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  • In the midst of the latest merry-go-round with China, once more foreign aid takes centre stage with a bouquet of loan offers, cancellations and grants concocted for the continent. This helps, but is far from the answer to our medium- and long-term development goals. The answer lies with fairer trade and with the continent looking within itself for products and markets. 

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has only slowly tackled problems of undernourishment and moved toward food security, although the outlook varies widely from country to country. The region is already dependent on grain imports to feed its people, and population growth means the challenge of feeding itself in the coming decades is immense. Climate change likely will make it even more difficult. Innovation and research and making sure that farmers have access to the fruits of that innovation and research, are vital. 

  • The agricultural sector is the world’s largest single employer. It provides jobs for more than 40% of the global population. It’s also the largest source of income and jobs for poor, rural households.

  • China is Africa’s biggest and strongest ally and in recent years has pumped millions of dollars into the continent, funding one mega project after another.

  • Africa has been blessed, not only with natural resources but also an abundance of youth, yet we fail to adequately invest in them. At least 60% of Africa’s young people are under the age of 30 but unemployment continues to rear its ugly head leaving frustrated youth so desperate that they are migrating in droves for better opportunities abroad despite the dangers of slavery and drowning in the Mediterranean sea.

  • As the impacts of climate change and conflicts threaten progress towards addressing global hunger, we need to apply new thinking in agriculture. Agricultural innovation can strengthen the resilience of agri-food systems and offer adaptation strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

  • Simple technical and scientific methods are already making a difference to farm yields and income in Africa, the bank’s president says.
    The African Development Bank (AfDB) today announced it is investing US$24 billion in African agriculture over the next 10 years, and called on global partners to join hands to lift one billion people worldwide out of hunger.

  • The organisers of the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit have announced the gold sponsorship of Utility Systems, an industry leader in the field of remote communicating electronic water control valves and STS prepayment devices. The opportunities and challenges in the South African property sector, from commercial to residential, will be in focus at the summit that returns to Sandton from 11-12 October. 

  • Here are 25 of the most amazing places to see when you travel to Africa:

  • Fighting fall armyworm requires global efforts as the pest could spread to more countries, warn scientists.

    Within the past two years, fall armyworm has spread to 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, threatening the food security of about 200 million people who depend on maize as a staple food crop, experts say.

  • More wealth leaves Africa every year than enters it – by more than $40bn (£31bn) – according to research that challenges “misleading” perceptions of foreign aid.

  • With the agricultural sector seen as an epicentre of growth and development across the African continent, many (myself included) have argued that the sector needs to attract young talent in order to maximise its potential.

  • Sub-Saharan African economies are still recovering from the slowdown in 2015-16, but growth is slower than expected, according to the October 2018 issue of Africa’s Pulse, the bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies by the World Bank. The average growth rate in the region is estimated at 2.7 percent in 2018, which represents a slight increase from 2.3 percent in 2017. 

  • Millions of small-scale farmers face significant challenges, including food and water insecurity, dependence on unpredictable rain, and increasing frequency of natural disasters.

  • Africa has been exporting most of its farm produce raw, and experts say that by exporting raw materials, the continent is exporting jobs as well as money which could be saved to improve the welfare of its people.

  • Africa’s agricultural productivity has long lagged behind the rest of the world. Crop yields grew across Asia from 1960 onwards, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty, but stagnated in Africa where cereal yields stayed largely unchanged for the 30 years of the green revolution.

  • When it comes to global food security and the development of smallholder farmers, we live in an era of lessons learned. Never before have we understood as much about what does work and what does not.

  • China’s literacy level was below 40 per cent in 1949 when the revolution started; it rose to 65.1 per cent in 1982 when the fruits of the efforts started showing and by 2015, it was 96.36, growing at an average of 10.39 per cent.

  • The African continent is far from being self-sufficient in wheat production. The 2018/19 wheat imports are estimated at 51 million tonnes, which is almost double the volume produced in the same season.

  • Large fields, predictable rainfall and favourable temperatures have meant that farmers in Arsi Negele, a town in southeastern Ethiopia, have benefited from good crop yields. Their production of wheat and maize, two of the main food staples in Ethiopia, have also increased over time.

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