Agriculture: Latest News
Kevin Mwanza, 10:10 am
247Solar, a company owned by U.S.-based private energy firm Wilson Solarpower Corporation, will build its first plant in South Africa as it starts off commercialization in the southern Africa region. The energy startup has partnered with Stellenergy (Pty) Ltd, a South African renewable energy company formed in 2013, to provide off-the grid electricity as the nation battles decreased electricity production
Peter Pedroncelli, 2:33 am AFKI Original
African business leaders make use of social media to communicate with and mentor their followers, dropping pearls of wisdom in under 140 characters. From South Africa to Nigeria, the high profile personalities and multi-millionaires from Africa offer their opinions on many issues while advancing their own agendas through social media. Here are 12 African business leaders worth following on Twitter.
Dana Sanchez, 2:53 pm
Nigeria’s top shrimp producer, Atlantic Shrimpers has unveiled a 400-acre shrimp farm that it says will be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, producing shrimp for Nigeria and the export market. A French-owned shrimp farm in Madagascar that is about 10 times bigger may already have claimed that title. Owned by a French company, the farm in Northwest Madagascar is one of two spread over 4,000 acres of natural clay soil, producing more than 5,000 tons of shrimp per year. The Madagascar farm is also the first in Africa to get international certification that promotes responsible fish farming.
Staff, 4:34 am
Difficulties breathing, abdominal pain and vomiting. These are the symptoms experienced by Ugandan women working at a flower farm who were told to cut flowers in greenhouses that had been fumigated with a toxic chemical a day before. More than 80 Ugandan women accuse a Dutch-owned flower exporter of exposing them to a toxic fumigant, in a case that suggests the difficult conditions faced by African workers at the lowest end of the lucrative international flower industry.
Dana Sanchez, 1:26 pm AFKI Original
Ugandan engineer Brian Turyabagye designed a biomedical smart jacket to quickly and accurately diagnose pneumonia, which kills 27,000 Ugandan children under the age of 5 every year. Most of these cases are due to pneumonia being misdiagnosed as malaria. He’s one of 16 African engineers who’ve come up with problem-solving innovations that got the attention of private and public stakeholders in the U.K. The 16 engineers are in the U.K. for 6 months of mentoring. They’re vying for a $30,000 prize.
Dana Sanchez, 2:40 pm
Ethiopia is hardly the only recent example of how conflicts over land rights can set the stage for political and humanitarian crises. Competition for arable land contributed to the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Food insecurity stemming from land mismanagement is an important factor driving migrants to Europe. Farmers have always intuitively known what scientists are now confirming: trees and other vegetation can stimulate more rainfall.
Dana Sanchez, 11:22 am
It’s cheaper to produce tomato paste in China and export it to Nigeria and other African markets than to produce it locally, according to Nigeria’s No. 1 tomato paste processor. Tomato paste is used widely in Nigerian dishes from jollof rice to soups. Eric Umeofia, CEO of Erisco Foods, said he plans to exit the Nigerian market. The news came as a shock to Nigerians. Erisco has the largest tomato processing plant in Nigeria and the fourth largest in the world.
Dana Sanchez, 4:17 pm
Nigeria is threatening to shut down supermarkets selling genetically modified foods, and it has ordered South African grocery giant Shoprite and others to withdraw all GM food from their shelves until they get permits from the Nigerian government. “We are very serious about this,’’ a government spokesman said. Harmful effects of eating GM foods have been proved mostly without scientific basis. The potential harm from pesticides, however, is a different story. The same companies that make and sell GM plants make and sell chemicals to treat them.
Ann Brown, 9:47 am AFKI Original
The African poultry sector is growing, especially in Tanzania. Eugene Paul Kavishe grew his poultry operation from 300 birds to 15,000 egg layers, thanks in part to U.S.-sponsored entrepreneur programs. Getting financing has been one of his biggest challenges. “Local financial institutions term agriculture as a very risky business,” he told AFKInsider. In 2014 he was chosen for Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. YALI offers African entrepreneurs a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a wealth of business knowledge, he said. “I hope that it will continue (in the next U.S. administration).”
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.
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