Kenya: EU Release Sh 500 Million to Counties Affected By Poor Rains

The European Union has released Sh 500 million to be distributed to counties experiencing poor rains in a bid to prevent food shortage. The money will be channeled through the National Drought Management Agency.

Head of Development at the EU in Kenya Erik Habers said the funds are expected to be immediately dispersed to 23 arid and semi-arid Counties to reduce the impact of unusually low rainfall on livestock and livelihoods.

Habers said a further Sh 650 million will be provided soon for further drought mitigation activities. Habers in a statement added that the funds are from the Drought Contingency kitty that is aimed at responding to impending drought and is the first of its type in Africa.

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Namibia: Boran Takes Centre Stage

Windhoek — The display of Boran cattle by Kenyan breeders at the upcoming Okamatapati Industrial and Agricultural show has been greeted with great excitement by communal and emerging farmers of the Ongombe Show Association.

Chief organiser of the event to be held in August in Otjiwarongo, Albert Tjihero, says at least one of the foremost breeders of Boran cattle will showcase these hardy animals and put them up for sale at an auction during the show.

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Kenya Moves Closer to GM Maize

Kenya is inching closer to the commercialisation of a drought-tolerant maize variety developed using the controversial genetic modification technology.

Local and international scientists estimate that the maize variety will be ready for farmers’ sampling in three years time.

The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) has harvested its confined field trials, the fifth since the experiments started in 2010, which impressed scientists.

In such experiments, confined trials are conducted for seven seasons, and then subjected to National Performance Trials for two seasons.

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Zimbabwe: Harness Biotech for National Food Security

Food insecurity remains the biggest threat not only to Zimbabwe, but to Africa as a whole. By 2050, Africa’s population will more than double to 2,4 billion and will need to be fed, along with the billions of animals raised annually for food and as pets. Pollution will intensify, contributing to climate change and low agricultural production among our smallholder farmers.

The picture is grim. At present, much of Africa is a net importer of maize and other food crops, a development that is costing our countries billions of dollars annually.

We are richly endowed with vast tracts of land but we are not investing in agricultural biotechnology to boost crop yields and to promote more efficient food production.

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Africa: Joint Action Needed to Tackle Massive Global Food Losses

Tackling the world’s massive food loss problem is a key to reducing hunger and poverty, but governments and companies must step up their collaboration on the issue, an international congress on food losses and waste heard today.

Speaking at the 2nd SAVE FOOD International Congress in Düsseldorf, FAO Assistant Director-General Ren Wang underlined that effective coordination across all sectors could make “a real difference” to one of the world’s major food security challenges.

While 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, around 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year. FAO estimates that the food produced but never eaten would be sufficient to feed two billion people.

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South Africa: City Women Generate Food & Income on Tiny Urban Plots

Cape Town — “It’s a lot of work”, says Mama Lulama Jim as she takes respite from the wind in a makeshift container kitchen. She pauses to study her notes made during an early morning inspection of the current crops of cabbage, carrots, spinach, brinjal and spring onion.

“It’s a lot of work, but we manage because we have a passion for farming”. Mama Jim is part of a revival of urban agriculture in the townships of Cape Town. On the back of higher food and commodity prices, micro farmers like Mama Jim are using tiny parcels of land to grown food for their families and to generate an income.

She and three other women, all over the age of 60, run a communal food garden in Gugulethu, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

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Angola, U.S Cooperation Might Cover Agriculture and Energy

Luanda — The bilateral cooperation between Angola and US currently almost confined to diplomacy and oil might expand to other levels like those of agriculture, energy and technology.

This was said Monday in Luanda by the US secretary of State, John Kerry. The US secretary of State was assessing his one-day official visit to Angola, following a tour of some African countries that included Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He reaffirmed the importance of the partnership between the two countries that, according to him, is on a rising trend. The diplomat said that Angola was an important US partner within a cooperation recording a rising trend.

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