IS IT POSSIBLE?
Sharing Community Resources


Sharing is Caring

Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss | Activism, environmental activism
In a shareable world, things like car sharing, clothing swaps, childcare coops, potlucks and
cohousing - See more at: http://www.emagazine.com/earth-talk/sharing-is-car...
The convergence of environmental awareness and consumer culture has created a whole new  
movement today whereby sharing is cool. Indeed, some environmentalists view sharing as key to  
maintaining our quality of life and our sanity in an increasingly cluttered world. “Sharing is a  
relatively simple concept and a basic part of human life,” reports Janelle Orsi on Shareable, an  
online magazine that tells the story of sharing. “What’s new is that people are applying sharing in  
innovative and far-reaching ways, many of which require complex planning, new ways of thinking  
and organizing, and new technologies. In short, people are taking sharing to new levels, ranging  
from relatively simple applications of sharing to community-wide sharing initiatives-and beyond.” “In  
a shareable world, things like car sharing, clothing swaps, childcare coops, potlucks, and cohousing  
make life more fun, green, and affordable,” reports Shareable. “When we share, not only is a better  
life possible, but so is a better world.”

The non-profit Freecycle Network, which runs a Craigslist-style website where people can list items  
they want to give away, pioneered using the Internet to facilitate diverting reusable goods from  
landfills when it launched back in 2003. To date, more than nine million individuals across 5,000  
different regions have used the group’s freecycle.org website to find new homes for old items.  
According to Shareable, other examples such as Zipcar, Wikipedia, Kiva and Creative Commons  
show how successful sharing can be. “They show what’s possible when we share. They show that  
we don’t act merely for our own good, but go out of our way to contribute to the common good. They  
show that we can solve the crises we face, and thrive as never before. They show that a new world  
is emerging where the more you share the more respect you get, and where life works because  
everyone helps each other.”

Shareable and the Center for a New American Dream, a non-profit that highlights the connections  
between consumption, quality of life and the environment, have collaborated on the production of  
the new “Guide to Sharing,” a free downloadable booklet loaded with practical ideas about  
exchanging stuff, time, skills and space. Some of the ideas in the guide include: organizing a  
community swap; starting a local toy, seed or tool library; launching a skills exchange where  
community members can swap professional skills like carpentry or grant-writing; or setting up a food,  
transportation or gardening co-op. Some other sharing tips include car-sharing, gift circles, sharing  
backyard chickens with neighbors and launching a “free market” where people meet to trade skills  
and stuff. For her part, Janelle Orsi envisions a future where public land is dedicated to community  
gardening, public libraries also lend tools, equipment and other goods, and citywide bike sharing,  
carpooling and wifi programs are all the rage. Orsi and others warn we had better get used to  
sharing, as it is here to stay.

CONTACTS:
Freecycle Network, www.freecycle.org;
Shareable, www.shareable.net;
Center for a New American Dream, www.newdream.org;
See more at: http://www.emagazine.com/earth-talk/sharing-is-car...


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Uganda

Hasifa Nakaziba, a mother of seven, has relied on farming maize and beans to support her family for  
years. But each year she would lose 30% of her harvest as pests infested her grain, taking their  
share of the food before it reached the dinner table.

“From nowhere rats, chickens and insects would come and eat it,” said Nakaziba, who lives in  
Nambale village, about 85 miles east of the capital, Kampala.

Like many farmers, Nakaziba, 47, lacked proper drying facilities for the grain and so would dry it on  
the ground before storage, unaware that this could lead to deadly aflatoxin contamination.

Her inability to safely store her harvest also forced her to sell her grain early, which meant Nakaziba  
received a very low price from the local market.

“It affected our income, food security and also the education of our children,” she says.

Then in 2014 Nakaziba’s life changed. She received training in post-harvest handling from the UN’s  
World Food Programme (WFP), which launched an operation designed to reduce post-harvest food  
losses for 16,600 low-income farmers in   Uganda   by providing them with simple storage facilities,  
such as silos, granaries and grain storage bags. In a workshop Nakaziba learned how to improve  
her farm management practices and purchase new technology storage and handling equipment.

Today a huge airtight silo, allowing Nakaziba to safely store more than 500kg of grain for as long as  
she desires, for family consumption or sale, sits in a corner of her modest home.

“If the market price is favourable, the farmer can choose to sell, but they are now no longer forced to  
sell immediately following harvest to avoid losses,” explains WFP’s Uganda programme officer,  
Richard Sewava.

Nakaziba, who purchased the silo and a plastic tarpaulin from the WFP on a cost-sharing basis, is  
happy. “Now the rats cannot get to my grain, and by selling later I am able to get 900 shillings [16p]  
per kilogram instead of 350,” she says. “With the extra money I’m getting I can buy things for my  
children and my garden.”

The programme has been hugely successful in Uganda, where about 95% of food losses occur in  
the post-harvest, production, and distribution stages and only 5% is wasted by consumers. Ninety-
eight per cent of farmers who participated in the programme said it helped them reduce crop losses  
to below 2% of their harvest, and the majority of participants doubled their average selling price in  
each major crop. The ability to lock the storage silos proved particularly helpful for female farmers,  
who are more vulnerable to their crops being stolen, with more than 98% reporting a significant  
increase in household food security.

The project is being expanded this year to reach more than 42,000 low-income farming families in  
Uganda.

“Given the wonderful success we are witnessing in Uganda, there is a high level of interest now  
being shown by neighbouring countries Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania for similar  
implementation support,”says the WFP project leader Simon Costa.

By Amy Fallon in Kampala



China

Zhang Qinyu was born and raised in Shaanxi province, China’s biggest fruit-producing region. His  
hometown, Xianyang, is the country’s apple capital.   Growing up in Shaanxi, Zhang, 23, witnessed  
not just an abundance of fruit and vegetables but also the scandalous waste of produce that was  
allowed to rot before it could be sold because of poor storage facilities.

Food waste is a severe problem in China. Last year Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported  
that   $32bn worth of food   - enough to feed 200 million people - was lost each year.

Vegetable and fruit wastage in China, Japan and South Korea has been identified by the Food and    
Agriculture   Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as a key area to be tackled. It estimates that  
almost 40% of all fruit and vegetables produced in these countries are wasted. Between them,  
China, Japan and South Korea produce more than 50% of the world’s vegetables and so this  
wastage equals a very large quantity of food.

After graduating last year Zhang looked to the internet for a fix, and set up Shaanxi Yihong  
Agricultural Technology Company, an online firm that helps connect rural farmers with hungry  
consumers in urban   China.

“I realised e-commerce could provide a solution to their problem. E-commerce links the farmers to  
customers, bypassing wholesale buyers, making it easier for farmers to sell their fruit and  
vegetables so less goes to waste,” he says. Through Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, Zhang has  
helped farmers shift produce including spring onions, pears, apples, dates and kiwis.

Part of the country’s problem is that many farmers lack the technology to adequately store their  
produce, he says. “Many are using cellars rather than proper cold storage units.” Another major  
issue is that small-scale farmers - hoping for the highest possible price - often wait too long before  
offloading their crops.

Earlier this year Zhang used the internet to help farmers in Qian county, Shaanxi, find buyers for  
3,000 tonnes of pears that would otherwise have spoiled. “When the farmers harvested the pears  
last October, they didn’t know the latest market price and thought the price offered to them was too  
low,” says Zhang. Rather than selling, they put the pears into cellars, hoping that the price would  
rise during the Chinese new year, but in fact nearly lost everything.

He placed an advert on Weibo reading: “I have checked the pears myself and they are big, juicy and  
sweet.” It worked. The fruit found buyers before it rotted.

“If we had not stepped in, those pears would have gone bad and the farmers’ hard work would have  
been wasted,” says Zhang.

By Tom Phillips in Beijing; additional reporting by Luna Lin.


From: www.PositiveNewsUs.Org
Uganda

Hasifa Nakaziba, a mother of seven, has relied on farming maize and beans to support her family for  
years. But each year she would lose 30% of her harvest as pests infested her grain, taking their  
share of the food before it reached the dinner table.

“From nowhere rats, chickens and insects would come and eat it,” said Nakaziba, who lives in  
Nambale village, about 85 miles east of the capital, Kampala.

Like many farmers, Nakaziba, 47, lacked proper drying facilities for the grain and so would dry it on  
the ground before storage, unaware that this could lead to deadly aflatoxin contamination.

Her inability to safely store her harvest also forced her to sell her grain early, which meant Nakaziba  
received a very low price from the local market.

“It affected our income, food security and also the education of our children,” she says.

Then in 2014 Nakaziba’s life changed. She received training in post-harvest handling from the UN’s  
World Food Programme (WFP), which launched an operation designed to reduce post-harvest food  
losses for 16,600 low-income farmers in   Uganda   by providing them with simple storage facilities,  
such as silos, granaries and grain storage bags. In a workshop Nakaziba learned how to improve  
her farm management practices and purchase new technology storage and handling equipment.

Today a huge airtight silo, allowing Nakaziba to safely store more than 500kg of grain for as long as  
she desires, for family consumption or sale, sits in a corner of her modest home.

“If the market price is favourable, the farmer can choose to sell, but they are now no longer forced to  
sell immediately following harvest to avoid losses,” explains WFP’s Uganda programme officer,  
Richard Sewava.

Nakaziba, who purchased the silo and a plastic tarpaulin from the WFP on a cost-sharing basis, is  
happy. “Now the rats cannot get to my grain, and by selling later I am able to get 900 shillings [16p]  
per kilogram instead of 350,” she says. “With the extra money I’m getting I can buy things for my  
children and my garden.”

The programme has been hugely successful in Uganda, where about 95% of food losses occur in  
the post-harvest, production, and distribution stages and only 5% is wasted by consumers. Ninety-
eight per cent of farmers who participated in the programme said it helped them reduce crop losses  
to below 2% of their harvest, and the majority of participants doubled their average selling price in  
each major crop. The ability to lock the storage silos proved particularly helpful for female farmers,  
who are more vulnerable to their crops being stolen, with more than 98% reporting a significant  
increase in household food security.

The project is being expanded this year to reach more than 42,000 low-income farming families in  
Uganda.

“Given the wonderful success we are witnessing in Uganda, there is a high level of interest now  
being shown by neighbouring countries Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania for similar  
implementation support,”says the WFP project leader Simon Costa.

By Amy Fallon in Kampala



China

Zhang Qinyu was born and raised in Shaanxi province, China’s biggest fruit-producing region. His  
hometown, Xianyang, is the country’s apple capital.   Growing up in Shaanxi, Zhang, 23, witnessed  
not just an abundance of fruit and vegetables but also the scandalous waste of produce that was  
allowed to rot before it could be sold because of poor storage facilities.

Food waste is a severe problem in China. Last year Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported  
that   $32bn worth of food   - enough to feed 200 million people - was lost each year.

Vegetable and fruit wastage in China, Japan and South Korea has been identified by the Food and    
Agriculture   Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as a key area to be tackled. It estimates that  
almost 40% of all fruit and vegetables produced in these countries are wasted. Between them,  
China, Japan and South Korea produce more than 50% of the world’s vegetables and so this  
wastage equals a very large quantity of food.

After graduating last year Zhang looked to the internet for a fix, and set up Shaanxi Yihong  
Agricultural Technology Company, an online firm that helps connect rural farmers with hungry  
consumers in urban   China.

“I realised e-commerce could provide a solution to their problem. E-commerce links the farmers to  
customers, bypassing wholesale buyers, making it easier for farmers to sell their fruit and  
vegetables so less goes to waste,” he says. Through Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, Zhang has  
helped farmers shift produce including spring onions, pears, apples, dates and kiwis.

Part of the country’s problem is that many farmers lack the technology to adequately store their  
produce, he says. “Many are using cellars rather than proper cold storage units.” Another major  
issue is that small-scale farmers - hoping for the highest possible price - often wait too long before  
offloading their crops.

Earlier this year Zhang used the internet to help farmers in Qian county, Shaanxi, find buyers for  
3,000 tonnes of pears that would otherwise have spoiled. “When the farmers harvested the pears  
last October, they didn’t know the latest market price and thought the price offered to them was too  
low,” says Zhang. Rather than selling, they put the pears into cellars, hoping that the price would  
rise during the Chinese new year, but in fact nearly lost everything.

He placed an advert on Weibo reading: “I have checked the pears myself and they are big, juicy and  
sweet.” It worked. The fruit found buyers before it rotted.

“If we had not stepped in, those pears would have gone bad and the farmers’ hard work would have  
been wasted,” says Zhang.

By Tom Phillips in Beijing; additional reporting by Luna Lin.


From: www.PositiveNewsUs.Org
Uganda

Hasifa Nakaziba, a mother of seven, has relied on farming maize and beans to support her family for  
years. But each year she would lose 30% of her harvest as pests infested her grain, taking their  
share of the food before it reached the dinner table.

“From nowhere rats, chickens and insects would come and eat it,” said Nakaziba, who lives in  
Nambale village, about 85 miles east of the capital, Kampala.

Like many farmers, Nakaziba, 47, lacked proper drying facilities for the grain and so would dry it on  
the ground before storage, unaware that this could lead to deadly aflatoxin contamination.

Her inability to safely store her harvest also forced her to sell her grain early, which meant Nakaziba  
received a very low price from the local market.

“It affected our income, food security and also the education of our children,” she says.

Then in 2014 Nakaziba’s life changed. She received training in post-harvest handling from the UN’s  
World Food Programme (WFP), which launched an operation designed to reduce post-harvest food  
losses for 16,600 low-income farmers in   Uganda   by providing them with simple storage facilities,  
such as silos, granaries and grain storage bags. In a workshop Nakaziba learned how to improve  
her farm management practices and purchase new technology storage and handling equipment.

Today a huge airtight silo, allowing Nakaziba to safely store more than 500kg of grain for as long as  
she desires, for family consumption or sale, sits in a corner of her modest home.

“If the market price is favourable, the farmer can choose to sell, but they are now no longer forced to  
sell immediately following harvest to avoid losses,” explains WFP’s Uganda programme officer,  
Richard Sewava.

Nakaziba, who purchased the silo and a plastic tarpaulin from the WFP on a cost-sharing basis, is  
happy. “Now the rats cannot get to my grain, and by selling later I am able to get 900 shillings [16p]  
per kilogram instead of 350,” she says. “With the extra money I’m getting I can buy things for my  
children and my garden.”

The programme has been hugely successful in Uganda, where about 95% of food losses occur in  
the post-harvest, production, and distribution stages and only 5% is wasted by consumers. Ninety-
eight per cent of farmers who participated in the programme said it helped them reduce crop losses  
to below 2% of their harvest, and the majority of participants doubled their average selling price in  
each major crop. The ability to lock the storage silos proved particularly helpful for female farmers,  
who are more vulnerable to their crops being stolen, with more than 98% reporting a significant  
increase in household food security.

The project is being expanded this year to reach more than 42,000 low-income farming families in  
Uganda.

“Given the wonderful success we are witnessing in Uganda, there is a high level of interest now  
being shown by neighbouring countries Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania for similar  
implementation support,”says the WFP project leader Simon Costa.

By Amy Fallon in Kampala



China

Zhang Qinyu was born and raised in Shaanxi province, China’s biggest fruit-producing region. His  
hometown, Xianyang, is the country’s apple capital.   Growing up in Shaanxi, Zhang, 23, witnessed  
not just an abundance of fruit and vegetables but also the scandalous waste of produce that was  
allowed to rot before it could be sold because of poor storage facilities.

Food waste is a severe problem in China. Last year Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported  
that   $32bn worth of food   - enough to feed 200 million people - was lost each year.

Vegetable and fruit wastage in China, Japan and South Korea has been identified by the Food and    
Agriculture   Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as a key area to be tackled. It estimates that  
almost 40% of all fruit and vegetables produced in these countries are wasted. Between them,  
China, Japan and South Korea produce more than 50% of the world’s vegetables and so this  
wastage equals a very large quantity of food.

After graduating last year Zhang looked to the internet for a fix, and set up Shaanxi Yihong  
Agricultural Technology Company, an online firm that helps connect rural farmers with hungry  
consumers in urban   China.

“I realised e-commerce could provide a solution to their problem. E-commerce links the farmers to  
customers, bypassing wholesale buyers, making it easier for farmers to sell their fruit and  
vegetables so less goes to waste,” he says. Through Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, Zhang has  
helped farmers shift produce including spring onions, pears, apples, dates and kiwis.

Part of the country’s problem is that many farmers lack the technology to adequately store their  
produce, he says. “Many are using cellars rather than proper cold storage units.” Another major  
issue is that small-scale farmers - hoping for the highest possible price - often wait too long before  
offloading their crops.

Earlier this year Zhang used the internet to help farmers in Qian county, Shaanxi, find buyers for  
3,000 tonnes of pears that would otherwise have spoiled. “When the farmers harvested the pears  
last October, they didn’t know the latest market price and thought the price offered to them was too  
low,” says Zhang. Rather than selling, they put the pears into cellars, hoping that the price would  
rise during the Chinese new year, but in fact nearly lost everything.

He placed an advert on Weibo reading: “I have checked the pears myself and they are big, juicy and  
sweet.” It worked. The fruit found buyers before it rotted.

“If we had not stepped in, those pears would have gone bad and the farmers’ hard work would have  
been wasted,” says Zhang.

By Tom Phillips in Beijing; additional reporting by Luna Lin.


From: www.PositiveNewsUs.Org
Uganda

Hasifa Nakaziba, a mother of seven, has relied on farming maize and beans to support her family for  
years. But each year she would lose 30% of her harvest as pests infested her grain, taking their  
share of the food before it reached the dinner table.

“From nowhere rats, chickens and insects would come and eat it,” said Nakaziba, who lives in  
Nambale village, about 85 miles east of the capital, Kampala.

Like many farmers, Nakaziba, 47, lacked proper drying facilities for the grain and so would dry it on  
the ground before storage, unaware that this could lead to deadly aflatoxin contamination.

Her inability to safely store her harvest also forced her to sell her grain early, which meant Nakaziba  
received a very low price from the local market.

“It affected our income, food security and also the education of our children,” she says.

Then in 2014 Nakaziba’s life changed. She received training in post-harvest handling from the UN’s  
World Food Programme (WFP), which launched an operation designed to reduce post-harvest food  
losses for 16,600 low-income farmers in   Uganda   by providing them with simple storage facilities,  
such as silos, granaries and grain storage bags. In a workshop Nakaziba learned how to improve  
her farm management practices and purchase new technology storage and handling equipment.

Today a huge airtight silo, allowing Nakaziba to safely store more than 500kg of grain for as long as  
she desires, for family consumption or sale, sits in a corner of her modest home.

“If the market price is favourable, the farmer can choose to sell, but they are now no longer forced to  
sell immediately following harvest to avoid losses,” explains WFP’s Uganda programme officer,  
Richard Sewava.

Nakaziba, who purchased the silo and a plastic tarpaulin from the WFP on a cost-sharing basis, is  
happy. “Now the rats cannot get to my grain, and by selling later I am able to get 900 shillings [16p]  
per kilogram instead of 350,” she says. “With the extra money I’m getting I can buy things for my  
children and my garden.”

The programme has been hugely successful in Uganda, where about 95% of food losses occur in  
the post-harvest, production, and distribution stages and only 5% is wasted by consumers. Ninety-
eight per cent of farmers who participated in the programme said it helped them reduce crop losses  
to below 2% of their harvest, and the majority of participants doubled their average selling price in  
each major crop. The ability to lock the storage silos proved particularly helpful for female farmers,  
who are more vulnerable to their crops being stolen, with more than 98% reporting a significant  
increase in household food security.

The project is being expanded this year to reach more than 42,000 low-income farming families in  
Uganda.

“Given the wonderful success we are witnessing in Uganda, there is a high level of interest now  
being shown by neighbouring countries Rwanda, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania for similar  
implementation support,”says the WFP project leader Simon Costa.

By Amy Fallon in Kampala



China

Zhang Qinyu was born and raised in Shaanxi province, China’s biggest fruit-producing region. His  
hometown, Xianyang, is the country’s apple capital.   Growing up in Shaanxi, Zhang, 23, witnessed  
not just an abundance of fruit and vegetables but also the scandalous waste of produce that was  
allowed to rot before it could be sold because of poor storage facilities.

Food waste is a severe problem in China. Last year Xinhua, China’s official news agency, reported  
that   $32bn worth of food   - enough to feed 200 million people - was lost each year.

Vegetable and fruit wastage in China, Japan and South Korea has been identified by the Food and    
Agriculture   Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as a key area to be tackled. It estimates that  
almost 40% of all fruit and vegetables produced in these countries are wasted. Between them,  
China, Japan and South Korea produce more than 50% of the world’s vegetables and so this  
wastage equals a very large quantity of food.

After graduating last year Zhang looked to the internet for a fix, and set up Shaanxi Yihong  
Agricultural Technology Company, an online firm that helps connect rural farmers with hungry  
consumers in urban   China.

“I realised e-commerce could provide a solution to their problem. E-commerce links the farmers to  
customers, bypassing wholesale buyers, making it easier for farmers to sell their fruit and  
vegetables so less goes to waste,” he says. Through Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, Zhang has  
helped farmers shift produce including spring onions, pears, apples, dates and kiwis.

Part of the country’s problem is that many farmers lack the technology to adequately store their  
produce, he says. “Many are using cellars rather than proper cold storage units.” Another major  
issue is that small-scale farmers - hoping for the highest possible price - often wait too long before  
offloading their crops.

Earlier this year Zhang used the internet to help farmers in Qian county, Shaanxi, find buyers for  
3,000 tonnes of pears that would otherwise have spoiled. “When the farmers harvested the pears  
last October, they didn’t know the latest market price and thought the price offered to them was too  
low,” says Zhang. Rather than selling, they put the pears into cellars, hoping that the price would  
rise during the Chinese new year, but in fact nearly lost everything.

He placed an advert on Weibo reading: “I have checked the pears myself and they are big, juicy and  
sweet.” It worked. The fruit found buyers before it rotted.

“If we had not stepped in, those pears would have gone bad and the farmers’ hard work would have  
been wasted,” says Zhang.

By Tom Phillips in Beijing; additional reporting by Luna Lin.


From: www.PositiveNewsUs.Org
Fighting food waste: stories from - Uganda & China
From: