Rural development

Food Commodity Prices Fall to Near 6-Year Low

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says the world’s major food commodity prices fell again in May to the lowest level in nearly six years amid a favourable outlook for this year’s harvests.
In a press statement, FAO states that its food price index averaged 166.8 points in May, down 1.4 percent from April and as much as 20.7 percent from a year earlier.

Organic Agriculture: Future for Small-Scale Farmers

According to an article by Nkole Nkole, when Zambia’s Kasisi Agriculture Training Centre (KATC) began operating in 1974, its methods of farming were inspired by the Green Revolution which promoted new advances in agriculture as a way to end global hunger.
Nkole states that the initiatives, led by a man considered the ‘Father of the Green Revolution’ Norman Borlaug involved the creation of new chemical fertilisers and synthetic herbicides and pesticides.

WEF Tackles Transformation in the Mining Industry

Captains of the industry at the World Economic Forum on Africa together with government leaders will look at ways of achieving transformation in the mining industry to ensure that all Africans share in the continent's mineral wealth.
Africa has by far the world's largest mineral deposits in the world and it remains the poorest continent in the world. 
Lonmin Platinum chief executive officer, Ben Magara, says the meeting will look at ways in which this can be combated despite the current challenges in the mining industry.

UN to Raise Funds for Zim’s Development

The United Nations (UN) plans to raise $1.6 billion from donors to improve agriculture, food security, health and governance in Zimbabwe between the years 2016-2020.
According to a UN resident coordinator in Zimbabwe, Bishow Palajuli, the global agency had raised US$1.64 billion for its Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), which started in 2012 and ends this year and is now seeking to do the same for the next four year period.

Women Help Themselves Through A Co-op

A women’s co-operative in Malawi shows that people can learn to help themselves with great results.

In her article titled ‘Working for a better future for all in Malawi’, Isabel Conway writes that determined to rise above bare subsistence and hunger, 200 women now belong to the thriving Kangamowa Cooperative that provides low interest loans to the needy and ploughs any profits into extending their agri-business activities.

She adds that the potholed track winds past huddles of thatched mud huts and squalid stalls selling withered vegetables and maize.

Land Cap Proposal Shocks Farmers

The African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) says the proposal by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, to limit land ownership by large scale farmers has caught them by surprise.

In a press statement, AFASA points out that, “The African Farmers Association of South Africa was caught by surprise as anyone else by the sudden and unexpected announcement of new land ceilings proposed by government.”

NGOs Urged to Support Irrigation

Dowa District Agriculture Office has called on non-governmental organisations working in food security projects in the district to support households in irrigation farming.

Dowa District Agriculture Development officer, Eliya Yamikani, says the onset of the 2014 /15 rain season was characterised by erratic and sporadic rainfall leading to some wash-aways in the district's extension planning areas.

Africa-Nordic Dialogue Focuses on Poverty Reduction

Poverty reduction, inequality and unemployment are expected to take a centre stage as the 14th session of the Africa-Nordic foreign ministers dialogue enters its second and final day at Mookgopong in Limpopo. 

The forum, which was established in the year 2000, aims to establish new perspectives for the friendship, cooperation and solidarity that exists between various African countries and the Nordic countries. 

SAHRC Slam Businesses for Rights Abuses

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has for the first time exposed human rights violations across multiple local sectors.

In its first report into human rights abuses in the local business sector, the SAHRC is concerned that all the issues raised five years ago by the International Institute for Human Rights and Business in a presentation to the United Nations Human Rights Council still plague the South African business sector.

Social Work Will Improve – Nxumalo

Conny Nxumalo, deputy director-general at the Department of Social Development, says the type of social ills in South African society today require social workers who play a more prominent role and do more than just caring.
Speaking from the Social Workers Indaba taking place in Durban, Nxumalo said one of the main purposes of the Indaba is to look at how the current social work curriculum could be improved because the roles of social workers are changing and they now need to play a role in the socio-economic development of this country.


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