Category “Other Countries”

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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Africa: Closing Africa’s Agricultural Gender Gap

Africa’s GDP is now growing faster than any other continent’s. When many people think about the engines driving that growth, they imagine commodities like oil, gold, and cocoa, or maybe industries like banking and telecommunications. I think of a woman named Joyce Sandir.

Joyce is a farmer who grows bananas, vegetables, and maize on a small plot of land in rural Tanzania. When I met her in 2012, she had just harvested her first crop of maize grown from a seed specifically adapted for Tanzania’s climate.

Even during a bad crop year that caused many of Joyce’s vegetables to wither and die, her maize crop flourished. Without it, her family might have risked going hungry. Instead, the maize harvest ensured that Joyce’s family had enough to eat – and even enough extra income for Joyce to pay her children’s school fees.

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Central African Republic: Teetering on the Brink

Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, has just wrapped up a two-day fact-finding visit to the Central African Republic – a country facing a humanitarian disaster that risks getting even worse. In her latest blog, the WFP chief talks about her personal impressions of this ‘forgotten crisis’.

People often laugh when I say I like to meet smiling, chubby babies when I’m out looking at World Food Programme operations in the field. But it’s true. A happy, healthy baby is the most obvious sign that we’re getting things right.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that we are going to get things right all of the time, everywhere in the world. The desperate situation I’ve witnessed these past few days in the Central African Republic shows the dangers of ignoring the warning signals for far too long.

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Africa: Agriculture Cornerstone of Southern Africa’s Economy

Livingstone — Although southern Africa’s growth has been driven by minerals and other natural resources, agriculture offers the greatest potential for transforming the Southern Africa’s economy.

Speaking at the official opening of the 20th Session of the Intergovernmnetal Committee of Experts (ICE) in Livingstone, Zambia, Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba, representing Minister for Finance, Republic of Zambia, Alexander Chikwanda said that agriculture remains one of the most important source of revenues and foreign exchange earnings for governments in the region contributing an average of 30 percent gross domestic product and about 70 percent of employment in Southern Africa.

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Africa: The Right to Food

“The right to food is the right of every individual, alone or in community with others, to have physical and economic access at all times to sufficient, adequate and culturally acceptable food that is produced and consumed sustainably, preserving access to food for future generations. … Because of the various channels though which access to food can be achieved, the creation of decent jobs in the industry and services sectors plays an essential role in securing the right to food, as does the provision of social protection.”- Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Final Report

Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur, goes on to note in his report that “Measured against the requirement that they should contribute to the realization of the right to food, the food systems we have inherited from the twentieth century have failed.

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Africa: Food Loss and Waste a Barrier to Poverty Reduction

The world loses or wastes one-quarter to one-third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the latest issue of the World Bank’s quarterly Food Price Watch citing FAO and World Resources Institute estimates. In regions rife with undernourishment, such as Africa and South Asia, this shocking loss translates to 400 to 500 calories per person, per day – and up to 1520 calories in the developed world.

“The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market. We have to tackle this problem in every country in order to improve food security and to end poverty.”

According to the latest edition of Food Price Watch, global food prices declined by 3 percent over the last quarter but remain close to historical peaks, driven by record-setting harvests in wheat, maize and rice, increased supplies, and stronger global stocks.

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East Africa: EAC Farmers to Be Insured By International Firm

THE International Finance Corporation has signed a 3.9 million US dollar agreement that will offer insurance to closew to one million farmers in East African Community member states in the next two years.

IFC Regional Leader, Mr David Crush told journalists in Nairobi this week that the funds will bring a crop and livestock insurance solution that will enable farmers to cope with weather risks. “In 2014, we will insure at least 500,000 small scale farmers in Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania,” Crush said during the signing ceremony in Nairobi.

The grant will be issued by the Global Index Insurance Facility, a multi-donor trust fund financed by the European Union, Japan and the Netherlands and implemented by IFC and the World Bank. Last year, over 189,000 small scale farmers were insured in the region under the project.

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