Agriculture: Latest News
Staff, 12:01 am
Young Africans may be doing productive work, but they’re doing it in economies where informality is an institution owing to lack of data. With the help of the private sector, African governments must understand how the informal economy works and how it can be improved. Africa has addressed complex and far-reaching problems before. The HIV/AIDS epidemic once seemed insurmountable. Now it’s largely under control. The key to tackling it was cooperation among governments, development partners and local communities in collecting, processing, and using data to adjust strategies.
Staff, 11:41 am
Despite recent heavy rains, Ethiopia is still reeling from the worst drought to hit the country for half a century, particularly in the livestock-dependent regions of Oromia and Somali. Yet studies (pdf) suggest the country could have billions of cubic metres of untapped groundwater. The story is the same across many parts of Africa, where farmers rely on erratic rains and depleted surface water while potentially vast groundwater reserves go ignored. Africa’s subterranean water amounts to an estimated 660,000 cubic kilometres
Ann Brown, 8:52 am AFKI Original
Many ingredients for cooking Nigerian meals are not produced or packaged in Nigeria. The owners of the OmoAlata brand want to change that. “Seeing Nigerian food ingredients in ethnic stores in the U.K. and U.S. with ‘made in Ghana’ labels ignited a longing to change the narrative (that) nothing good comes out of Naija,” said Kasope Ladipo-Ajai in an AFKInsider interview. OmoAlata takes the labor out of chopping and prepping pepper, tomatoes, and onions for soups or stews from scratch. The company parboils and packages soup and veggie mixes.
Dana Sanchez, 1:13 pm
South African bone-in chicken imports are having a devastating impact on local producers, stakeholders say. But don’t be so quick to blame the U.S. or AGOA. SA’s poultry imports from the European Union rose dramatically in 2016 while U.S. bone-in chicken imports have been far below expectations. The SA Poultry Association is challenging the AGOA agreement on the grounds that it lowers health safety standards for imported U.S. chicken while all other countries must comply with higher standards.
Dana Sanchez, 3:13 pm AFKI Original
Informal cross-border trade is so important for Africa that about 43 percent of Africans are involved in this form of commercial activity in the 19 countries that make up the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. It contributes to economic growth, job creation and food security for the majority of the region’s population. The majority of informal cross border traders are women, and they’re extremely vulnerable.
Dana Sanchez, 3:05 pm
Land O’Lakes, one of the top dairy co-ops in the U.S., has partnered with Bidco, the No. 1 edible oil manufacturer in East and Central Africa, to create Bidco Land O’Lakes, an animal feed production business based in Kenya. Land O’Lakes is known for Purina animal nutrition, and chose Bidco for its market knowledge and distribution networks across East Africa. The U.S. business has done aid work in Africa for decades but evolved to an ownership role in 2015 with a South African acquisition.
Keren Mikva, 2:56 pm
Nine out of the 10 biggest produce exporters to the U.K. are E.U. member countries. Potential changes to E.U. tariffs and the falling value of sterling have forced some retailers to consider sourcing from different countries. U.K. produce importers say they expect to see more produce from Africa. South Africa is already the No. 2 source of fresh fruit to the U.K. after Spain, and Kenya may become a beneficiary of the changing trade patterns.
Dana Sanchez, 2:25 pm
Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians protested Saturday against an economy that excludes them. About 100 protesters died in police crackdowns. Western governments keep funding the Ethiopian government and refuse to acknowledge the depth of the country’s crisis. The U.S. relies on Ethiopia to help fight al-Shabab and sends tens of millions of dollars in development assistance, “tiptoeing around” the country’s human rights abuses. The E.U. offers Ethiopia aid and trade incentives in exchange for helping to keep migrants from reaching Europe.
Dana Sanchez, 1:03 pm
Copper-rich Democratic Republic of Congo is vying with Zambia to be Africa’s top producer. A new hydropower facility that the DRC government is planning to build could help shape Africa this century. It is one of DRC’s strategies for providing the energy it needs to free its economy. These aren’t the largest or most developed countries in Africa. Some are plagued with corruption and inequality. All have fast-growing economies.
Dana Sanchez, 8:17 pm
Ivory Coast’s beloved national dish, attiéké — pronounced achekay — takes a couple of days to make from scratch if it’s prepared right. A severe shortage in local markets has drawn global attention to the Ivorian staple. It’s popular in other countries and foreigners are profiting from the name without making it properly, the government says. Legal protection, like Japan got for kobe and France for champagne, will protect the name and the manufacturing process. It should also speed up industrialization.
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