Spore (agricultural publication)

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Categories Agriculture
Frequency Bimonthly
First issue 1 March 1986
Company Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
Country Netherlands
Language English, French, Portuguese
Website [1]

Spore is a magazine published by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) in English and French. It covers a wide range of agricultural topics and is extensively distributed and widely reproduced throughout African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and elsewhere. Originally known as the Bulletin of CTA it now styles itself as "the magazine for agricultural and rural development in ACP countries".


Spore was first published at the beginning 1986, two years after the establishment of CTA. The first issue noted that "rather than promoting the agency putting it out, ..........Spore aims to ensure the widest possible dissemination of information of relevance to the agricultural world, in order to fertilize ideas and allow them to germinate. It is in this down-to-earth way that Spore hopes to participate in the process of rural development."[1] The first issue included articles on locusts, fertilizer response, bananas, aquaculture, rice husks for fuel, and sorghum. Initially published in English and French, a Portuguese version (Esporo) was added in 1993,[2]although rising costs meant that this was discontinued in 2016.


The magazine appears bimonthly and also has an annual Special Issue in which a particular subject is treated in depth. It is available in print and online [2]. Hard copies are available on request and free of charge to people living in ACP countries. They are also distributed through ACP ministries of agriculture and in partnership with local organisations, particularly where postal services are poor. In some countries the magazine has been very effective in reaching remote areas.[3] In 2012 the print run of all three languages combined was around 70,000, with 53,000 of these being sent out directly to subscribers.[4] It is estimated that around 300,000 people read each issue but the potential audience has been put at one million.[5] Surveys in Cameroon and Uganda found several examples of income-raising activities inspired by the magazine. It is also used in literacy and adult education programmes.[6] According to Google Scholar,[7] articles in Spore had been cited 83 times in academic journals by the beginning of February 2014.

Reproduction of articles[edit]

Articles appearing in Spore can be freely reproduced for non-commercial use, if credited as coming from the magazine. Reproduction of Spore articles is widespread in ACP countries and elsewhere, both in national newspapers and international media services such as Africa Online[8] and in journals and web sites specializing on agricultural topics, such as City Farmer.[9]


A typical bimonthly 28-page issue contains a two-page in-depth report on a particular topic that is usually also featured on the cover. This is followed by news items presented under the categories of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Environment, Research and Business and Trade. Other features include an interview with someone active in the field of agriculture, a detailed 7-page "Dossier" on a major issue, reviews of agricultural publications, and news about the work of the publisher, CTA.

Recent Special Issues have covered Climate Change (2015), Family Farming (2014), Structured Grain Trading (2013); Agricultural Value Chains (2012); Modernizing Farms (2011) and Population and Agriculture (2010).

Back numbers[edit]

Issues from September 1997 (No. 72) to the present are available at the magazine's website [3].

Issues 1-69 are available from [4].


  1. ^ "SPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 01: Spore dissemination and germination". Collections.infocollections.org. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  2. ^ "The First Ten Years", CTA, 1994. ISBN 929081 1110
  3. ^ "African Press Organization 29 June 2010. Spore, the CTA magazine for agricultural and rural development in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific gets a new look". Appablog.wordpress.com. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  4. ^ "Raising the Bar: CTA Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  5. ^ The Cotonou Agreement: A User's Guide (PDF). Retrieved 2014-02-07. 
  6. ^ Pye-Smith, Charlie (2014). Stories of Change (PDF). Wageningen: CTA. p. 70. ISBN 978-92-9081-545-7. 
  7. ^ http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?hl=en&q=spore.cta.int&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=
  8. ^ "Rwanda:Financial innovation for growth". Africa Online. 2013-05-26. Retrieved 2014-02-05. 
  9. ^ "Spore Magazine: Urban Agriculture - City Farmers". City Farmer. 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2014-02-07.