Agriculture: Latest News
Peter Pedroncelli, 6:02 am AFKI Original
Despite all of the issues plaguing South Africa at the moment, the country may manage to avoid a ratings downgrade in 2016. After surviving the potential downgrade of the country’s investment grade credit rating in June this year, the ratings agencies are set to pronounce judgement on South Africa once again in the coming months, and there is a risk that the country could be downgraded to below junk status. Here are 12 reasons why South Africa will avoid a ratings downgrade this December.
Staff, 12:12 am
Trade deals criticized as harmful to U.S. economic interests have emerged as a key issue in the race for the White House. Trump could include AGOA as part of a general offensive against U.S. trade agreements. A threat to the program will more likely come from unfair competition on the part of the European Union. African regional trade blocs are in talks with the E.U. on deals that would allow E.U. goods to enter the continent duty-free.
Dana Sanchez, 12:14 am
A pest that earlier this year devastated the Nigerian tomato crop has been detected for the first time in South Africa after hitching a ride from South America to Europe, then spreading to Asia and Africa, Reuters reported. The tomato leaf miner, aka tuta absoluta, can ruin tomato and potato crops, the South African department of agriculture said on Friday. The outbreak was discovered on a tomato farm in eastern South Africa at a border post with neighboring Mozambique in the Kruger National Park.
Global Risk Insights, 7:05 am
Mounting violence in Ethiopia has seen over 500 killed, as protests against the government’s economic and human rights policies continues. The tensions at the heart of the crisis are systemic ones, yet what makes the violence particularly worrisome is that foreign investors have become prominent targets. Foreign businesses are being systematically attacked in protest of the government’s development-centric approach
Dana Sanchez, 8:48 am
Microbial solutions for pesticides and fertilizer are revolutionizing Western agriculture, but are slow getting started in Africa. There’s an overwhelming need to improve soil health and crop productivity on the continent. Yields have been stagnant for decades for several staple food crops. The bacteria living in roots, leaves and soil that help plants absorb nutrients, fight disease, and resist drought are less toxic than chemical ones, and potentially more efficient for farmers.
Staff, 7:22 am
Dutch suppliers have halted imports and production at their Ethiopian operations after anti-government protesters damaged their facilities. Prices have spiked in the Netherlands for products such as fine beans and exotic vegetables due to the disruption in supply from Ethiopia, with Kenya and Zimbabwe helping to fill the immediate sourcing gap.
Dana Sanchez, 2:09 pm
Blacks are getting squeezed out of the marijuana business all over the U.S., says Ron Jones, founder of Sons of Hemp. The organization gets its name from the Bena Riamba or “Sons of Hemp” who lived in equatorial West Africa in the 1800s. The Bashilenge tribe worshiped hemp and formed a religion around it. Although U.S. minorities use marijuana at about the same rate as whites, they get arrested and go to jail for it more often. Sons of Hemp sued Detroit and now it plans a cannabis school to help nurture cannabis startups.
Dana Sanchez, 11:10 am
Ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru agreed to pay $1.4M in personal funds to a white farmer whose land was taken by her late husband. Some analysts say this will inspire investor confidence in Zimbabwe and demonstrate respect for property rights. The ruling Zanu-PF party will do its best to discredit Mujuru as a traitor. “People should not be fooled by Mujuru’s gesture,” an analyst said. “Mujuru was a member of Zanu PF most of her life and she now wants to rebrand herself as (its) acceptable face.”
Staff, 12:01 am
Milk consumption in Africa is the lowest in the world. The continent has more than 10 percent of the world’s cattle, but contributes less than 3 percent to global milk production. African countries import more than $500 million worth of milk a year from Europe and North America. Ghana’s dairy industry has been plagued with challenges including lack of modern technology. Most dairy farmers milk cattle the traditional way, and don’t know where to market their product.
Staff, 4:09 am
African Donkeys have something Chinese consumers want — so much so that the balance of trade in this new industry is getting out of sync. Africa is kicking back. China, a world leader in donkey imports, needs an estimated 4 million donkeys annually to achieve a massive 5,000-tonne production goal of making a traditional Chinese medicine known as ejiao. Currently, China can supply around 1.8 million donkeys. “The scale of the demand from China is often so large that it can rapidly overwhelm the supply of any single resource,” a stakeholder said.
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