Gospel News · Sep-Dec 2012
by the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI). These have several benefits:
· The new varieties yield over 20 tonnes per acre, twice the yield of other varieties. · The roots can be left in the soils for up to 24 months, so they can be harvested all year round.
Cassava farming has been replicated widely; for example over 300,000 households now grow improved cassava in Western Kenya. Fresh cassava tubers and processed cassava products are now available in local and urban markets in the region.
What are the challenges?
· Cassava has the stigma of being a `poor man's food' in Eastern Africa. However, this view seems to be gradually changing as its advantages over maize become known more widely. · Cassava has a short shelf life once harvested. To make it marketable, it has to be processed to last for a longer period. This requires investment in processing plants such as solar drying and grinding machines; these are already adding value in some areas. · Cassava plantations can be affected by cassava mosaic disease a seed-borne viral disease which is not treatable. This can be avoided through using clean planting materials certified by research institutions.
· Cassava contains cyanide and, if prepared poorly, can cause cyanide poisoning. The new varieties developed by KARI have lower cyanide levels than previous varieties, reducing this risk considerably.
The extraordinary hardiness and drought tolerance of the new cassava varieties make them a reliable crop, even with rising temperatures and an ever-drier climate. MUKAPA's experience shows cassava has huge potential to enhance food security, especially if scaled-up to reach Kenya's very dry areas.
The Thief on the Cross (Luke 23 v.40-43)
Bro. Ralph Green, Torquay, U.K.
The two thieves who were crucified were probably Zealots which was a party that hoped to get rid of the Roman yoke. They may have been caught attempting to rob some Romans for which they were sentenced to be crucified as the `due reward' of their deeds.
Believing that Jesus had the power to perform miracles, one of the thieves pleaded with him that he should "save himself and us." Luke 23 v.39.
To this request Jesus made no response, Jesus had already dealt with the question of defending himself on the occasion when he told Peter to put up again his sword into his place.... "thinkest thou not that I cannot now pray to my Father and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" (Matt.26 v.52-53)
Jesus knew that he had the duty to fulfil such passages as Daniel Chap.9 v.26 which states, "And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off", that is to say to offer himself as a sacrifice to confirm the new covenant. So there was no possibility for him at the request of someone else, to come down from the cross. It appears that the thief who rebuked the other knew Jesus well because he said concerning him, "This man hath done nothing amiss." (v.41)
Another sincere request
This thief also made the remarkable request, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom". This request reveals that this thief believed that Jesus, although dying by crucifixion, would eventually be raised from the dead and reign as King in his kingdom.
The thief by calling Jesus `Lord' shows his respect for him. The fact that these three were destined soon to die shows his faith in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.