Category “Source Country”

Africa: Back Agriculture to Get the Most Out of Aid to Africa

European countries devote small percentages of their national income to international aid, but these add up to colossal amounts – in the UK, for example, 0.7 per cent amounts to £11 billion a year.

How can governments ensure they are getting the most bang for their buck and actually contribute to sustainable solutions for the world’s poor?

Escaping the poverty trap begins with having enough food on your table and enough money in your pocket. For more than 500 million smallholder farmers all over the world, this means producing enough on two hectares (or less) of land to eat, and also having surplus to sell.

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Kenya: Commercial Agriculture Grows Farmland Values

Several landowners have placed farms on sale in recent months, with a sneak preview of pricing signalling rising values for upcountry real estate.

Most of the farmland on offer is being sold in blocks, with intention to attract serious commercial agriculture investors, moving away from earlier patterns where land was sub-divided for housing estates.

Growing demand for commercial farming and development [commercial and residential properties] is reflected on the rapidly rising land values countrywide.

For instance, a 41-acre farmland in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua county, has been placed on sale at an asking price of Sh37.5 million. This pegs a price tag of Sh914,635 for an acre, which is relatively high for farmland located 162 kilometres from Nairobi.

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Nigeria: Agriculture, Consumer Goods to Earn Nigeria, S’africa U.S.$2.6 Trillion By 2020

BY year 2020, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and other sub-Saharan African countries are expected to earn about $2.6 Trillion from resources including agriculture, consumer goods and infrastructure growth.

Although the continent faces significant challenges; opportunities are said to also abound, going by the fact that 60 per cent of the world’s unused agricultural land is in Africa.

Besides, the continent is adjudged to be very rich in a broad range of resources and has large market with increasing disposable income.

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South Africa: SA Affirms Support of Agro-Processing

Pretoria — SOUTH Africa Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says his department has spent more than R1 billion over the past five years to support agro-processing because it is one of the manufacturing sub-sectors identified in the Industrial Action Policy Plan as a vehicle for value-addition to the country’s agricultural products.

“It is not by incident that since 2009 we have, as a department in the period we have supported agro-processing industries to the tune of R1.2 billion. Agro-processing is a critical element of our Industrial Policy Action Plan.

“Agro-processing is important because when you have an existing agricultural activity and you add value to the crops produced, through agro-processing that’s where the real income and real job opportunities lie,” said Davies.

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Ethiopia: Making Ethiopia a Hub for Agricultural Research

Mahamoud el-Solh (Ph.D) is the director general of the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), an organization dedicated to investing in agricultural research with a special focus on enhancing productivity in dry areas.

Founded in 1977 in Syria after securing one thousand hectares of land from the Syrian government, ICARDA established its headquarters there. Thus far, Iran, Syria and Lebanon have been focal countries for its research. However, North African, South and West Asian countries have also been selected for ICARDA’s activities. Recently, it has also strengthened its presence in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa following the establishment of its regional research centers in India and Ethiopia. Nevertheless, the organization has a history of working with this country. Prior to setting up its office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has collaborated with the organization for around thirty years. Henok Reta of the Reporter caught up with the director-general while he visited the capital for the launching of the regional office. Excerpts:

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Gambia: TCP Project Manager On Significance of Farmer Field School

In today’s edition we will bring you the recent concluded training of agricultural extension workers across the country on farmers field school training held at the Wellingara Model Horticultural Centre. The importance attaches to capacity building on FFS and its impact on the farming community in improving agricultural productivity.

Kutubo Sanyang, the project manager of the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP), project funded through the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), lamented on the significance attached to this Technical Cooperation Pogram project called TCP.

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Tanzania: WEMA Seeds – a Science Breakthrough

Word is out that if you want to witness hope and optimists farmers, get kitted for destinations like Vitonga, one of the Mvomero villages, where Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) engage farmers in the field and demo trials.

An optimist Alfreda Jones, 35, a resident of Vitonga village nestled on green folding mountains of Uluguru, personifies hope. On July 17 this year, two weeks before the start of the famous annual agricultural exhibition known as Nane Nane, Alfreda peered into the distant horizon and quipped in her local Kiluguru vernacular: “When I saw your car I contemplated you have the keys to change my life.”

The maize yield in her demo plot where she planted seeds supplied to her by WEMA visually outweigh the yield in adjacent farms. Even Alfreda’s seven-year-old son Fred Jones knows the difference. Welcome to Mvomero district of Morogoro, where climate change – started dashing the hopes of resource-poor farmers.

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