One of the tasks facing agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the need to ensure that risk management is an integral part of agricultural planning, in order to correct, anticipate, and prevent possible economic and environmental impacts and make the sector more resilient. This was emphasized by experts of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in a new newsletter published in mid-November.
“It is quite disheartening that there is negligible trade between and among African states. It is a sad fact that we are primarily suppliers of raw materials with very few industrialised nations among us. Equally important is the need to continue to scale up implementation of regional infrastructure, given that it is a key enabler to economic integration and development.” The above words were aptly put across by incoming SADC chairman, President Ian Khama of Botswana, at the end of the regional trading bloc’s summit in Gaborone.
With agriculture making up approximately 65% of Africa’s labour force and 35% of the continent’s GDP, the sector’s capacity to help realise major continental development priorities is beyond doubt. Yet, as the IIED argues, the agricultural industry in many African countries has been unable to “meet its full potential as an employer, fair distributor of income, and national revenue earner”. There are a host of factors contributing to current challenges and, as Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA and former Rwandan Minister for Agriculture, correctly stated in a recent interview, “we need to find financial tools that help us all step up the game… prioritising agriculture is not just the moral thing to do. It’ s an economic imperative”.
The massive business expansion of the Dangote Group across Africa and around the world is in conformity to the extant agreements among Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member-states and members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).This was the submission of an expert in international trade and immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. John Isemede. He spoke to reporters in Abuja, last weekend. Dr Isemede, who is a consultant with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), expressed satisfaction that the Dangote Group has been complying with relevant laws of doing business in Africa.
Post- Tropical Storm Erika, Dominica’s fisherfolk and representatives from the Fisheries Division and Cooperative Division pledged to improve collaboration to strengthen the capacity of fisherfolk cooperatives on the island to advocate for inclusion in the rebuilding efforts. This was one of the messages emanating from the just concluded national fisherfolk workshop. Fisherfolk called for better collaboration with the government agencies so that fisherfolk cooperatives can improve their involvement in decision and policy-making. “It is time for us to start making decisions for ourselves,” said one impassioned participant.