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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Rwanda: World Bank Mobilizes Funds to Enhance Crop Productivity, Improve Roads, and Boost Incomes in Rural Rwanda

Washington — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$60.9 million in funds from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help the Rwanda Government to upgrade road conditions and intensify farmers’ agricultural productivity as part of the strategy to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity throughout the country.

“The Rwandan Government has implemented several ambitious programs designed to improve and diversify the country’s agriculture sector as a key strategy to fight poverty,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “Today’s financing provides additional support to continue this success while helping to ensure food security, improve health, and reduce poverty for the country’s large rural population.”

The first US$45 million IDA credit supports the Feeder Roads Development Project (FRDP), designed to improve conditions on all-season roads that connect to major agricultural market centers.

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Botswana: Government to Expedite Agriculture Infrastructure Development

In an effort to optimise agricultural production, government will expedite the Agriculture Infrastructure Development Initiative (AIDI) once the economy has improved. Speaking during a harvest day at Mosi in Southern District on Friday, March 22, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama said under the initiative, government would provide water, power and telecommunications infrastructure across the country for both crops and livestock step by step until the high production areas including Mosisedi were covered.

President Khama explained that the initiative was dealt a serious blow and shelved following the economic recession in 2008. However, he said the Ministry of Agriculture would continue to bring services closer to farmers through agricultural service centres, adding that the Mosisedi commercial farmers were provided with fertilisers, seeds, agricultural machinery and implements through the centre at Good Hope rather than major centres in Lobatse and Gaborone.

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Rwanda: World Bank Approves U.S.$60 Million for Agriculture, Infrastructure

Part of the funds will be used to intensify farmer’s agricultural productivity as part of the strategy to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity throughout the country

The World Bank, through International Development Association (IDA) has approved US$60.9Million (Over Rwf41billion) to improve Rwanda’s agriculture and infrastructure sectors.

The funds will be used to upgrade road conditions in the country and intensify farmer’s agricultural productivity as part of the strategy to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity throughout the country.

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Tanzania: More Research in Agriculture Needed to Eradicate Poverty

GOVERNMENT over the last three years invested over 25bn/- in research, especially on agriculture products, as one way of eradicating poverty.

This was said recently by the Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr Nteranya Sanginga, during a meeting which brought together agriculture experts from the world’s leading partnership in agriculture research.

The meeting which was hosted by IITA and CGIAR, a global partner that unites organisations engaged in research for a food secure future, brought together a consortium board and director generals of all 15 international centres that make up the CGIAR consortium.

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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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