Zambia: Improving Agro Practice to End Chronic Malnutrition

MALNUTRITION has been a long-standing problem and is one of the leading causes of death among children in Zambia. This ailment affects many children under the age of five and has serious health implications to survivors of the scourge.

Statistics indicate that this country records one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world and that about half of local children are stunted, while one in five is underweight.

It is also evident according to medical results that survivors of chronic malnutrition do not always return to their full strength after any nutritional interventions.

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Liberia: For Liberia’s Developing Agricultural Sector – New Agriculture Diploma Expected to Increase the Supply of Valuable Skills

In partnership with the Ministry of Education, the USAID Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program has developed Liberia’s first market-based, regionally integrated vocational training program in agriculture.

In September 2014, the National Diploma for Agriculture will go into effect at four USAID FED-supported Centers of Excellence in Agriculture located at the Nimba, Lofa and Grand Bassa County Community Colleges and at the Booker T. Washington Institute.

The National Diploma for Agriculture (NDA) is an innovative, skills-focused two-year Vocational Diploma that prepares high school graduates to move directly into agricultural employment in the formal sector or through entrepreneurship.

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Africa: New Climate Innovation Center Launched to Jumpstart Clean-Tech and Climate-Smart Agriculture Ventures in Ethiopia

Addis Ababaethiopia, — World Bank-supported business hub, the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), was launched today in Addis Ababa to support pioneering clean technology enterprises that address climate change while creating jobs and improving livelihoods. First of its kind in the country, the center will help over 3.1 million Ethiopians increase resilience to climate change and is expected to create more than 12,000 jobs in the next ten years.

Ethiopia’s agriculture, which is highly sensitive to fluctuations in rainfall, represents the basis of the national economy. It accounts for approximately 46% of the GDP and 80% of the jobs of the working population. According to the World Bank report ‘Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change,’ without a proper green growth strategy, the total climate adaptation costs for Ethiopia could range from US$1.22 billion to $5.84 billion per year.

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Africa: UN Announces First Countries Set to Benefit From African-Led Food Security Fund

A unique, Africa-led United Nations-backed fund designed to improve food security across the continent has become a reality for the first six countries slated to benefit from the initiative.

The Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, the Niger and South Sudan today signed agreements in Tunis, Tunisia, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to receive $2 million each from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.

“The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund shows that African countries are ready to step up and work with their neighbours to build a sustainable and food secure region, and to have the future we want,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, who encouraged other African Governments to join the effort and contribute to the Fund.

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Rwanda: Leaders Meet to Boost Nutritious Food

ABOUT 300 high-level leaders in government, busines and civil society will converge in Kigali tomorrow for a three-day consultation on how to get nutritious foods to people.

The meeting is organised by HarvestPlus, a global program to improve nutrition and public health, in partnership with the Government of Rwanda. HarvestPlus has worked with other partners to develop new varieties of food crops that contain vitamin A, zinc and iron.

The crops are already being grown by more than a million farmers in several countries where more than 500,000 farmers have already planted new varieties of beans rich in iron.

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Kenya Can Restore Its Forestry and Ecology Just Like China Has

Many countries have realized the importance of forestry and ecological rehabilitation to forestall the adverse effects of climate change that include extreme weather events like droughts and floods, loss of animal habitat, food insecurity, loss of water resources, rise in sea levels etc. Kenya is among many countries that have made attempts to restore our forest cover; however, these efforts have not been sustained and more needs to be done.

In 1990, UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s forests resource assessment classified Kenya among countries with the low forests cover of about 2 percent of the total land area. This is in sharp contrast to the 30% cover of closed canopy forests at the beginning of the twentieth century. With over two thirds of the country’s land mass in arid and semi-arid climate zones, and a population growth rate of over a million per year, forest cover in Kenya has experienced a sharp decline in recent decades.

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Zambia: Engage Women in Agribusiness, Urges World Bank

THERE is need for the Government to engage women in agribusiness for them to contribute towards greater gender equality and economic development, World Bank has said.

Acting country manager Rosemary Sunkutu said the Government should engage women in agribusiness to enable them contribute to greater gender equality and economic and social empowerment.

She said it was extremely important for the Zambian Government to promote women’s economic empowerment as they constitute 68 per cent of those who are economically active in the country’s agriculture sector.

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