Agriculture: Latest News
Staff, 3:18 pm
It can take about 25 years to turn a country from Third World to First World. Ten countries in Africa are heading to this transition. Japan was the leader of the “Asian miracle,” but others include Taiwan and South Korea. They had no mineral wealth. What they had were national systems of innovation and they invested in human capital. Many started off equal or lower in GDP per capita than African countries. Household incomes improve when people get involved in tech-based work. Even agriculture needs to be high tech. This is a path Ethiopia is following.
Keren Mikva, 1:07 pm
In August 2015, South Sudan’s warring parties agreed to form a transitional government, ending the civil war that cost tens of thousands of lives and created 2 million refugees. Nearly 90 percent of South Sudan’s land is arable and cattle and sheep are plentiful, yet the country imports the vast majority of food and non-food items. Lack of economic diversity has made the declining oil revenue an even bigger problem.
Dana Sanchez, 6:00 pm
A threat to the Nigerian tomato crop is affecting Africa’s richest man in a country trying desperately to diversify its economy and add value locally to products produced within its borders. The tomato-leaf miner has spread to at least 15 African countries. It has the potential to eliminate tomato from the agricultural cycle, a pest researcher said. “Until it hits, nobody’s ready and there’s total devastation. Eventually the farmer will find a way to deal with it but at a cost to the consumer’s health,” said the head of a U.K. pest control firm.
Kevin Mwanza, 9:16 am
Jehiel Oliver’s resume doesn’t scream agriculture or tractors. The masters in economics graduate from Cornell University, left a life as an investment banker in the US and come to Africa to set up an agriculture startup that uses text messages and mobile money to connect rural farmers to rentable low-cost tractors The startup, known as Hello Tractor, has already raised $3 million in seed funding from USAID and other sources.
Staff, 4:21 pm
Japan’s diplomatic overtures toward Zimbabwe occur at a time when North Korea’s longstanding African alliances are being challenged by South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s recent sub-Saharan African tour and offers of investment. The defection of Uganda from Pyongyang’s security umbrella after Park’s visit demonstrated to Japanese policymakers that sustained diplomatic outreach can convince even North Korea’s strongest allies to comply with international sanctions.
Staff, 2:36 am
African countries need at least $2.7 trillion for mitigation measures and another $488 billion for adaptation to climatic change to be met in 2030, according to the estimates from Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for adaptation to climate change. Speaking during the Africa Carbon Forum in Kigali, yesterday, Yasser El-Gammal, the World Bank country manager, said the amount is based on countries that have already declared their INDCs, adding that there are few others yet to submit.
Julia Austin, 9:11 am AFKI Original
Coveted by makers of musical instruments and fine furniture, African blackwood can sell for $9,000 a log. Processed timber is $13,000 per cubic square meter. It’s a small tree, and low germination rate plus lack of planning for conservation mean it’s in danger of disappearing in its native habitat. The threat to its survival has driven up the price of the wood. You’ll pay $80 per board-foot for this wood, compared to $4 for birch.
Keren Mikva, 4:50 pm
It’s the fourth-longest river in Africa, and vital to the economies of countries it runs through. The fertile Zambezi river basin plays host to a vast variety of wildlife, including crocodiles, lions, and hundreds of bird species. While some species are protected, hunting safaris are common. But areas once considered protected are also being exploited for mining. Australian-owned company Zambezi Resources received a 25-year license to mine for copper in the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Seeking New Markets: Venture Capital Fund Leaving London, Moving To East Africa. Here’s Who’s Already ThereBy Dana Sanchez, 11:35 am
London’s startup ecosystem is flooded with early stage funding for tech startups, so one of the city’s best-known venture capital funds is planning to move to a much less crowded neighborhood — East Africa. East Africa’s angel investment scene is rising, but slowly. Angel investing in Africa can make a big difference to economies there, said the founder of London VC fund Playfair Capital.
Kevin Mwanza, 5:04 am
Results of a referendum in the United Kingdom on Thursday to leave the European Union shocked markets across the globe, with over $2 trillion wipe out in a single day. African economies were not spared the volatility that the Brexit vote caused on different asset classes. Currencies, stocks and bonds plunged across the continent after the UK’s vote to leave. Africa’s largest economies – that have been struggling with commodity prices rout – were the most affected
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