Agriculture: Latest News
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.
Staff, 12:12 am
Trade deals criticized as harmful to U.S. economic interests have emerged as a key issue in the race for the White House. Trump could include AGOA as part of a general offensive against U.S. trade agreements. A threat to the program will more likely come from unfair competition on the part of the European Union. African regional trade blocs are in talks with the E.U. on deals that would allow E.U. goods to enter the continent duty-free.
Dana Sanchez, 12:14 am
A pest that earlier this year devastated the Nigerian tomato crop has been detected for the first time in South Africa after hitching a ride from South America to Europe, then spreading to Asia and Africa, Reuters reported. The tomato leaf miner, aka tuta absoluta, can ruin tomato and potato crops, the South African department of agriculture said on Friday. The outbreak was discovered on a tomato farm in eastern South Africa at a border post with neighboring Mozambique in the Kruger National Park.
Global Risk Insights, 7:05 am
Mounting violence in Ethiopia has seen over 500 killed, as protests against the government’s economic and human rights policies continues. The tensions at the heart of the crisis are systemic ones, yet what makes the violence particularly worrisome is that foreign investors have become prominent targets. Foreign businesses are being systematically attacked in protest of the government’s development-centric approach
Dana Sanchez, 8:48 am
Microbial solutions for pesticides and fertilizer are revolutionizing Western agriculture, but are slow getting started in Africa. There’s an overwhelming need to improve soil health and crop productivity on the continent. Yields have been stagnant for decades for several staple food crops. The bacteria living in roots, leaves and soil that help plants absorb nutrients, fight disease, and resist drought are less toxic than chemical ones, and potentially more efficient for farmers.
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