Agriculture: Latest News
Staff, 3:14 pm
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates plans to help the Ethiopian government tap into mobile banking technology as part of an ambitious plan to make payments more effective, he told reporters at a roundtable meeting in Addis Ababa. Gates also said his foundation is supporting EthioChicken, an innovative company that provides improved chicken breeds to local smallholder poultry farmers. A private-public partnership with American entrepreneurs, EthioChicken supplies 1-day-old chicks to local organized youth groups, helping generate income.
Dana Sanchez, 8:59 am
Business investors aren’t the only ones spotting Africa’s potential. Name-brand foundations are also investing in Africa, making grants on a historic level. Still, charity has its critics. Akon is one of the most vocal. The U.S.-based rap star is one of the most famous impact investors in Africa — and one of the most prominent voices against giving charity to Africans. These are some of the biggest philanthropic foundations giving money in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 2:07 pm AFKI Original
EcoSolutions manages some of the world’s largest bat and insect mitigation programs. Insects have decimated Nigeria’s tomato crop and Nigerian free-tailed bats could help control them, a director told AFKInsider. The company builds bat and owl houses and manages them for chemical-free pest control. “It would be better to include bats in the agricultural success of tomatoes in Africa than bailing out (countries) or providing aid when the tomato crop fails.”
Kevin Mwanza, 12:40 am
Nigeria spends $11 billion on importation of food, denying the nation the much-needed foreign exchange as the economy faces uncertain times due to a global fall in oil prices. This is the third biggest annual import after industrial supplies and capital goods. The nation currently earns about $2 billion annually from non-oil exports, according to Vanguard. This presents a huge trade imbalance between imports and exports.
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.
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