classroom enhance better learning.  Technology not only enhances learning but also teaching. Today, teachers are able to make use of video and audio contents by means of technology in classroom. It helps the students to learn better than reading and learning from traditional textbooks.

When students see a video or hear an audio, it will stamp in the minds of students and they will recollect the contents even after many days. A picture can say a thousand words and meanings to students which cannot be attained through traditional way of textbook teaching. Showing video in the classroom can in reality generate a clear and more complete picture for students. Therefore, technology enhances better learning.

Teaching and Learning Become Easy                                                                      

Technology makes teaching and learning easier. Today, technology has transformed into the role of a teacher and therefore, teachers don’t want to waste their energy in the classroom by teaching students like past days. Technology allows students to learn by them and it’s a great tool for self learning.

Technology lets teachers to expand their world of teaching, outrun text-based learning and to engage students to learn best in their own ways. It has completely changed how the teachers take care of students, student’s perception of learning, how teachers assign projects, how students do their assignments, how teachers prepare for classes, how teachers taking classes, how students concentrate in classroom, and how teachers assess the progress of students, etc.

Students Become Engaged                                                                            

With use of technology in classroom educators can get more students engaged. Obviously, making use of technology in the classroom is a finest technique to turn your class or classroom into life. Students are fond of using many technological devices and its part of their life. So, when they see those technological devices in the classroom, they become more engaged in classroom.

Using mobile, laptops, computer, iPads, tablets, etc keep students involved in the classroom. Schools and teachers should try to give training for the students to utilize technology properly and effectively because it offers opportunities for them to learn better and be engaged in learning. Develop student engagement and improve education by exploiting classroom technology.

Other Notable Benefits

With the use of technology, students can keep track of their progress and work well to advance to the next level. Technology makes teaching and learning fun. It enhances student’s collaboration and they can share and discuss about assignments or study materials from classroom and home as well. Technology helps teachers to manage their classroom and they can also make sure that classroom lectures run effortlessly regardless of the troublesome activities of students.

Technology makes it possible for the students to learn better both independently and collaboratively. One of the notable benefits of using technology in classroom is that it offers students a large space to steer their own learning. Technology is widely used in today’s workforce. Thus, using technology in classroom prepare students efficiently to face future challenges that they face in workforce.

Author-bio:
Gary Searcy is a good researcher, and for the past several years, concentrated on academic papers for students who require best essay writer with quality service to accomplish their assignments and other projects. This has helped William to develop his expertise in best essay writing service that assist in essay writing.

Some Working Tips for Students to Improve Their Writing Skills

Guest Post by Francisco Brannan

There are several challenges that students have to face these days. The fluctuating job market makes it difficult for them to decide upon a career. The high level of competition makes it necessary for them to fight for what they are worth. And when it comes to education, they have to write a lot of essays and assignments to complete their
degrees. When it comes to students with a high level of education, it is assumed that they have excellent writing skills. In fact the ability to write is the most important expectation from a student undergoing education as well as from a prospective candidate for a job position. Writing is a skill and not everyone needs to have this skill but it can be developed. This article will give some working tips for students to improve their writing skills that they can use in their academic pursuits as well as their chosen area of professional endeavour.

  • The career you choose can have a very big impact on your writing ability. When you choose your preferred branch of academia or your carer you are choosing the field you will be in for the rest of your life. If you choose an area that is close to your heart, you will find it very easy to do the research that is necessary for the writing process. If you are passionate about it you will be able to learn and write about it in greater depth.
  • If you want to write well, try to narrow down your focus. The broader the topic the more difficult it will be for you to write and also for the reader to understand your paper. At the same time make sure that even though the focus is narrow, the paper is not filled with so many details that make it difficult to comprehend.
  • While writing papers make sure that you use reliable sources. It is very easy to find sources on the internet these days. But they need to be reliable. If your sources have been peer-reviewed and are from reputed journals or websites, your paper will be well-founded. Also remember to cite your sources. It may be a bit difficult to master referencing, but it gets very easy as you go on.
  • Be organized. Save your notes and scrawls so that you can use them in your papers. Learn now to highlight text, make notes in margins and store sources. This really helps you remember those important points. Some interesting idea may come to you when you are not sitting down to write. This step helps you bring that into the paper when you are writing.
  • Learn how to edit. Take the help of a friend while proofreading. They will be able to see the errors that you missed. Also take their feedback in a positive way.

Not everyone was a born writer, even though you may want to believe that. There is a lot of hard work behind all those excellent essays. It may be a bit difficult in the beginning but believe me, it gets much easier when you stick to the basics and move forward. You can check out this essay writing reviews to have some more useful writing ideas.

Job Serarch

Job Search

Job Search

Are you frustrated with your job search?

Discover some pointers to stand out from your job search competitors?

Do recruitment agencies help or hinder your job search?

Job Search

Frustration

Searching for a new job can be a frustrating and often a depressing process but try to remain positive and keep the job search going as it is just a numbers game – the more jobs you apply for, the more you learn about the process, the closer you will get to securing the job you want.

“It’s not how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get back up.”

Learn at every application, every step along the way, why you succeeded and why you did not. Always ask questions to help you improve.

Tips towards job search success

  • Review your resume and cover letter and make sure they are focused on the job you are applying for. Resumes and cover letters are very personal documents and reflect who you are. Try to think outside the box and be a little bit creative, use colour, photos, and personal examples to show why you are the best candidate for the role.

  • There can be a temptation to wait for the ideal job, especially for new graduates, but while you wait, others have taken roles which are getting them experience that will quickly become invaluable.   Look for roles that you can use as stepping stones to your ideal job even if it means taking a pay-cut for a short time.

  • Don’t wait for the job to come to you but be active in your job search. Contact companies you would like to work for, even if they do not have vacancies, and send them your resume. Many organisations are often on the lookout for good people without actively advertising for people. Advertising, interviewing and the whole candidate search process can be an expensive exercise for a company so if they can avoid that process many will do so.

  • Network, Network, Network. Many people seem to believe their job search ends with adding their resume to an online networking / business site, believing that companies will magically track you down once. On the contrary, this is only the beginning of the process. You need to get noticed by individuals of influence and the best way to do that is to network, directly and indirectly, with these people. As an example, write about you, your skills, your projects, and your job aspirations on a regular basis. Create a blog and add posts to it on a regular basis. Post the links on your social networking pages and other pertinent article sites so people can read about it. Don’t just do it once but keep it going, daily, weekly, monthly.

Recruitment Agencies

Do recruitment agencies help or hinder your job search? In my opinion, they often hinder the process as they fail to keep you informed along the way. If you are successful, they will be your best friend as they have just made their commission on that role, but if you are unsuccessful, you will often not even get a polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ letter or e-mail. You are often left waiting with no feedback and no assistance.

Many of you who know me will know that I ran a recruitment company for many years helping people in the GIS Industry find jobs around Australia but have moved away from running this company for range of reasons. Having said this it was one of the most rewarding businesses I ran; helping people find jobs, both short and long term. GeoSpatial Connect will be providing a free global linking service to both employers and job seekers, not a traditional recruitment service as such but we will actively work with you to find a role, or people, undertake promotion and help in all steps of the job search process. Work with us as we work with you.

Job Search

Geofencing And My Business

Geofencing And My Business

April 8, 2014 in  /by 

What is Geofencing? 

The heart of geofencing is exactly what it sounds like – a virtual fence around a geographic area. Establishing a geofence and linking it to a mobile device like a smartphone allows you to know when a person has entered or exited the defined geofenced location.

For most small businesses, this information is used to trigger a push notification to the person.

Example 1 – Dry Cleaner.
A dry cleaner in a city establishes a two-block radius geofence centered on its main location. The dry cleaner’s customers have downloaded its app, and are trackable in the dry cleaner’s system. When a customer carrying their mobile device enters the geofenced area, a push notification comes up reminding him or her that an order is ready for pickup. Customers love the reminder, and never forget their orders, and the dry cleaner is able to offer a value-add that doesn’t take up any extra manpower or energy.

Example 2 – Bakery.
A trendy bakery is cooking up mega-batches of a new . To help spread the word and get feedback, the bakery sets its geofence notification to invite fans to come in for a free sample. Not only do they get all the info they need on their new cookie recipe, they drive a ton of traffic and sell out their case of cakes, too!

Example 3 – Real Estate Agent.
A real estate agency has an app that active searching buyers often download. The agency can establish a geofence around its listings when they are holding open houses. When a potential buyer enters the geofenced zone, they get a notification of the open house, and head over to check it out if interested.

The Flexibility of Geofencing

A geofence can be set at nearly any distance you like. You can include an entire city, or you can have it extend just out to a sidewalk in front of your location. GPS technology is quite sensitive, and therefore, so is geofencing.

As you can see from the examples above, push notifications triggered by geofences also don’t have to just be messages about deals, they can cover lots of different things for lots of different purposes. In fact, the message can include a link to any location on the web, including a page you design specifically for a particular campaign. Therefore, geofencing may have applications for a wide variety of small businesses. How to deploy it, and make it serve your needs, is up to you.

The geofence doesn’t even have to be centered on your location. If you have a pizza joint, and want to trigger a message to your fans as they leave the bar, you can. There are many creative ways to use geofences.

Geofencing in Adelaide

An example of how a business located in central Adelaide could use a geofence to target residents or commuters with a message when they enter their geofenced zone.

Who Benefits?

Geofencing obviously can be used to drive traffic to your business. That’s the benefit to you. But you also have to keep your customers in mind. Geofencing needs to be used to improve their experiences and deliver value, or they won’t keep it enabled.

You can also use geofencing to gather data about customers and study their behaviour to understand them better. This information can help you evaluate the effectiveness of ads, store layout, and lots more.

Get Started With Geofencing

Gadget Coach-designed apps come complete with geofencing as a feature for you to utilise for communicating with your customers. Find out more about our app building services, based right here in Adelaide. 

The Differences in Academic Coaching of Boys and Girls

Guest post by Sally Lee

 Since boys belong to Mars and girls belong to Venus, they have different emotional, linguistic and intellectual builds and tolerance levels. Thus, it is important that major differentiation in different facets of academic coaching of both boys and girls need to be considered and implemented, although this should be done in subtle and restrained manner, thereby ensuring that they are not aware of the fact that they are being treated differently by educators and educational practitioners.

Gender differentiations: Research studies have shown that girls and boys react differently to stimuli and their tender and sensitive brains process information differently. A boy’s brain is essentially divided into separate areas, domains, categories and compartments, which each segment processing inputs differently and reacting differently. However, in the case of girls, the brain, through smaller, is more integrated and reactive. Girls deal more at the emotional level while for boys it is more of being pragmatic and dominative. Boys love to dominate and be aggressive while girls tend to be protective and caring. This is important since it impacts upon learning, retention and recall which are imperative for academics and is different for both girls and boys.

Physical and intellectual growth and development: Another important aspect that distinguishes between boys and girls is that of physical development. Brain development of boys is faster than that of girls, they display aggressive and competitive characteristics at early age and love a challenge, whether of physical prowess or mental abilities. Boys tend to naturally over exaggerate their own abilities and love to have a brawl in school, even though they know they would eventually lose out. This is particularly true in academics too, mirrored in high levels of dropouts when compared to girls, higher disciplinary referrals, lowered academic performance when compared to girls and higher diagnosis  as patients for brain related learning disorders and deficits, learning difficulties  and other brain problems/issue affecting academic performances.

Emotional and proactive/re active structuring: Academically speaking, during start up, boys are indeed a year behind girls in academic achievements but boys do catch up by the 5th or 6th Grade. The facts that girls are emotionally much calmer, composed and careful in assessing situations and scenarios make them good at reading facial emotions, expressions and reacting accordingly.  They are better than boys when reading and interpreting body language but are not as well up as boys in social skills, sports and field activities. However, they excel in cultural and on stage activities and shows, perhaps bettering their male counterparts in display of histrionics skills.

Considering that both boys and girls react and respond differently to academic inputs, it is indeed important that educators need to consider innate skill differentiations when coaching them, since they would be providing different response time, deliberations and outputs, depending on several variables, internal or external. This also needs to consider that the reactions of both boys and girls to external academic inputs would be quite different, considering that by nature, that boys are quite domineering, aggressive and overriding in nature, while girls more protective, caring and tender in their reactions to people, situations and circumstances. For best career, all students are taking online essay writing services & professionals.

 

The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture and Farmers Perception Towards It: A Case Study of Zoba Maekel, Eritrea

The Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture and Farmers Perception Towards It:

A Case Study of Zoba Maekel, Eritrea

*Dr. Naheed Sanober, **Desbele Kahsai,**Desbele Tekle,**Destalem Hagos, **Ghirmay Haileslasie,**Habteab Isack

*Assistant Professor

**Degree Students

Department of Geography

College of Arts and Social Sciences

Adi-Keih, Eritrea (North-East Africa)

Email: snaheed21@rediffmail.com


 

Abstract: Eritrea is located in the semi-arid region of Sub-Saharan Horn of Africa. The harsh climatic conditions, human induced and natural calamities, the geographical location and low adaptive capacity render Eritrea vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. It is being frequently affected by drought and erratic pattern of rainfall. The climate is becoming more and more unpredictable and hence negatively affecting agricultural production. The central highland where the study area is located is reflected by the temporal and spatial variation of temperature and rainfall. The research was conducted by providing questionnaire to the farmers in three representative villages of Adi Kontsi from sub zoba Berik, Emba Derho from sub zoba Serejeka and Abaerdae from sub zoba Gala Nefhi to represent Zoba Maekel which is centrally located, and interestingly all are within ten kilometres from the capital city of Asmara. This paper therefore analyzes the farmer’s perception of climate change, which has been classified according to their level of education. To satisfy the objective the statistical method of gamma test, a non-parametric test has been used through which it has been tried to assess if the perceptions of climate change according to educational attainment is associated significantly. The measure of association of the Gamma test indicates that the understanding and awareness of the farmers tend to increase as their level of education increases. Even though in some instances the experience of the farmers could be taken into account, but educated farmers seem more likely to understand climate change than those with informal education. There have been varied responses on the causes of climate change, and the decline in agricultural productivity. The farmers have shown readiness to change their cropping pattern and adapt to the current climatic situation, which indicates their awareness about climate change and readiness for adaptation strategies.

Keywords:  Eritrea, Climate-change, Gamma test, association, farmer, perception.

Introduction:

Climate change and climate variability are already having serious impacts in Africa. Although Africa has not contributed in a significant way to the build of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, it is anticipated that a given change in climate will result in more adverse socio-economic impacts in Africa than in other parts of the world. Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of it’s over dependence on rain-fed agriculture, compounded by factors such as widespread poverty and weak capacity.  The agricultural production of East Africa in general and Eritrea in particular has been greatly affected. This is because most of the developing countries like Eritrea depend heavily on rain-fed agriculture.  Although Eritrea has a tropical climate, the eastern lowlands are extremely dry where as the western lowland is semiarid area which is being influenced by the expansion of the Sahara desert. The government’s isolationist food strategy was adopted before the impact of climate change on Africa had reached its current high state of alert. Eritrea is potentially one of the most vulnerable countries in the continent, as is made clear in the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) published in 2007.

The prospect of increased variability in rainfall patterns, more frequent drought, and rising sea levels (Eritrea has many low-lying islands) acting on a primitive system of agriculture surely calls for more fundamental investment than the steps of basic good practice identified in the NAPA report.

Unusually, the science of climate modeling is unable to provide helpful projections for these changing weather patterns in Eritrea. Eritrean farmers use a variety of irrigation methods ranging from drip to pipe and sprinkler and religiously adhere to the agreed irrigation schedule in order to cope with this aridity.  Even though the farmers of Zoba Maekel introduced different adaptation mechanisms they still face a food security problem. Climate change has diversified impact, however, its destructive impact is on agriculture in which farmers are targeted first. This research paper intends to discuss the attitude and awareness of farmers to climate change, and its effect on agricultural production. It also examines the policy measures and adaptation mechanism taken to cope with climate change. In spite of their low level of education most of the Eritrean farmers felt and noticed the existence of the climate change without knowing the factors that causes it. Even though farmers suffer from climatic change, they do not have ample knowledge in adapting to this problem. It is agreed that farmers’ comprehensive understanding of the ongoing climatic change is crucial in tackling the problem through different mechanisms.

Study Area and Method:

The diversified natural features of the country has resulted in the growth of various kinds of cropping patterns pertaining to the prevailing climatic conditions. Zoba Maekel is one of the six zobas of Eritrea which is centrally located where the capital of the country is and it is bordered with Anseba, Semenawi Keihbahri, Gash-Barka and Debub zones. It has a total area of 107,907.8 hectare of which 54,448 hectare is total potential area for agriculture, from this 33,000 hectare is cultivated through rain fed cropping, 3000 hectare is cultivated using irrigation system and the rest is for grazing, forest plantation etc.

Its altitude ranges from 1600 meter above sea level, which is Dirfo up to 2,610 m above sea level that is Zagger. The rainy season is from June to August, but also little rain showers during spring season. Moreover frost occurs between October and February. Mean annual rain fall is 415.4 mm; maximum rain fall is 715 mm recorded in 1994 and the minimum annual rainfall is 194 mm recorded in 1996. The mean annual temperature of this zone is 15ºC, with 25.5ºC maximum annual temperature and 4.3ºC minimum annual temperature. Zoba Maekel has 89 villages administered by 59 administrative units, with 114,627 number of house hold with a total population of 518,412 of whom 27% are engaged in agriculture, 23% in trade and services 18% in manufacturing and handicraft, 7.5% in civil service and 24% as casual labor. So it has its own importance in relation to trade and commerce, on the central highlands. The farmers here practice mixed farming in which growing of crops and herding of animals is the major occupation. The crops grown are cereals which go into sustaining the farmers’ family and its proximity to the urban center have promoted both vegetable and dairy farming.

Eritrea like other parts of the world is under the grip of climate change. Successive drought and unreliable rainfall is prevailing in the country. This has led to decreasing agricultural production in different parts of the country as evidenced by chronic food shortage. The rainy season in Eritrea in general and in the highlands in particular is shrinking and farmers are continuously losing their long-term crops, which take a maturity period of around six months. The paper tries to deal with the aforementioned problems by making special emphasis to Zoba Maekel. The paper depends on relevant information collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources encompass practical observation of the field and responses based on questionnaires. A strucured questionaire with open and closed questions was forwarded to the farmers. The questionnaire was forwarded to 55 farmers having different levels of education. This was conducted in three representative villages of Zoba Maekel. Adi Kontsi from sub Zoba Berik, Emba Derho from sub Zoba Serejeka, and Abaerdae from sub Zoba Gala Nefhi was chosen to represent the Zoba.

There were some limitations which hindered the successful completion of the study: First, there are no meteorological stations in Zoba Maekel, except the one at Asmara in collecting the temperature and rainfall data record. Second, the data which was provided by some officials were not satisfactory, but we have analyzed it according to the existing data. Related to this some officials were not ready to give some essential data. Example could be cited the department of Limaat in the introduction of new seeds. Third, the sample size that has been taken from the three villages of Zoba Maekel was small, so it could not be used as a representative of the whole population. But yet it could give ample picture of this Zoba. As a pioneering work lack of literature on the topic plays its own role in limiting the study.

Eritrea being in the Sahelian region of Africa, it is frequently affected by drought and erratic pattern of rainfall. The climate is becoming more and more unpredictable and hence negatively affecting agricultural production. And Zoba-Maekel is not free from such effect. The central highlands of Eritrea in which Zoba Maekel is located has an altitude of over 1500 m, receiving an average annual rainfall of 500 mm to750 mm and a growing period of crops ranging from 90 to130 days. The effect of climate change in Zoba Maekel is reflected by the temporal and spatial variation of temperature and rainfall. These climatic variations have a significant influence on the people’s activities including livestock raising, crop production, forestry, horticulture etc.

It is generally accepted that the element of climate are the most important variables which play a vital role in agricultural production, even though technological advances and improvements in forecasting have made some possible adjustments in planting and harvesting schedule. The two most influential elements of climate on agriculture are rainfall and temperature.

 

 

 

Rainfall:

 In general speaking rainfall is one of the major determining factor for the success or failure of agriculture. Especially this is evident in countries like Eritrea, where agriculture is mostly dependent on rainfall. Although the total amount of rainfall received each year seem to be sufficient for crop production (400 to 6000 mm), most parts of Eritrea indeed suffer from chronic droughts over the years. The problem being that the rains are erratic and unpredictable. More over there are also moments when the rain fails to come in time and sometimes are late resulting in the destruction of mature crops. This was witnessed in 1997 which was the El Nino year and the rains failed to occur in time, which in turn caused a lot of destruction. Historic meteorological records reveal that the frequency of droughts have increased during the past forty years. Eritrea has faced serious recurrent droughts from1905-1915; from1939-1945; from1965- 1978 and 1984&1985, 1989&1991and 2002, 2008 & 2009.Thus the availability of optimum rainfall is a necessary condition for the success of agricultural productivity. But, excess moisture in the soil can have an adverse effect on agriculture as free movement of oxygen is blocked and compounds which are toxic to the plant roots can be formed. The scarcity of moisture can also lead to plant wilting and dying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table I: The Seasonal Rainfall of Asmara for Spring and Summer verses Crop Production

Year Spring rainfall (mm) Summer rainfall (mm) Production in ton
1992 10.6 286.5 21,000
1994 20 239 24,429
1996 42 147 9,559
1998 109.3 396.9 39,244
2000 100.9 366 23,090
2002 11.8 267.6 2,817
2004 61.4 184.2 6,089
2006 110 366.4 35,544
2008 86.4 154.7 3,170

 

Source: Department of Meteorology and Ministry of Agriculture

From (table I) a strong positive correlation can be seen between the amount of spring and summer rainfall as well as crop production. For instance the years 1998 and 2006 shows high crop production where there is high spring and summer rain fall. Whereas the years 2002 and 2008 recorded the lowest as both the spring and summer rainfall was not sufficient to support proper crop production.

Furthermore; the table shows that the occurrences of spring without summer rainfall and vice versa have negative influence on the productivity of crops. For example in the year 2008 there was abundant spring rainfall but failure of summer rainfall resulted in the decline of crop productivity. In addition, the distribution of rainy days and area coverage in the region has its own effect on crop production.

Temperature:

Temperature too plays a significant role in the productivity of agriculture. All crops have minimal, optimum and maximum temperature limitation for each of their stage of growth. Generally speaking, a high temperature is not as destructive as a low temperature, if moisture supply is sufficient to prevent wilting.

      High temperature can cause sun scaled, an injury caused by high radiation which leads to high evapotranspiration that can lead to plant drought. The mean minimum and mean maximum temperature of Asmara has been analyzed because most of the areas in Zoba Maekel have similar altitude. The month of January and July have been used to analyze the temperature trend between 1992 and 2009. These months are selected because they show extreme temperature conditions of the year.

Fig:1

From the (fig:1) the month of January a general increase of temperature from 22ºC from 1992 to 24.3ºC in 2008 could be observed. Similarly, the mean maximum temperature in July escalates from 22ºC in 1992 to 23.3ºC in 2008. The mean maximum temperature of January and July show similar trend because the constant cloud cover of July reduce its maximum temperature by reflecting back most of the incoming radiation. Thus from the above graph a general increase of temperature has been observed.

Fig:2

 The occurrence of low temperature has also far reaching impact on plant growth because plant growth stops when temperature falls below 6ºC. The mean minimum temperature of Asmara in January has risen from 4.2ºC in 1992 to 5.6ºC in 2008. Similarly, the mean minimum temperature of July shows an increase from 12.1ºC in1992 to 12.7ºC in 2008. From the  (fig:2) it is evident that, the mean minimum temperature of July and January show great variation because the cloud cover in the month of July prevent heat loss through re-radiation. Thus a change in either rainfall or temperature can adversely affect the agricultural production.

The Impact of Climate Change:

            Although global climate change is one of the most debatable issues today, the understanding people have about it varies. For some people it may mean more rains, floods and disasters. For people living in Eritrea, climate change is related to shortage of rainfall, extended rainy seasons, or late rains those results in decreased biomass production, yield loss, livestock death and therefore famine. In Zoba Maekel, as farmers’ heavily depend on rain fed agriculture; they are adversely affected by climate change. Over 27 % of the total population in Zoba Maekel make their livelihood from mixed farming. These economic activities have been influenced by variation in elements of climate especially temperature and rainfall. So their changing impact on crop production is illustrated as follows.

Crop Production: 

Climatic variations have both direct and indirect effect on both rain-fed and irrigated crops.

                       Fig:3

The common crops grown in Zoba Maekel in order of their proportion are barley, wheat, maize, sorghum, millet, taff, pea, and lentils. Most of these crops depend on rainfall since the climate change cause decline of rainfall from year to year, the production of crops also decreased (fig:3). Production of sorghum shows a decline from 2000 tonnes in 1992 to 235 tonnes in 2008. Likewise, maize production decreased from 1700 tonnes in 1992 to 120 tonnes in 2008.On the other hand, the production of barley and wheat shows a slight increase because the land which was previously used to cultivate sorghum and maize were shifted to produce barley and wheat. This shift in land cover has taken place due to the unreliability of spring rainfall, which has become very scarce in some years (table I), and is not enough to support either sorghum or maize in the dry periods. The other years show alternative rise and fall of crop production. This means there are alternative 2 to 3 successive rise of production and 2 to 3 successive fall of production. This is because Eritrea is located in the region where drought occurs every 2 to 4 years.

           Farmers’ Perception to Patterns of Climate Change

Fig:5

As the bar graph shows, overwhelmingly 94.5 % of the farmers admitted change in temperature. Similarly, 87.2 % of the respondents noticed abrupt change in rainfall over the years. Over 94 % of the respondents replied that their agricultural production showed substantial reduction. Therefore, the decreased agricultural production is directly related to the change in rainfall and temperature which are the main indicators of climate change. Thus the bar graph illustrates that the farmers have clear understanding of climate change. Even though there is controversy on the causes. That is why a small percentage (14.5 %) of the respondents believe in meteorological prediction.

What Type of Farmers Perceive Climate Change?

To answer the questions regarding which types of farmers perceive climate change, farmers’ perceptions of climate change have been classified according to their level of education. For this level of education we distinguish four classes.

1.         No formal education

2.         1-5th grade education

3.         6th -9th grade education and

4.         10th -12th grade education

Using the Gamma Test, a non parametric test, we assess if the perceptions of climate change according to educational attainment is associated significantly.

Measuring of association is a statistics that show the direction and/or magnitude of relationship between pairs of discrete variables. Gamma is a symmetric PRE (Proportionate Reduction Error) measure of association; that is, the same Gamma value is obtained whether the first variable predicts the second variable or vice versa.

Gamma measures strength of association between pairs of ordered variables such as those displayed in the following tables. Its calculation requires systematically evaluating all pairs of observation in a cross tabulation, counting the total number that are untied concordant pairs and the total number that are untied discordant pairs. A pair of observation is concordant if the subject which is higher on one variable is also higher on the other variable. A pair of observations is discordant if the subject which is higher on one variable is lower on the other. Most ordinal measures of association refer in some way to Nc-Nd. A positive difference for Nc-Nd occurs when Nc>Nd and indicates a positive association, since concordant pair are more common than the discordant pairs. A negative difference reflects a negative association. In order to avoid the influence of large sample size we calculate gamma as follows;

G =   NcNdNc+Nd                                                                                                                   (1)

Where, G- Gamma

            Nc-number of concordant pairs

            Nd-number of discordant pairs

The formula clearly shows gamma’s PRE character. When Nc=Nd, prediction is no better than chance and gamma equals zero (there is no association).

Properties of gamma;

  • The value of gamma falls between -1 and +1.
  • The sign (+) of gamma indicates whether the association is positive or negative.
  • The magnitude of gamma indicates the strength of association.

The population parameter that gamma estimates is labeled ‘γ’. If we have a simple random sample of cases, the sampling distribution of gamma approaches normality as number of samples became large (50 or more). The test statistics is approximated by

Z= (G-γ)Nc+NdN(1G2)                                                                                                                    (2)        Where Z-is population estimates

            γ-the population value of gamma under null hypothesis.

            N-number of samples

    We illustrate this with the table below. (“no” is the low end and “yes” is the high end of the scale on “y=level of understanding (perception to climate change)”, and “no formal education” is the low end and “9-12th” is the high end of the scale on “x=level of education”. By convention, we construct contingency tables for ordinal variables so that the low end of the row is the first row and the low end of the column variable is the first column. (There is no standard, however, and other books or software may use different convention).

Table II :       Perception to Changes in Climate by Farmers’ Level of Education

Level of education

           Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

Total

No formal education

10(29.4%)

24(70.5%)

34(100%)

1- 5th

1(14.2%)

6(85.7%)

7(100%)

6- 9th

0

5(100%)

5(100%)

10 -12th

0

9(100%)

9(100%)

Total

11

44

55

The crosstab in the above table shows a 4 by 3 joint frequency distribution of two ordered variables. The sample respondent farmers from three villages of Zoba Maekel (Adi Kontsi, Abardae, and Emba Derho) were asked “whether they observed any climate change?” The given choices were “yes” and “no”. The farmers where categorized by their level of education (“no formal education”, “1-5th”, “6-9th”, “10-12th”). Consider pair of subjects, one of which is classified (no formal education, no understanding to climate change) on the two variables, and the other of which is classified (1-5th level of education, yes). The first subject is one of the 10 classified in the upper left hand corner of the table, and the second subject is one of the 6 classified in the middle cell of the table. This pair of subject is concordant, since the second subject is higher than the first subject both in level of understanding (yes versus no) and in level of education (1-5th versus to no formal education); that is the subject who is higher on one variable is also higher on the other. Now, one can pair each of the 10 subjects classified (no formal education, no) with each of the 6 subjects classified (1-5th, yes). So there is 10*6=60 concordant pair of subjects from these two cells. By contrast, each of 24 subjects in the cell (no formal education, yes) forms a discordant pair when matched with each of the 1 subject in the cell (1-5th, no). The 24 subject have lower scale of education than the 1 subject, yet they have higher level of understanding to climate change. So, there is 24*1=24 discordant pair of subjects from these two cells.

Number of concordant =Nc

 

Level of Education

Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

No formal education

1- 5th

1

6- 9th

5

10 -12th

9

Level of Education

Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

No formal education

1- 5th

6- 9th

0

10 -12th

9

Level of

Education

Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

No formal

Education

10

1- 5th

6

6- 9th

5

10- 12th

9

Nc=10(6+5+9) + 1(5+9) + 0(9) =214

 

 

 

 

Number of discordant= Nd

Level of Education

Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

No formal education

1- 5th

6- 9th

5

10 -12th

0

Level of Education

Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

No formal education

1- 5th

6

6- 9th

0

10 -12th

0

Level of Education

Response of farmers to climate change

No

Yes

No formal education

24

1- 5th

1

6- 9th

0

10 -12th

0

Nd =24(1+0+0)  +  6(0+0)  +  5(0)    =24

                 G= Nc-Nd     =214-24   =190   =0.79

                       Nc+Nd       214+24     238

In this association the null and alternative hypotheses are:

Ho: γ=0

H1: γ> or <0.

To test the null hypotheses we choose α=0.05 as a significance level. From an appendix of the z-score shows that the critical value is z = + 1.64. Now, using the sample value of G calculated above, the standard z-score (that is the test statistic) is

Z= (G-γ) Nc+NdN(1G2)      = (0.79-0) 23855(10.62)  = 0.7923820.9  =2.68

Since 2.68 exceed +1.64 we reject the null hypotheses and thus the association is significant.

In a similar way the following Gamma statistics test are calculated:

Table III: Perceptions to Causes of Climate Change

Level of education

Response of farmers to  causes of climate change

It is punishment of God

It is occurring naturally

It  is man made

Total

No formal education

12(52.1%)

6(26%)

5(21.7%)

23(100%)

1- 5th

4(57.1%)

3(42.8%)

0

7(100%)

6- 9th

0

1(25%)

3(75%)

4(100%)

10 -12th

0

2(22%)

7(77.7%)

9(100%)

Total

16

12

15

43

Notes: Gamma-T test Nc=341   Nd= 80    G= 0.61    Z- critical=+1.64   Z-calculated=2.40 α=0.05 Ho= rejected

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table IV:                    Perceptions to Changes in Rainfall

Level of education

Response of farmers to change of rainfall

No

Yes

Total

No formal education

0

34(100%)

34(100%)

1 -5th

1(14.2%)

6(85.7%)

7(100%)

6 -9th

1(20%)

4(80%)

5(100%)

10- 12th

1(11.1%)

8(88.9%)

9(100%)

Total

3

52

55

Notes: Gamma-T test NC=20   Nd= 118    G= 0.71    Z- critical=-1.64   Z-calculated=-1.5 α=0.05 Ho= rejected

Table V:                     Perceptions to Changes in Temperature

Level of education

Response of farmers to change of temperature

No

Yes

Total

No formal education

7(21.8%)

25(78.2%)

32(100%)

1 -5th

1(11.1%)

8(88.9%)

9(100%)

6 -9th

0

5(100%)

5(100%)

10- 12th

1(11.1%)

8(88.9%)

9(100%)

Total

9

46

55

Notes: Gamma-T test NC=160   Nd= 63    G= 0.43    Z- critical=+1.64   Z-calculated=0.95 α=0.05 Ho= accepted.

Table VI:        Opinions on the Prediction given by the Department of Meteorology

Level of education

Farmers opinion to the prediction given by the department of meteorology

I do not believe the

Prediction

Neutral

I believe the

Prediction

Total

No formal education

24(70.5%)

8(23.5%)

2(5.8%)

34(100%)

1- 5th

5(71.4%)

1(14.2%)

1(14.2%)

7(100%)

6- 9th

1(20%)

4(80%)

0

5(100%)

10 -12th

2(22.2%)

5(55.5%)

2(22.2%)

9(100%)

Total

32

18

5

55

Notes: Gamma-T test Nc=408 Nd= 123    G= 0.53    Z- critical=+1.64   Z-calculated=1.96 α=0.05 Ho= rejected

         The findings could be argued as:

1. Education seems to increase the probability that the farmers will perceive long term climate change. Thus non educated farmers are more likely to see that climate change does not have significant trend over the long run.

2. The educated farmers tend to associate the causes of climate change to anthropogenic and natural factors. Whereas, the non educated farmers perceive that the main cause of climate change is God’s punishment.

3. With experience non educated farmers are more likely to perceive change in rainfall. Thus a strong negative association is observed between level of education and farmers’ perception to pattern of rainfall change. And this association is significant.

4. Concerning the temperature change educated farmers are more likely to feel than those having no education. But, this association is weak and as a result it is not significant.

5. There is a weak positive association between level of education of farmers and their opinion on the weather forecasts given by the national meteorological department. Most of the farmers with high level of education neither completely deny the forecast nor they completely accept. This is because of the fact that the weather office is totally dependent on foreign vendors to provide them the information in the Horn, this information may be delayed which can lead to inaccurate forecasts.

Adaptation strategies and constraints:

Crop management strategies (change in sowing date and crop cultivar) were more adopted than soil fertility and soil water managements due to constraints attached to the latter ones. Soil fertility is restricted by fertilizer availability and cost; and soil water managements by irrigation equipment, labour or water availability.

Conclusion:

The increasing intensity of global warming and the erratic nature of climate change followed by land degradation have adversely affected the economies of many Sahelian countries including Eritrea. Rainfall and temperature are the most important determinant parameters of climate change. Rainfall plays a vital role in influencing the rainfed agricultural sector as in Eritrea. Therefore, there is a positive correlation between amount of rainfall and crop production. In Zoba Maekel this has been evidenced by decrease of rainfall in the past few years that has resulted in declining agricultural production.

A general increase of mean minimum and mean maximum temperature of Zoba Maekel has been observed. The measure of association of the Gamma Test indicates that the understanding and awareness of the farmers tend to increase as their level of education increases. Even though in some instances the experience of farmers could be taken into account, but educated farmers seem more likely to understand climate change. Although the rural communities have been adapting different coping strategies to the prevailing climate change induced impacts, food security and poverty alleviation were given a priority by the government of the State of Eritrea. The government has laid and implemented a number of policy measures and adaptation mechanisms to improve crop productivity and increase livestock population. In addition to this sectoral and national policies and regulating mechanisms were formulated to complement these developmental programs.

References:

  1. Akponikpe I B P et al 2010 Farmers’ Perception of Climate Change and Adaptation strategies in Sub-Saharan West Africa presented in the 2nd International Conference: Climate,Sustainability and Development in Semi-arid Regions (www.icid18.org/files/articles/128/Peter_JOHNSTON.pdf) Accessed 2December 2012
  2. Apata T G 2012 Effects of Global Climate Change on Nigerian Agriculture: An Empirical Analysis, CBN, Journal of Applied Statistics  2(1) 31-50  (www.cenbank.org.out.2012/PUBLICATIONS/REPORTS/STD/EFFECTS%20 OF %20 GLOBAL%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE%20ON%20NIGERIAN%20AGRICULTURE.PDF) Accessed 18 February 2013
  3. Apata T G; Samuel D K and Adeola O A 2009  Analysis of Climate Change Perception and Adaptation among Arable Food Crop Farmers in South Western Nigeria presented at the International Association of Agricultural Economists’ 2009 Conference, Beijing (ageconsearch.umn.edu?bitstream/51365/2/final%201AAE%20doc.pdf) Accessed 3 December 2012
  4. Asayehegn  K  2012 Farmers’ Perception on Climate Change Adaptation Strategies: A  case study from the irrigation schemes of Central Tigray Regional State, Ethiopia Journal of Agricultural economics and Development vol:1(5) 99-105, (www.academeresearchjournals.org/download.php?id=587080934414924055.pdf&type=application/pdf&op=1=) Accessed 20 November 2012
  5. Ghebru B et al 2012 East African Agriculture and Climate Change: A Comprehensive Analysis – Eritrea International Food Policy Research Institute (reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/file/resources/aacccs-eritrea_note.pdf) Accessed 25 December 2012
  6. Hartter J et al 2012 Patterns and Perceptions of Climate Change in a Biodiversity Conservation Hotspot PLOS ONE 7(2):e32408 (www.plosone.org/article/info%2F10.137%2Fjournal.pone.0032408) Accessed 2 November 2012
  7. ICRISAT 2008 Climate Change in the Semi-Arid Tropics (test1.icrisat.org/gt-aes/Climate_Change_SAT Flyer.pdf), Accessed 13 December 2012
  8. IFAD 2011 Adressing Climate Change in East and Southern Africa (www.ifad.org/operations/projects.regions.pf/pub/climate.pdf), Accessed 27 September 2012
  9. Lehman B et al 2008 Farmers perceptions and Responses to Climate Change (www.cces.ethz.ch/projects/clench/CLIMPOL/Clusters/C/C1/climpol_C1Farmers.pdf), Accessed 12 December 2012
  10. Mertz O et al  2009 Farmers’Perceptions of Climate Change and Agricultural Adaptation Strategies in Rural Sahel Environmental Management 43 804-81 (Link.Springer.com/staticcontent/0.6134/lookinside/335/ast%253A10.1007%252Fs00267-008-9197-0/000.png), Accessed 2December 2012
  11. Ngigi N S 2009 Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies: Water Resources Management Options for Smallholder Farming Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, A Study Supported by the Rockfeller Foundation (www. Rockfeller foundation.org/uploads/files/9eacd477-e2ef-4b72-9207-5a18135dceb3.pdf) Accessed 6 November 2012
  12. Ziervogel G et al 2008 Climate Change and Adaptation in African Agriculture prepared for Rockfeller Foundation by Stockholm Environment Institute (knowledgebase.terrafrica.org/fileadmin/userupload/terrafrica/docs/Final_Rockfeller4April08.pdf) Accessed 27 September 2012

Save the Planet While Saving Your Own Money

Guesr Post by Israel Defeo

 If you are hoping to cut down on expenses, it is always a good idea to hit two birds with one stone and try to save the planet while you save money. To give you inspiration, here are a few tips we have gathered:

1.      Use energy-efficient bulbs.

–          Lighting in your home takes up around 11% of your house’s total energy bill. To be able to save money, energy and ultimately the planet, try replacing your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). You may also use halogens instead. Replacing your current lighting with energy-efficient bulbs can provide you with up to 75% savings on your annual electricity bill. Energy efficient bulbs also last longer so there is less need for replacements, saving you more on money and time in the process.

2.     Fix water leaks.

–          Check all the faucets, toilets, and other water systems in your house and have all broken faucets and water facilities fixed. A leaking faucet can spill around 3 gallons of water per day, while leaking toilets can waste 22 gallons, and though it may not cost much, it could add up to a big cost in a year. Have your faucets and toilets fixed immediately and try to replace it with facilities that use low-flow to avoid wasting water.

3.     Pack your lunch.

–          Eating out everyday can also be costly, especially when you rely on restaurants and other food establishments for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Save big money by cooking meals at home. You could also opt to for sandwiches and salads—if you can subsist on such fare—instead of using so much energy for those times that you cook meat dishes.

4.     Use power cord extensions.

–          Aside from enabling more electrical devices to be plugged and lengthening the reach of electric plugging and charging, power cord extensions also allow automatic turning off of electronics, which results in saved energy and money. This is in contrast to just plugging your electrical appliances and smart phones directly onto the wall, where there are more chances of leaving the electricity plugged in, which can take up 31% of the average utility bill. Use your power cord extensions on TV, computers, and for charging your phone and turn off the power after use.

5.     Turn down your water heater.

–          Another cause of your electricity bill spike is too much use of the hot water from the water heater. Water heating can take up as much as 25% of the cost of electricity bill, as reported by Good Housekeeping. Reduce your energy bill expenses by turning down your water heater by several notches and switching to an energy-efficient water heater. You may also opt for a solar powered water heater to further reduce your energy bills.

6.  Start your own garden.

–          If you always purchase certain vegetables and fruits from the market, then it would probably benefit you to start your own garden and plant common crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, salad greens, and fruits. You can save on the price of these fruits and veggies, and at the same time, sell some of the veggies off if your garden is doing well and producing extra crops.

Do all 6 basic tips for saving the planet and you will see that not only have you helped your environment by reducing the carbon footprint, but you have also managed to wisely save money while you were at it.

 This is an article contribution by Israel Defeo. He writes for Money Hero, a financial comparison website based in Hong Kong. When he is not writing for Money Hero, you can find him writing about music in Jam n Bop.