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Newsletter 389

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2018
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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Industrial engineer Ancel Bhagwandeen thinks that growing your food indoors is a great way to protect crops from the stresses of climate change. So he developed a hydroponic system that “leverages the nanoclimates in houses so that the house effectively protects the produce the same way it protects us,” he says. Bhagwandeen told IPS that his hydroponic project was also developed “to leverage the growth of the urban landscape and high-density housing, so that by growing your own food at home, you mitigate the cost of food prices.” Hydroponics, a method of growing plants without soil using mineral nutrients in water, is increasingly considered a viable means to ensure food security in light of climate change.

West African-focused fund manager, Sahel Capital has unbundled a $33 million investment fund for agribusiness in Nigeria, with particular focus on the sector’s SMEs. “We raised $33 million to invest in agribusiness SMEs across Nigeria, and will be seeking to raise additional capital during the course of the year to reach our $100 million target,” an insider at Sahel told Business Day.
According to Business Day, the investment is a mix of debt and equity with a 10-year lifespan, designed to provide financing for Agric-focused SMEs as well as partner intermediaries to with lending facilities for small scale farmers.

The world is increasingly looking to Africa to meet growing global food requirements. Foreign investment in the agricultural industry is growing in countries like Ethiopia, which are deemed to have high potential. A 2013 World Bank report titled Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness states the continent has the potential to create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030.
“I think agriculture is definitely one of the biggest growth areas for Africa,” says Mucai Kunyiha, managing director of leading Kenya-based animal health company Cooper K-Brands.Kunyiha says Africa has huge tracts of arable land, water and technology. What lacks, and is partly to blame for food insecurity in parts of the continent, is the right application of technology, the work ethic and vision to fully maximise the potential.

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