Rural development

World Food Prices Rise

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says food prices rose in September 2012 and are seen remaining close to levels reached during the 2008 food crisis.

In the same vein, aid agency, Oxfam, has called on governments to tackle the root causes of food price volatility.

In a press statement, Oxfam spokesperson, Colin Roche, points out that, "They [countries] need to boost food reserves and strengthen social protection programmes for populations that are at risk of hunger.

Access to Land and Rural Poverty in South Africa, NRF ‘Science and Society’ Lecture, 10 September 2012

This presentation argues that much of rural poverty is still concentrated in the 'labour reserves' of the former-homelands. Meanwhile, agriculture as a share of gross domestic product has fallen from 9.1 percent in 1961 to 2.8 percent in 2010, but many households engage is very small-scale agriculture, while depending on social grants, wage employment, remittances, and small informal sector enterprises.

Africa Urged to Connect Technologies to Farmers

African leaders in the agricultural sector have called on their governments to ensure the development of a constant stream of new technologies for small holder farmers to help them increase productivity.

The call was made during the second and final day of the Africa Green Revolution Forum during a session on the theme ‘How technological change in agriculture is essential for Improving food Security and Agricultural growth’.

Call for Chiefs to Contribute to Service Delivery

Mpumalanga MEC for Rural Development and Land Administration, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, has urged traditional leaders to cooperate in improving service delivery in their areas.

Addressing the Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders in the provincial legislature in Nelspruit, Mashego-Dlamini, states that there are 3.6-million people living in Mpumalanga, with 30 percent of them living in rural areas.

Livelihoods Are At Stake

Eighteen years into democracy, the power of traditional leaders and the lack of regulation of land administration are still disadvantaging poor people.

Traditional leaders are making land administration decisions based on powers they deem to be ‘customary’ but that were given to them under colonialism and apartheid. The Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act of 2003 opened the door for traditional leaders and councils to play a role in land administration.

Sisters Launch Arts NGO, ‘4D Arts’

A young Zimbabwean playwright and director, Thandie Nyamasvisva, who entered Zimbabwean theatre industry in 2010 with a play ‘Flight of the African Child’, has joined hands with her sister, Margaret Ndlovu, to establish a community-based development organisation called 4D Arts.

The organisation, which was launched in Harare, uses entertainment in its broadest definition as a tool for effecting positive socio-economic development.

Massive Food Aid Needed for Malawi - WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a massive food aid programme in Malawi, distributing the first tons of grains to some 200 000 people in the Southern African nation.

In a press statement, WFP states that, “So severe is the situation that an estimated 1.6 million Malawians will need food assistance in (the) coming months, eight times as many as during the last lean season.”

Food Prices to Soar Due to Climate Change - Oxfam

Anti-poverty group, Oxfam, has warned that staple food prices may double within the next two decades due to climate change and an increase in extreme weather including droughts and hurricanes.

The organisation also warns that current climate change research is not taking into account extreme weather events, which it warned could also temporarily send up prices by a similar amount.

FAO Calls for G20 Action on Food Prices

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says the world's top farm producers in the Group of 20 countries must agree on a coordinated action to ease worries about food prices, as FAO and other experts bemoan a huge global waste of food and water.

 FAO director-general, Jose Graziano Da Silva, says that he will not characterise the current food price rise as a crisis, but it could reach that level next year if harvests in the southern hemisphere were disappointing.

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