About

Who are you, dude?

I’m a second year student at the University of Waterloo in Systems Design Engineering.  This is my second attempt at tackling the blogosphere; I also have a project at sendingpetals.com, written with my wonderful ladyfriend Ali Schwabe.  This project is taking a summer hiatus, or at least a slowdown, since she’ll also be blogging from Germany at verbsandnous.wordpress.com.

Je suis un franco-ontarien de Sudbury et j’espère écrire en français et en anglais cet été. Je veux aussi pouvoir apprendre la langue parlée par ma famille d’accueil (qui est encore à déterminer mais qui devrait être le Dagbani).  Je vous garde au courant de mon progrès, sur yams & scribbles!

Hum…  so why is your blog called yams & scribbles? 

Well, this summer I’m working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in the Northern Region in Ghana, more specifically in Karaga.  For a good explanation the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s work in Ghana and the role Engineers Without Borders in our partnership with them, I recommend reading this section on Erin Antcliffe’s blog, team lead for the work done with the Ministry.   My main project is to assess current barriers to technology adoption for rural farmers.  This includes things like inputs (fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, improved seeds, etc.), tools (tractors, tillers, etc.) and processes (row planting, post-harvest processes, etc.).  I’m pretty lucky, I’ll be working both in the government office and also doing research directly in the field with farmers.

Yams is a staple crop in Ghana and represents the importance of farmers for my work this summer.  Yams mounds are challenging to make and require a lot of work, with some luck and some rains though, they yield delicious food.  Also, this summer I’ll be asking  a lot of questions to farmers.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to dig deeper and see past the mound, ya know?

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me by posting on the blog, or sending me an email at marcandresimardATewbDOTca!

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