Africa: Small Farmers As the Key to Africa’s Agricultural Future

Rome — Workshop in Zambia to examine lessons from IFAD supported projects in East and Southern Africa

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Zambia are holding a regional workshop for East and Southern Africa from 6 to 9 May in Livingstone, Zambia, to review lessons learned from IFAD-funded projects and identify strategies to address challenges faced during their implementation.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda and Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wilbur Simuusa of Zambia will join Périn Saint Ange, Director of IFAD at the opening session of the workshop Tuesday.

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Zambia: Revisiting Agricultural Potential

THOUGH Zambia is endowed with abundant mineral resources, agriculture has for a long time been tipped as an alternative national economic mainstay.

Like in other agriculturally-dependent economies, the sector requires massive infrastructure and manpower development. The recently held two-day AgriTech Expo in Chisamba’s Central Province was, therefore, a timely occasion that gave an outlook of hope that Zambia’s farming industry was headed for positive growth.

The Expo was also an opportunity to showcase the farming technology and innovations that addressed the needs of different categories of farmers in Zambia.

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Gambia: Agricultural Cooperatives and Food Security

Empirically, agricultural activities account for one third of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the lion’s share of which comes from industrial agriculture. But farmers are also among the first to feel the impacts of climate change, as harvests fail due to increasingly extreme weather. This presupposes agriculture is both culprit and victim of climate change. We need to urgently change the way we produce and consume food if we are to nourish the world’s growing population while respecting nature.

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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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