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Africa’s Food Markets Could Create One Trillion Dollar Opportunity by 2030 | World Bank


Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecologi...

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2013 - Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods, and if African governments can work more closely with agribusinesses to feed the region’s fast-growing urban population, according to a new World Bank report launched today.

According to the Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness report, Africa’s food systems, currently valued at US$313 billion a year from agriculture, could triple if governments and business leaders radically rethink their policies and support to agriculture, farmers, and agribusinesses, which together account for nearly 50 percent of Africa’s economic activity.

The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar DiopWorld Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

Agribusiness: strong growth opportunities

Due to a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, strong demand is driving global food and agricultural prices higher.  Supply issues – slowing yield growth of major food crops, slowdown in research spending, land degradation and water scarcity issues, and a changing climate all mean that prices will remain high.  In this new market climate, Africa has great potential for expanding its food and agricultural exports.

Africa holds almost 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated land which is suited for growing food crops, comprising as many as 450 million hectares that are not forested, protected, or densely populated. Africa uses less than 2 percent of its renewable water sources, compared to a world average of five percent. Its harvests routinely yield far less than their potential and, for mainstay food crops such as maize the yield gap is as wide as 60 to 80 percent. Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

African countries can tap into booming markets in rice, maize, soybeans, sugar, palm oil, biofuel and feedstock and emerge as major exporters of these commodities on world markets similar to the successes scored by Latin America and Southeast Asia.  For Sub-Saharan Africa, the most dynamic sectors are likely to be rice, feed grains, poultry, dairy, vegetable oils, horticulture and processed foods to supply domestic markets.

The report cautions that even as land will be needed for some agribusiness investments, such acquisitions can threaten people’s livelihoods and create local opposition unless land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, thorough consultations with local communities, and fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined.  This must change,” saysJamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

Value Chains are essential  

Rice: Africa has become a major consumer and importer of rice, and Africans import half the rice they eat and pay top dollar for it, $3.5 billion per year and more.  Ghana and Senegal are significant importers.  Senegal is competitive among its neighbors, but it is held back by the difficulty farmers have in accessing land, capital, finance for irrigation expansion and appropriate crop varieties.  Ghana produces fewer varieties of rice than Senegal, but at significantly higher cost, and levies 40 percent tariffs and other charges on imports. Poor grain quality, cleanliness and packaging are major deterrents for consumers constraining the sector’s performance.

Maize: A food staple for many Africans, maize is grown on 25 million hectares or 14 percent of cropped land. In Zambia where people eat on average 133 kilograms of cereals a year, maize provides half the calories in their diets.  Zambia is competitive when importing maize but fails on exports.  High transport costs, higher labor costs and lower yields combine to increase costs by one-third compared to Thailand, a major international producer of rain-fed maize.  The report argues that Zambia’s future competitiveness depends on raising yields, reducing costs, and removing disincentives for the private sector in markets and trade.

In addition, the study reviewed value chains for cocoa in Ghana and dairy and green beans in Kenya.

African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa.  “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

Solutions

Agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report calls for strong leadership and commitment for both public and private sectors.  As comparators, the report cites case studies from Uruguay, Indonesia and Malaysia. For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.

The report notes that Africa can also draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

WB PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/258/AFR

© 2013 The World Bank Group, All Rights Reserved.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in General

 

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AfDB Publication Promotes Structured Finance for Efficient African Markets


nyalugwe:

AfDB Publication Promotes Structured Finance for Efficient African Markets

Originally posted on Allana Potash Blog:

 

http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/afdb-publication-promotes-structured-finance-for-efficient-african-markets-11683/

 

A new book launched by the African Development Bank on April 19 explores how structured finance techniques can mobilize African domestic capital to support economic infrastructure projects and economic growth.

Logo of the African Development Bank (AfDB), p...

 

The book, Structured Finance: Conditions for Infrastructure Project Bonds in African Markets, was officially launched by AfDB Vice-President, Finance, Charles Boamah on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, DC.

“Sound domestic capital markets are critical to the development of African countries,” said Boamah. “Accordingly, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has over the last few years pursued and continues to actively pursue a number of initiatives aimed at helping to raise the capacity of local capital markets, thereby enabling African sovereign and corporate issuers to tap long term finance for infrastructure development.

“The report on Structured Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa-Conditions for Infrastructure Project Bonds is the latest addition…

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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in General

 

Seed banks great and small


nyalugwe:

Seed Banks Great and Small | Allana Potash Blog
Regular consignments of seeds are sent for conservation at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway
Deep inside a frozen Arctic mountain about 600 miles from the North Pole lies a vault that contains within its icy interior the potential to save mankind. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is located on a remote island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, contains duplicates of seed collections from around the world, including those of 11 CGIAR Centers. Dubbed the Doomsday Vault, it was built to protect its precious inventory from the crises which regularly afflict genebanks, from regional and global catastrophes, such as flooding, earthquakes, to the far more common but very destructive problem of chronic underfunding. Kept at a constant temperature of -18 degrees Celsius, the Vault, which now contains some 740,000 seed samples, can preserve the seeds of most food crops for hundreds of years.

Originally posted on Allana Potash Blog:


 

Bean diversity at the CIAT gene bank. Regular consignments of seeds are sent for conservation at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway

Deep inside a frozen Arctic mountain about 600 miles from the North Pole lies a vault that contains within its icy interior the potential to save mankind. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is located on a remote island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, contains duplicates of seed collections from around the world, including those of 11 CGIAR Centers. Dubbed the Doomsday Vault, it was built to protect its precious inventory from the crises which regularly afflict genebanks, from regional and global catastrophes, such as flooding, earthquakes, to the far more common but very destructive problem of chronic underfunding. Kept at a constant temperature of -18 degrees Celsius, the Vault, which now contains some 740,000 seed samples, can preserve the seeds of most food…

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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in General

 


nyalugwe:

The Africa RISING program comprises three linked research-for-development projects, funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative, and aiming to sustainably intensify mixed farming systems in West Africa (Southern Mali and Northern Ghana), the Ethiopian Highlands and East and Southern Africa (Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi).

Originally posted on Africa RISING:

In 2012, Africa RISING funded an ‘early win’ project in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

The project aims to increase production of both basic (or breeder) seed and certified seed for six target crops (maize, beans, cowpeas, soybeans, Medium duration pigeonpea and groundnuts) in three countries.
The specific objectives are to:

  • Accelerate the production of breeder and basic seed of improved varieties released by NARS.
  • Build the capacity of NARS and small-scale private seed producers through investment in training in seed-production, management, and use of SeedPlan for maize.
  • Foster public-private partnerships to increase the sustainability of seed systems serving smallholders.

Download the project proposal / view all outputs of the project

More ‘early win’ projects


The Africa RISING program comprises three linked research-for-development projects, funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative, and aiming to sustainably intensify mixed…

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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in General

 


nyalugwe:

Some thoughts on the Indian Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001. Background information for African regulators, seed companies and lay persons.

Originally posted on IIPRD Blog - Intellectual Property Discussions:

Anoop Mishra, an intern at Khurana and Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys, looks at the first piece of legislation in the world to protect the farmer and recognize his contribution in preserving the biodiversity and develop new plant varieties.

In order to comply with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement, India has implemented The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001. The objective of this Act is to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants it has been considered necessary to recognize and protect the rights of the farmers for conserving, improving and making available any plant genetic resources.  The Act aims to accelerate agricultural development in the country and stimulate investment for research and development. This Act by awarding such protection would ensure…

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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in General

 


Originally posted on Georgekalungwe's Blog:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

George Kalungwe in a BT cotton field in Burkina Faso – Pic by G. Kalungwe

It’s finally confirmed ! Scientists at Malawi’s leading agricultural college, Bunda, have disclosed that the first-ever genetically modified cotton ‘confined field trial’ will start this growing season at college located on the outskirts of the capital Lilongwe.

One of the scientists Dr Moses Maliro told me the genetically modified cotton, commonly known as BT cotton, will be planted once Bunda receives sufficient rains for planting.

“By now we are at a stage whereby the seed for this variety is already in the country”, he said. “It is being kept under the custody of the Department of Environmental Affairs waiting for the next steps to treat it and then planting as soon as the rains come at Bunda.”

The seed was procured from South Africa which is now celebrating 15 years of growing and commercialization of…

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in General

 


nyalugwe:

Interesting background reading on the International Treaty and other Genetic Resource issues including preservation and access to seed banks currently held in national public research institutes, and the CGIAR, and curated by Global Crop Diversity Trust and others.

African Seed companies need to understand the dynamics and implications of these discussions.

Originally posted on Genetic Resources Policy:

Crop Genetic Resources as a Global Commons

Crop Genetic Resources as a Global Commons

We are very pleased to announce the publication of Crop Genetic Resources as a Global Commons: Challenges in International Law and Governance.

The book investigates how the collective pooling and management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture can be supported through access and benefit sharing laws. Since the most important recent development in the field has been the creation of the multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, many of the chapters in this book focus on that system.

The book analyzes a range of relevant background factors, including the impact of climate change on countries’ interdependence on plant genetic resources, germplasm flows in and out of international genebanks, crops specfic research programs, and countries as a whole. It considers the historical development and mechanics of the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing.  It…

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in General

 


nyalugwe:

Small farmers must be part of the solution to Africa’s growing and more diverse food needs. A reliable and affordable choice of high quality seed is essential to achieve this needed yield, food diversity and quality increase, including in previously neglected African crops.

Originally posted on e-News Service:

By Anthony Aisi.

International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) call for continued investments in Africa’s smallholder farmers to unlock Africa’s potential

Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) President Jane Karuku called for a continued global push for increased smart investments in Africa’s agriculture, both by governments and the private sector.

After speaking at the Chatham House Food Security 2012 Sustainable Intensification: Miracle or Mirage conference, Nwanze and Karuku addressed a group of international media in London emphasizing that farming is a business and the private sector must fuel the development of Africa’s agribusiness in upgrading smallholder agriculture to meet demand from foreign and emerging markets in developing countries.

“Smallholders are a vast and underutilised resource. These are the people we work with – whether smallholders, pastoralists or herders…

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in General

 

AfricaBio describes scientific community response to French GMO rat study


Below are the contents of a letter from AfricaBio to a South African Minister, describing global scientific community reaction to the French ‘Seralini study’ on rats fed GMOs.

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GLOBAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY ASSERTS THAT THE RAT STUDY IS FRAUDULENT

AfricaBio and members read with deep concern, the deceitful letter written by the African Centre for Biosafety to the Honourable Minister, quoting data which has been severely criticised by the scientific community as flawed. I am kindly writing to you Hon Minister to consider the following comments from various scientists across the globe: 

Below are the links that question and/or reject the science and methodology of the Seralini study launched 2 weeks ago. The responses from the mainstream scientific community are that the methodologies are deeply flawed and as a result the scientific conclusions are flawed.
Summary of comments from the international scientific community (see links below):
  1. The statistical analysis is questionable or incorrect. The sample size is too small – the control group is inadequate to make any deductions. The maize only diet of the rats is dubious and unrealistic. No food intake data or growth data is provided.

  2. The report does not suggest that the effects are caused by genetic modification.

  3. The choice of rat type is incorrect and deeply questionable. This type is very prone to mammary tumors particularly when food intake is not restricted. The report does not mention that up to 86% of male and 72% of female rats of this type spontaneously get cancer at the age of 2 years (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/521452).

  4. There was no proper control group of test rats, without those additional controls “these results are of no value”.

  5. The French team’s claim to be the first to test for the animal’s whole lifespan is incorrect. The report does not refer to the hundreds of existing reports, as is good scientific practice.

  6. The data has not been made available. From a scientific point of view this is questionable and suggests there is something to hide.The paper is supposed to have been reviewed by other scientists before it was allowed for publication, but the French team refused to allow journalists to show the paper to other scientists before the news reports were published.

  7. The French researcher has long been opposed to GM crops – often producing“pseudo-science” as one scientist said. The group has conflicts of interest – funded by large French retailers, and anti-GM NGOs, and with close links to Greenpeace and the organic movement and others in national and European politics with dubious political motivations.

  8. The process of first releasing data to the media, prior to the article, in a highly organized and coordinated fashion, all organized by a PR closely linked with the organic movement, suggests the intention is not to produce good science, but to scare people and media into forming negative opinions of GM.The combination of the report launch with the publication of an anti-GM book by MEP Corinne Lepage is dubious. “Is this science or is this political campaigning?”

  9. The inclusion of emotionally distressing photos in the article suggests that the authors have other intentions in mind than scientific data. Rather the interest was to create uproar.

  10. The report writes that ‘All data cannot be shown in one report and the most relevant are described here’. This is a form of scientific cherry picking that is not good scientific practice. In that sense the report is “sub-standard” and should not have gotten through peer-review.

AMA REITERATES SUPPORT FOR GM TECHNOLOGY | ama.assn.org.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released a statement reiterating its position on genetically modified crops. It continues to recognize the conclusions of the 1987 National Academy of Sciences white paper that (a) There is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of rDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms;

Source: AfricaBio
 
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Posted by on October 6, 2012 in General

 

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Originally posted on Georgekalungwe's Blog:

ImageIn Thondwe, Zomba District, Malawi’s old capital, a widow in her 50’s sorts out some maize bags. There are over 20 of them, all weighing 50 kilogrammes.

With the help of her grandchildren she is applying pesticides to the maize to protect them against weevils.

Maize is what sustains our lives. We cannot live without food. This is from 2012 harvest, but I also have more from 2011 because of the subsidized fertilizer, says Oliver James, one of one million-plus underprivileged Malawians who have benefited from the state-funded farm input subsidy programme (FISP).

The programme, now implemented for about eight years, has a long history – a tale of leaders trying to make Malawi food secure.

It largely owes its genesis to the food crisis that hit Malawi between 2002 and 2005. Earlier there had been similar initiatives on a smaller scale.

In 2002 the United…

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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in General

 
 
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