food insecurity

Maize Imports to Increase SA Account Deficit

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has warned that imports of maize as a result of the drought could increase the South Africa’s current account deficit.
 
The bank, which released its 2016 Financial Stability Review Report, is of the view that this gives rise to financial stability risks.
 
The Reserve Bank says a combination of the drought and a weaker exchange rate has impacted agricultural commodity prices severely.
 

​Food Shortages Increase Due to Drought

The United Nations Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator says that Zimbabwe faces rising food shortages as drought, exacerbated by the El Nino weather pattern worsens.

The strong El Nino episode has raised serious concerns regarding the impact on food insecurity, with harvests badly affected by drought conditions, raising the spectre of massive production declines of key cereal crops such as maize.

This emerged at a multi-stakeholders meeting, jointly hosted by the Office of the President and Cabinet and the United Nations System in Zimbabwe last week.

World Food Day Commemorated

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says the World Food Day is about raising global awareness on partnerships that are needed to eradicate hunger in the world.
 
FAO representative, Dr Tobias Takavarasha, says that the world celebrates World Food Day on Friday in an effort to not only take time to actively help those who are starving, but to also help in eradicating poverty and malnutrition.
 
Dr Takavarasha says efforts need to be made to remember the poor, to distribute food and to teach everyone about nutrition.
 

US$43m for Food Relief for Zimbabwe

Britain and the United States have reportedly launched a programme to rescue at least 650 000 Zimbabwean hunger victims, with the two countries pledging to provide up to US$43m for food aid.

This came as the World Food Programme (WFP) says in August that around 1.5 million Zimbabweans were expected to go hungry this year after a dramatic fall in maize production.

Human Resilience: Indigenous Knowledge and Impact of Climate Change on Vulnerable Communities

The effects of climate change on human life within Africa are largely unpredictable and variable.(2) But Sub-Saharan African nations are “the worst hit and the most vulnerable”(3) to climate change, as illustrated in the figure below. This situation could “overturn decades of development efforts,”(4) arguably prompting future development projects to intrinsically prioritise climate change resilience.
 
Global vulnerability to climate change (5)
 

Can GM Technology End Hunger in Africa?

For centuries, biotechnology has been used to modify food for human consumption. In recent decades, scientists have created transgenic crops, (2) which are widely promoted as solutions to world hunger. Commonly cultivated genetically-modified (GM) crops exhibit traits such as pest resistance, herbicide tolerance, or both. (3) Other traits, such as drought resistance, nutrient enrichment and enhanced robustness lead to further improvements in food productivity and quality.

Despite Climate Change, Africa Can Feed Africa

Climate change comes with never-before-experienced impacts. For example, crop yields and growing seasons will decrease even as changing rain patterns will worsen people’s access to water. Yet Africa’s population is projected to reach two billion in less than 37 years, and in 86 years three out of every four people added to the planet will be African.

Call to Scale-Up Policies to Eliminate Hunger

International Food Policy Organisation suggests in a report that hunger could be eliminated by 2025 if enough resources are committed and countries scale up policies proven to work.
 
In the 2013 Global Food Policy Report, Shanggen Fan, director general of International Food Policy Research Institute, points out that, "Based on the successful experiences of several developing countries, we see the clear potential for ending hunger and under-nutrition by 2025 if the necessary policies and investments are adopted.
 

60m Needed to Feed Hungry Zimbabweans

The United Nations (UN) is reportedly seeking to raise US$60 million to help feed Zimbabwe’s two million people in need of food assistance.

The country director of the UN World Food Programme in Zimbabwe, Sory Ouane, says the UN has budgeted US$86m for its food assistance programme to June this year.

Ouane says Zimbabwe is becoming a ‘forgotten emergency’ as there are other countries like the Central African Republic and South Sudan also in need of aid assistance.

Nkwinti Speaks Out About ‘Zuma NGO’

Rural Affairs Minister, Gugile Nkwinti, has for the first time opened up about the controversial Masibambisane development project run by President Jacob Zuma and his cousin, Deebo Mzobe.

Nkwinti, whose department has been closely associated with the project, in effect accused Masibambisane of hijacking rural-development initiatives.

“It was the way it was managed and the way it has been projected. It is out of order,” he argues.

Zuma is the NGO’s chair and Mzobe his deputy.

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