Rural development

Africa Urged to Invest in Food Production

According to Accenture South Africa, food production in sub-Saharan Africa must rise by 50 percent to feed an estimated population of 1.3 billion by 2030.

Managing director of strategy and sustainability at Accenture South Africa, Grant Hatch, points out that investment of about US$93 billion a year is needed to develop the infrastructure required to support the region’s agricultural sector.

Hypocrisy Behind the 'Meat Label Scandal'

I don’t wish to come across as trivialising the issue of quality and safety of food. However, I wish the attention given to the so-called ‘meat label scandal’ would be lavished on one of the most ignored issues in South Africa namely household energy fires. The media is abuzz with articles and commentary about this. Politicians are calling for wide ranging commissions of enquiries. Parliamentary committee meetings will now be convened to get to the bottom of this scandal. Supermarkets and the meat industry are called to account.

CSOs Condemns SADC Protocol on Plants

Civil society organisations (CSOs) from around the world have condemned a Southern African Development Community (SADC) draft protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Plant Breeders’ Rights), saying it spells disaster for small-scale farmers.

The groups, representing millions of farmers globally, have submitted a list of their concerns to the SADC secretariat, urging it to throw the document away and consult farmers and CSOs.

Call for Wild Foods to Improve Food Security

The Centre for International Research on Forests (CIFOR) says that malnutrition could be greatly reduced and food security improved by ensuring improved access to nutrient-rich forest-derived foods like berries, bushmeat, roots, insects and nuts for the world's poorest populations.

CIFOR’s nutritionist and researcher, Bronwen Powell, points out that, "I believe forest foods are particularly important for reducing malnutrition when it comes to micronutrients such as vitamin A and iron."

Oxfam Criticises Rich Nations Over Aid

Oxfam has warned that millions of poor people will go without life-saving food and medicines as donor aid pledges to poor countries are breached.

Responding to figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that shows aid from rich countries was US$125.586 billion in 2012 - a real terms fall of US$5.36 billion.

Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International, points out that this cut in aid is going to cost lives since poor countries' reserves have been depleted by the global economic crisis.

Agriculture Best Way to Reduce Poverty - ONE

ONE Campaign says that increasing agriculture investment is one of the best ways to reduce poverty in Africa.

ONE Campaign's deputy director, Nachilala Nkombo, says Africa has the potential not only to feed itself but also to become a major food supplier for the rest of the world.

Nkombo points out that unlocking Africa's potential will also unlock its development, adding that farming is Africa's predominant lifestyle with more than two-thirds of Africans depending on agriculture for their incomes.

Khoisan Tribe in Court Over Ancestral Land

The Kalahari Khoisan tribe is taking Botswana's government to court to reaffirm a previous ruling that granted the tribe legal rights to its ancestral land.

According to international advocacy group, Survival International, Botswana's government has been denying the Khoisan right to return to their land despite a landmark decision in 2006 that reversed the eviction of around 1 000 tribesmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR).

Corruption in Land Administration: Roles for Donors to Minimise the Problem

Land issues have been rising up the agenda of policy makers due to rapid urbanisation and high food prices. Yet, land administration is one of the most corrupt government activities. How should international donors respond? The first priority is to support domestic governments in improving land administration and anti-corruption processes in general. In addition, donors should undertake explicit analysis of the political economy of land, reduce the impact of their own projects on land administration corruption, help increase transparency and exploit international connections.

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