Climatic Change: Torrid Times Ahead for Less Developed Countries

Over the past few months, and in fact since the beginning of the year 2009, there has been a flurry of activities, workshops and international conference halls filled with bewildered delegates trying to craft solutions on perhaps one of the greatest challenges of our times: climatic change, and what it portends for livelihoods across the globe.

Unused Land a Concern - Agri NW

The under-utilisation of agricultural land in the North West province, transferred as part of the land reform process, is a matter of concern. This is according to Agri North West.

Agri North West president, Andries Beyers, points out that lack of ongoing economic activities on the land is contributing to the socio-economic fall in the specific rural areas and communities.

Molewa’s Plan to Boost the Poor

Social Development Minister, Edna Molewa, has pronounced that the One Stop Development Centre concept is a national programme.

The concept, which was initiated by the KwaZulu-Natal department of social development in 2008, provides a full range of social development services to children, women, elderly, youth and people with disabilities as well as families infected and affected by the scourge of HIV and AIDS.

Africa is Hungry: How Women Can Make a Difference

While some regions around the world battle with increasing obesity, much of Africa continues to experience severe food shortages, as millions of African people suffer daily from hunger. The reality of food shortages in Africa is well-known. So well known, in fact, that the average middle-class fast food eating person is generally unable to feel anything but blasé about it. There are many others, however, who do try to help, and countless organisations and programmes working to provide food for the hungry.

Gates Calls for Focus on Food Security

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has urged for a greater focus on food security.

Speaking at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, the philanthropist has argued that steps need to be taken to help the world’s poorest farmers boost their yields to not only help themselves out of poverty but also out of hunger.

Gates announced nine new grants totaling US$120 million to support small farmers.

South Africans Stand Up to End Poverty

From 16-18 October, South Africans will join millions of people across the globe in the “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!” Campaign as they call on world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Last year almost 117 million people participated in this annual campaign, the majority from poor countries, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilisation of human beings in recorded history.

Loan Guarantee For Small Farmers

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a green group headed by former United Nations secretary- general, Kofi Annan, plans a loan guarantee facility to leverage a US$1 billion from commercial banks for small African farmers.

The organisation’s vice president, Akinwumi Adesina, points out that the organisation, with a board chaired by Annan, intends to launch the facility to cover a gap in funding for small-scale food producers in Africa.

On Being Poor and the MDGs

The severity of poverty worldwide prompted 189 world leaders in 2000 at the United Nations Millennium Summit to make a promise about the eradication of poverty by the year 2015. These commitments became to be known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Now with six years to go until the MDGs deadline of 2015 and for South Africa five years (as we have identified 2014 – 20 years into our democracy – as our target), we need to assess whether sufficient progress has been made in reaching the goals. This narrative paints a bleak picture.

Africa Urged to Change Policy on Food

The United Nations (UN) food agency says that a recent boost in sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural production indicates a break with the past, but concerted and purposeful policy action is required to maintain the momentum.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) notes that after decades of decline, sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural sector – 80 percent of which consists of smallholder farmers -- grew more than 3.5 percent in 2008, well above the two percent rate of population growth.


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