Agriculture: Latest News
Keren Mikva, 9:52 am AFKI Original
Robben Island is known as the political prison where Nelson Mandela spent decades of his life. Now a famous tourist destination, it’s becoming notorious for something else — abalone poaching. Nearly $70,000 worth of abalones — 2,858 of them — were found in a raid in May. Poachers often sell the coveted shellfish for drugs. Many of the abalones end up in Chinese restaurants, where diners may pay $130 per kilogram. In South Africa, abalones are on the verge of commercial extinction.
Dana Sanchez, 11:31 pm
Five years ago, most boats targeting West Africa were Taiwanese or South Korean; now nearly all are Chinese. Efforts to stop illegal fishing are hampered by Chinese vessels concealing their identities.Boats claiming to be off the coast of Mexico are really off Guinea. It is almost exclusively Chinese vessels that are doing this. Google and Oceana have developed a monitoring system to allow real-time tracking of vessels. It’s due to go live this year.
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:07 pm AFKI Original
After-work teas are becoming after-work beers and glasses of wine in Africa. As incomes grow in sub-Saharan Africa, consumers are demanding better quality wine and spirits – both imported and locally made. “Drink more please” — it’s not the best parenting line but it is the thinking of many top executives at wine and spirit companies. Sub-Saharan Africans drink 10-to-11 liters of beer per person per year. Comparatively, Asians drink about 19-to-20 liters and Americans drink about 73-to-74. Only South Africans drink more than the global average — around 46 liters.
Julia Austin, 6:06 pm AFKI Original
A quick look at one of the Realtor sites specializing in wine farms will show you that the lowest price for a Stellenbosch wine farm is around $1.6 million. Some properties have stuck to the old Cape Dutch style architecture of centuries ago. Others combine modern, state-of-the-art architecture with breathtaking natural landscapes. One such property is a mixed-use farm with an all-glass front overlooking Gordon’s Bay.
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.
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