There have been calls for countries and the global community at large to join hands to confront the climate change crisis. This has seen key sectors of the economy pledging to work with their respective governments to tackle climate change and one such sector has been the media.
A local media organisation, Southern Africa Media in Agriculture Climate and Environment Trust (SAMACET), seeks to drive farmer-friendly and innovative agricultural approaches, among others through advocacy, engagement and research
Standard Style (SS) spoke to Josiah Dimbo (JD), one of the representatives of SAMACET, who outlined the organisation’s vision and goals.
Below are excerpts from the interview.
SS: May you explain the objectives of your organisation Southern Africa Media in Agriculture Climate and Environment Trust?
JD: It is an African pioneer that drives farmer-friendly and innovative agricultural approaches and technologies which increase production without destroying or damaging the environment (precision agriculture).
It seeks to accelerate pro-active and effective participation of women, youth and people with disabilities in agriculture, climate change mitigation, environment management and media development.
SS: From your answer, it seems the organisation is quite multi-faceted. However, may you shed light on your rather ambitious tree-planting initiative, where you seek to plant quadrillion fruits and medicinal trees in Africa?
JD: This project seeks to empower communities to increase food production, nutrition security, mitigating climate change and generational wealth creation.
SS: How feasible is this project, given the degree of resources required?
JD: It’s not a secret that huge resources are required to achieve the mission possible. What makes the project feasible is that we are not talking of just planting trees, but trees which will add value to most livelihoods post- Covid-19. So, the buy-in from climate change agents, environmentalists, nutritionists and proponents of African traditional medicines will see us writing a success story.
SS: Have you been in touch with the government and how has been their response?
JD: SAMACET is complementing government efforts so the response has been overwhelming.
SS: How about foreign governments?
JD: The acceptance in Southern Africa and regions beyond has been encouraging as we are in the process of setting up chapters in a number of countries. Besides chapters, we are going into marriage with a number of non-governmental organisations through memoranda of understanding as an entry point.
SS: Apart from finances, what challenges are you facing?
JD: It’s a tricky one. But like any other organisation, the major challenge is of having self-driven people who are ready to sacrifice and people who are committed and dedicated.
SS: To what extent has SAMACET managed to pursue its vision, and looking back down the road, would you say it’s been worth it?
JD: SAMACET’s vision is not an overnight process. It is work in progress and remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step. So far, so good!
SS: What drives you as an individual to want to serve others through SAMACET’s initiatives?
JD: I am family-driven. I hail from a family of volunteers. The Zimbabwe Red Cross Society has taught me that working for the good of humanity is the only satisfaction one can truly get.
SS: Are there any regional or continental partnerships forged in pursuance of the organisation’s vision?
JD: Yes, we are in discussion with well-established universities and developmental agencies for possible partnerships in research and value addition. Soon, we will be going for official signing ceremonies.
SS: What success stories have you scored along the way?
JD: SAMACET has managed to train farmers through its partners. We managed to establish SAMACET chapters, online news. And we are working on an online radio and TV.