Cambs-based journalist Member of the Guild, Liz Wright, has been awarded a place on this year’s IFAJ Exposure-4-Development media tour to Africa.
“I am thrilled to be picked for the Uganda trip because I’m passionate about Africa,” says Liz. “I’ve travelled to Zimbabwe and Kenya on working tours previously, and I now I’m excited to be visiting Uganda and learn more about its farming and community life.”
Liz Wright edited Smallholder magazine for 26 years before working with Kelsey Publishing to launch Practical Sheep, Goats & Alpacasearlier this year.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of similarities between the self-sufficiency movement and smallholder farming in Africa,” she says. “I can certainly relate to a lot of the practices, many of which have come over here such as keyhole gardens, and I know quite a bit about goats.”
Before becoming a full time farming journalist, Liz was a grain trader for Fengrain, the UK’s biggest cereal co-op, so she will be particularly interested to learn how African countries embrace the cooperative style, which on the Fens has given power to the smaller farmer but also a good income for larger farmers.
Liz is no stranger to the African Continent. In 1996, Liz spent a month in Zimbabwe looking at all aspects of farming from subsistance in the communal lands through to white farmers and tobacco. Various findings were published and Farming Today used some of the audio interviews.
“Then in 2007, I went to Kenya for the Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth; I’ve worked for over 25 years as a part-time welfare officer and give talks to a range of community groups on the sanctuary’s work,” adds Liz. “Seeing working donkeys close up gave me nothing but respect for both the donkeys and the farming practices that used them.”
During this year’s six-day visit to Uganda, Liz will join 14 other farming and rural journalists from around the World to study dairy, fruit and vegetable, coffee, tobacco and fish production, and meet local agri journalists as well as government representatives.
The IFAJ organises the trip through Dutch agricultural development agency Agriterra. The principal sponsor is British American Tobacco. Other than a £250 fee, all expenses from arrival in Uganda’s capaital city Entebbe are covered.
Liz says Kelsey Publishing is hugely supportive about the trip and want her to write a blog on it. Contact her by email for possible feature commissions resulting from the visit.
“Our congratulations to Liz on winning a place on this tour,” says the Guild’s IFAJ representative, Joe Watson. “I hope other Members of the Guild will seize this opportunity in future – and be sure to take interest before not after the closing date….”