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A new-look website for Spore

February 8, 2016

Spore, CTA’s flagship magazine on agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, has undergone a digital makeover. The aim is to allow readers to play a more active role in discussing – and even contributing to – issues covered by the magazine, which has built up a dedicated following since it was first launched in 1983, but is keen to reach out to more readers.

Recent studies have revealed that Spore's current readership is mainly male-dominated – 87 per cent of its readers are men – and the majority are 36 years-old or over. The revamped website will help to attract a wider audience, especially women and young people, as well as readers from currently under-represented groups, such as civil society, regional and international organisations and the private sector.
"The site will encourage sharing of different opinions and insights, exchange of information from the field," said CTA Director Michael Hailu. "Now interactive, Spore enables you to participate fully in the debate, suggest topics and express your own views."

Available in English and French, the new-look website presents agricultural and rural development news from all six ACP regions, with a special focus on innovations that are helping to transform agriculture as an engine for inclusive growth. Also featured is a mix of portraits, interviews and case studies, giving a voice to people who are working to resolve challenges posed by climate change, soil depletion, poor market access and other constraints to higher rural incomes.

Instant sharing

The site allows visitors to download the latest and past issues of the magazine, as well as to subscribe online to receive print versions of Spore – free if you are an organisation or individual resident in an ACP country and involved in agricultural and rural development – and to sign up for the monthly newsletter.

With a simple, but eye-catching layout that makes the site easy to navigate, visitors can head straight for the subject that interests them most, by clicking on any of a range of topics, including agricultural production, environment, business, trade, blue economy, research or nutrition and health. Quality photographs are given high priority, illustrating technologies and innovations in the field and the people who are using them. A section devoted to facts and figures linked to Spore's regular Dossier issues brings complex topics to life, with graphics and infographics to illustrate them.

The website layout is deliberately designed to promote networking and exchange. Every article has an option for instant sharing, via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and where possible, links are given to enable readers to find out more. Although some readers are likely to view the Spore site from a large screen computer, it works equally well on a portable laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Custom-made news

The addition of new regional pages to the website makes it possible to home in on news and developments that affect readers' own country and region, or to investigate how people are tackling similar challenges to theirs in other parts of the world. A press review offers a round-up of the latest articles, many of them from publications in ACP countries, and all of them on topics likely to be of interest to Spore readers.

The website offers opportunities for followers of Spore to explore other information and services supplied by CTA, including recent publications and up-to-date details of upcoming events. A new addition is the opinion section, which takes an important topic and presents the viewpoint of a number of experts. Visitors are invited to express their opinion online, either by clicking on a range of options to give their standpoint, or by leaving a longer post that goes into more detail. There is also scope for posting a blog on an upcoming topic, or for suggesting one that you would like to see addressed by the Spore editorial team.

To see Spore's new website for yourself, go to: