Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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EDITO
Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Do Zimbabwean smallholder farmers know that they are sitting on a potential $60 million earnings per annum from beef exports? That money can be realised through adding value to livestock production. Scholar Blasio Mavedzenge and his research colleagues Ian Scoones, Felix Murimbarimba and others in 2010 noted that with the right environment, incentives and support structures, smallholder farmers can be used to launch the rehabilitation of commercial beef production. In their research paper, "Changes in the Livestock Sector in Zimbabwe Following Land Reform: The Case of Masvingo Province", Mavedzenge and his colleagues argue that this would benefit all parties by improving the off-take of beef production in Zimbabwe. They further argue that this would also begin the process of restoring Zimbabwe's beef exports with the prospect of earning US$50-US$60 million per year.

Monday, 29 May 2017

The European Union (EU) and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) introduced a food fortification opportunity for nutrition sensitive food system in The Gambia to overcome under-nutrition, at a ceremony held at the Senegambia Beach Hotel on Wednesday. In his remarks, Darrell Sexstone, programme manager for Agriculture Food and Nutrition security, climate change and institutional support at the EU delegates, said the effect of poor nutrition represents one of the most serious and preventable tragedies of the time. He said millions of children survive but grow up stunted with a low height for their age and impaired mental development.

At a time when nearly one million South Sudanese have crossed into northern Uganda, creating one of the world's largest refugee settlements, Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), arrives in Kampala 25 May to discuss efforts to support small scale farmers and increase food security in the country. According to a recent analysis, some 4.9 million South Sudanese are food insecure and 100,000 are at risk of famine. The arrival of nearly one million refugees in Uganda puts additional strain on local farmers and food production. The situation underscores the fact that rural areas are often neglected by development but are crucial for national and global food security.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to make the continent self-sufficient in food production within a decade. AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina made the pledge at a press conference in Ahmedabad, India Monday morning, a day ahead of the official opening of its 52nd annual meetings. Dr Adesina noted that Africa was currently spending $36 billion every year on food imports. "If things don't change, Africa's annual spending on food import would reach $110 billion by 2025.""Last year, we invested a total of $800 million in agriculture in eight African countries, which is the biggest in our bank's history," he said. AfDB has been supporting the improvement of agribusiness in Africa for several years.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The maximum volume of rice that private traders can ship in annually will remain at 805,200 tons until 2020, with the tariff also kept at 35%, the order signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on April 27 showed. The Philippines, one of the world’s top rice importers, is supposed to lift the import restriction by July 1 this year under an agreement with the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was not immediately clear if Manila needs to seek another waiver from the trade body from its obligation to open up the domestic rice market. In 2014, Manila won WTO approval for a waiver but, as part of the agreement, it pledged to increase the annual import volume from 350,000 tons and reduce the rice tariff from 40%. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, who believes the Philippines could be self-sufficient in rice production by 2020, had been pushing for a two-year extension of the restriction, saying local farmers are not ready to compete with cheap imports.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Uganda's potential in fruits and vegetable exports will be showcased this week in Italy's biggest International fair called Macfruit which will take place from May 10 to 12. At least 10 exporting companies all members of the Uganda Fruits and Vegetables Exporters and Producers Association (UFVEPA), are scheduled to participate in the fair. Ms Brenda Opus, Uganda Export Promotion Board's marketing executive said. "It is the only vertical trade fair in Europe representing the entire sector. This trade fair is a platform of business meetings and conferences that will provide Ugandan companies the opportunity to learn more about international quality requirements and new initiatives in the organic sector geared towards a fast growing segment."

Monday, 15 May 2017

Nigeria has commenced exports of vegetables to the United Kingdom, Coordinating Director, National Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Vincent Isegbe has disclosed. He also stated the country is expected to earn about $100 billion from the export of pigeon peas to India following an offer received from the Indian government. Abuja, Isegbe said: “Currently, we have been able to introduce vegetable exports. Initially, it was done in a disorganised manner."Explaining how to do successful exports, he said interested exporters must first register with the NAQS and indicate the commodity to export. He added the Service will then conduct pest crop surveys on the farm to ensure that whatever is being exported from the farm is licensed and acceptable abroad.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The European Commission (EU), confirmed that the EU-Africa Business Forum held a consultation with African business leaders. The EU announced its €4.1 billion External Investment Plan (EIP) ahead of the 2017 Africa-EU Heads of State Summit, at a Dialogue co-hosted by Africa investor (Ai) in Durban, South Africa on 3 May 2017.The EIP was announced for the first time in Africa and will exist to encourage investment in Africa and to strengthen partnerships that contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The facility is expected to leverage more than €44 billion of investments between now and 2020 and it will also facilitate blended finance instruments that catalyse EU and African private sector development.

Monday, 08 May 2017

For too long, neoliberal ideas have dominated issues in development economics, and it is easy to see why. When richer countries put their success down to increased trade openness and capital mobility, it is understandable that developing countries would want a taste too. The most famous argument for this line of thinking is that as countries move goods more easily between each other, it encourages the flow of ideas and innovation. The question of how regional trade can promote development in Nigeria is an important one. Over time, regional trade blocs have cropped up across Africa – a response to the argument that Africa's underdevelopment is due to low intraregional trade.

Peter Sotamaruti’s 2-acre farm near Bungoma, a village in western Kenya, is minuscule by the standards of the developed world. But it’s double the acreage he tended five years ago. Sales of surplus corn have allowed the 49-year-old farmer and his family to trade up from a mud hut to a three-room brick house with solar-powered lights. His modest profits also cover school fees for his four high school-age children and pay for health insurance, a luxury among farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. “We now treat our farm as a business,” says Sotamaruti, who plans to expand to 4 acres in the next year.