Agriculture: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:12 am
In Africa, proposed consolidations of seed and agrochemicals industries will result in a bigger push for genetically modified technology. For sub-Sahara’s predominantly small-scale farmers already operating at a low profit margin, greater consolidation means less choice for them and consumers. These proposed mergers are not just about seeds and pesticides. They’re about controlling big data, DNA and intellectual property, stakeholders say.
Dana Sanchez, 6:05 pm
In a closed-door meeting at this week’s U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu said he plans to visit West Africa later this year, “but I don’t intent to limit myself to East Africa or West Africa. Israel is looking at all of Africa,” he said. “And I hope that all of Africa looks at Israel.” Energyia Global Capital, a Jerusalem-based solar enterprise, launched East Africa’s first solar field in 2015 in Rwanda. The company is prepared to invest $2 billion in Africa over the next four years through Obama’s Power Africa program. The goal is clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.
Kevin Mwanza, 7:43 am
Esmeralda Farms Nederland, a US-based flower farm in Bahir Dar, has ceased its operations in Ethiopia after an attack on its premises by alleged anti-government protestors that led to damages worth millions of dollars. The attack which was linked to the ongoing Oromia protests happened earlier in the month. It caused damages estimated at $ 11, 158, 900 (10 million euros), according to DutchNews.nl.
Dana Sanchez, 12:04 pm
The Chinese have entered many sectors of the economy under Zimbabwe’s Look East policy, but until recently avoided white-owned farms liberated by Mugabe. Chinese are now investing in tobacco production, growing it on formerly white-owned farms, and paying rent to landowners who were given farms seized by Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF. Mugabe’s disastrous land reforms caused agricultural production to nosedive. Now there are plenty of jobs in the tobacco-growing district, a worker said.
Julia Austin, 1:08 pm AFKI Original
He was the country’s first billionaire and he got there through one of the most beloved and craved substances in the world — sugar. Rebrab, 72, says his success is abnormal and not entirely welcome in Algeria—a country with deep socialist tendencies for whom independence is relatively new. “Entrepreneurs are accepted, but not encouraged,” Rebrab said. He wants the government to encourage the private sector so it will invest in large projects and create jobs.
Julia Austin, 4:05 pm AFKI Original
Thakkar credits his success to being a refugee. He wants to get into farming and plans to invest in large-scale maize farming—something he says is a “no-brainer.” He also believes that for startups to succeed they must empower the country in which they are investing. Looking locally for everything from labor to investors rather than off-shoring is important to him. “Claiming that there is a skills deficit is nothing more than an excuse,” he said.
Kevin Mwanza, 6:44 am
South Sudan refugees in Uganda are selling their clothes to raise money to buy food as a food rationing crisis bites due to influx of more refugees into the nation, which has strained World Food Program’s (WFP) food provision. The high influx of refugees have forced WFP and the Ugandan government to reduce food rations by nearly a half, driving most of the refugees to get means of supplementing the sorghum and beans rations they receive in the camps.
Staff, 3:50 am
Prospects for agriculture in Africa took a huge boost last week as leaders, business people and major development partners pledged more than 30 billion US dollars in investments to expedite transformation of the sector. The collective pledges at the African Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, mark a major breakthrough in efforts to transform agriculture, the mainstay of the economies of most of African countries, to become the key driver of growth.
Dana Sanchez, 2:41 pm
Africa has 700 companies with revenue of more than $500 million and half are in South Africa. About 40 percent of the 700 are publicly listed, and the continent needs more of them, McKinsey reported. How did they get there? By growing strong at home, not giving up, integrating what other companies would usually outsource, and investing in talent. Family businesses make up 10-to-20 percent of the companies by revenue.
Staff, 9:08 am
The investments are being called historic and may represent the largest package of financial commitment to the African agricultural sector to date. The goal? A new era of business opportunities for the 70 percent of Africans who depend on farming for food and income, but often face poverty and poor nutrition. Presidents Kagame and Kenyatta opened the African Green Revolution Forum 2016, laying out a vision of how agricultural transformation should play out in Africa.
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