Rural development

CSO Faults Govt on Food Security

The Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) has faulted the President Joyce Banda administration for claims that the previous government inflated maize harvest figures to show that Malawi was achieving maize surpluses.

CISANET national coordinator, Tamani Nkhono-Mvula, points out that, “We saw what happened that there was a tremendous improvement in the availability of food.”

Women in sub-Saharan Africa lack Safe Sanitation

According to a survey conducted by WaterAid, 297 million African women and girls lack safe and adequate sanitation, out of those 107 million do not have a toilet at all.

The survey found that, seven in 10 women in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to a safe toilet, which threatens their health and exposes them to shame, fear and even violence.

It is estimated that 18 million South Africans do not have access to adequate sanitation. Those who have inadequate sanitation may be using the bucket system or pit toilets.

Young People and Agriculture in Africa

Despite increased commitment to evidence-based policy in African agriculture, the profile of certain 'problems', and the imperative to address them quickly through policy and programmes, becomes separated from evidence and understanding. When this happens, policy advocates, policymakers and development planners rely heavily on 'common knowledge', anecdote and narrative to develop and argue policy alternatives.

Africa Seeks Deeper Relations With Obama

A senior African Union (AU) official says the continental body looks forward to deepening relations with Washington following Barack Obama’s re-election as United States president.
 
Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission, says the AU seeks a strong partnership with Washington to combat terrorism and find solutions to ending hunger.
 

IFAD Grant to Boost DRC Smallholder Farmers

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$68.4 million grant to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to improve the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers in the western part of the country.

The grant agreement for the Kinshasa Food Supply Centre Support Programme was signed by the country’s vice minister of finance, Roger Shulungu Runika.

Although the country exported agricultural products prior to its independence in 1960, the sector has seen a steady decline and stagnation since.

Lesotho Struggles to Feed its People

Lesotho, grappling with food shortages, is banking on South Africa to make good on its pledge to assist its landlocked neighbour.

Lesotho is in the throes of a food crisis, the result of weather shocks including flash floods and drought over the past two years.

South Africa undertook to assist the mountain kingdom following a visit by Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, last month. However, the amount and extent of the pledge is not yet known.

Food Production Spikes Greenhouse Gas - CGIAR

Agriculture research organisation, CGIAR, says that food production accounts for up to 29 percent of man-made greenhouse gases, twice the amount the United Nations has estimated comes from farming.

CGIAR research programme on climate change, agriculture and food security, Bruce Campbell, points out that, "There are good economic reasons to improve efficiency in agriculture, not just to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

Farm Attacks and Farm Murders Remain a Concern

The ongoing scourge of criminal attacks on the farming community in South Africa and the accompanying range of violent crimes such as murder, rape and robbery remain a controversial issue. On the one hand there are those who argue that farmers are more at risk of being targeted by violent criminals than the average citizen. This includes those who represent organised agriculture. Some go as far as claiming that there is a political motive behind these attacks, with the objective of forcing white farmers off the land.

African Farmers Can End Food Insecurity - WB

A new World Bank report states that Africa’s farmers can potentially grow enough food to feed the continent and avert future food crises, if countries remove cross-border restrictions on the food trade within the region.

The bank maintains that the continent could also generate an extra US$20 billion in yearly earnings if African leaders can agree to dismantle trade barriers that blunt more regional dynamism.

WB Says African Could Avoid Food Shortages

The World Bank says that Africa could avoid food shortages if it reduces the tangled web of rules, fees and high costs strangling regional food trade and by putting large swathes of uncultivated land to productive use.

The bank’s vice president for Africa, Makhtar Diop, points out that, "Too often borders get in the way of getting food to homes and communities which are struggling with too little to eat."

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