Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

June 2017
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Friday, 23 June 2017

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused the government of failing to account for food donations from international partners to support efforts to fight hunger. Mr Odinga said the Jubilee administration has refused to declare how much support it has received and how it has used it as requested by the Heads of Missions and the Development Partner Group. "Without this information, donor partners and agencies cannot channel more support to our people. "The President is in business as usual looking for votes and wishing the famine away while mourning just like all other Kenyans," the former Prime Minister said at a press conference in Nairobi.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Post-Crisis Response to Food and Nutrition Insecurity Project was on Thursday launched in The Gambia at a hotel in Senegambia. The US$11.4 million project seeks to support the fight against malnutrition among children under two years in four administrative regions namely; North Bank Region, Lower River Region, Central River Region and Upper River Region through targeted interventions focusing on food insecure households. In her remarks, Saffie Lowe-Ceesay, the minister of Health and Social Welfare has stated that the under-nutrition is a major public health problem in The Gambia, exacerbated by increasing poverty levels and food insecurity, poor coverage of nutrition interventions, poor dietary habits, poor sanitation and hygiene and increased burden.

Monday, 19 June 2017

A “development assistance” initiative launched five years ago by the G8, an inter-governmental political forum of the world’s most industrialized nations that consider themselves democracies, is holding Tanzania hostage to the benefit of agribusiness and the detriment of small-scale Tanzanian farmers. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), founded by the G8 in 2012 to ostensibly end hunger and poverty for 50 million people, has forced the Tanzanian government to amend its laws to drastically favor agribusiness and seed companies if it wishes to continue receiving developmental assistance aid. Monsanto, one of the NAFSN’s partners in Tanzania, is set to benefit from these changes to Tanzania’s laws.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Holland Agriculture, part of the CNH Industrial Group, has decided to take a firmer hand in their South African business through opening a direct branch which will be based in Centurion, Tshwane. The reason was summed up by Federico Bellotto, business director of New Holland South Africa: “We are number one in Africa and the Middle East – we’re not number one here. I think we deserve to be number one here. We have the product offering, we have the service, we have the heritage, the credibility, the history.”

The Gambia government has launched a US$11.4 million project, funded by the European Union, to improve food security and reduce stunting growth among children in North Bank, Lower River, Central River and Upper River regions. The 30-month project, to be jointly implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was launched at Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday. It would be implemented in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (and its specialised units), the National Nutrition Agency, the Ministry of Health, the National Disaster Management Agency, the Gambia Red Cross Society, Farmer Based Organisations, and the Women’s Health, Productivity and the Environment NGO (BAFROW).

It is often said the macroeconomic standing of the agricultural sector has diminished, an argument supported by the sector's declining share of GDP, which fell from 4.2 percent in 1996 to 2.3 percent in 2015. However, what is not captured in this narrative is that the value of the agricultural sector has grown 40 percent, from R50.5bn to R71.4bn over that period. This translates to a fairly modest average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent over the past two decades, which explains why agriculture's relative share of the economy has been declining. Agriculture is not becoming insignificant -- it is just that other sectors, particularly the services sector, have grown at a faster rate from a lower base.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

The African Union (AU) has launched a joint business plan that will be used by member states to implement the CAADP-Malabo declarations. The plan that runs from 2017 to 2021 will support operations at a country level that will support agriculture transformation. The plan was launched on Wednesday at the official opening of the 13th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) meeting taking place in Kampala. Launching the plan, the commissioner Rural Economy at the African Union, Josefa Leonal Correia Sacko said using the plan, they will negotiate with development partners to mobilise financial support to member countries.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017

Representatives of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) met in Addis Ababa on May 10, 2017 and agreed on a roadmap for the implementation of the partnership agreement signed between the two entities in January 2017. During the meeting, which was held under the theme, "Achieving agricultural transformation in Africa," participants identified and agreed on four key programme areas including, enhancing rural entrepreneurship and employment for youth and women; addressing natural resource degradation and scarcity, conflicts and migration; ending hunger, nutrition and poverty in Africa; and effective response to climate change.

Lack of storage forces farmers to sell their harvest at low prices - but changing that can help them get ahead Surveying his village's stocks of rice, sesame, millet and other food in a storehouse piled high with bags, Amadou Hassane is satisfied - but still a little anxious about the oversupply of baobab leaves. With the rainy season set to start soon in Niger, Hassane and his fellow farmers need buyers for their leaves before the rains come, driving the prices down as fresh leaves sprout and supply surges across the western region of Tillabery. "Life is hard because it is difficult to know when the first rains will come," Hassane told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, holding a list of each farmer's contribution to the village's stockpile.

World leaders must step up and take action in fighting famine to prevent further catastrophic levels of hunger and deaths, said Oxfam. Ahead of the 43rd G7 summit, Oxfam urged world leaders to urgently address the issue of famine, currently affecting four countries at unprecedented levels. "Political failure has led to these crises - political leadership is needed to resolve them... the world's most powerful leaders must now act to prevent a catastrophe happening on their watch," said Oxfam's Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. "If G7 leaders were to travel to any of these four countries, they would see for themselves how life is becoming impossible for so many people: many are already dying in pain, from disease and extreme hunger," she continued.

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