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  • The dwindling agrarian and small farming communities around the world have certainly not had it easy during the last 50 years or so.

  • Climate change could soon begin to make dramatic impacts on Africa’s agriculture. Up to 60% of land now used to grow beans could become unviable by the end of the century—and in some places, farmers will need to change their ways within the next 10 years. 

  • Despite grain storage in sub-Saharan Africa being one of the key leaking points in the harvested cereal’s supply chain, several interventions are being rolled out to reduce post-harvest losses to at least 50% as governments in the region strive to achieve the 2014 Malabo Declaration target set by African Union member-countries. 

  • A study of 3,588 square kilometers of privately owned land in central Kenya offers evidence that humans and their livestock can, in the right circumstances, share territory with zebras, giraffes, elephants and other wild mammals -- to the benefit of all.

  • East African countries have borrowed just under $30 billion from China in recent years in what appears to be a calculated gamble to rapidly build infrastructure that will jump start economic development.

  • In the spirit of our meat guide, we at The New Food Economy are here to share insights that will help you better understand—and savor—the chocolate you spend money and calories on.

  • Migration, both to urban areas and abroad, risks depriving African countries of the young people they need to modernize their agriculture sectors, which are key to achieving growth and prosperity, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, said today.

  • The arguments on all sides of the ongoing trade confrontation between the United States and China are by now well known. American, European, and Asian pundits and prognosticators have all weighed in, and predictions abound of the ultimate outcome of the Trump administration’s gambit to restructure the U.S.-China trade relationship.

    But what of those countries that might be considered “innocent bystanders,” who may be either beneficiaries or victims in a trade war over which they have little control, and no direct involvement?

    Many of those “bystander” countries are in Africa, a continent that is seeing an explosion of interest and investment from China, while at the same time, according to the Brookings Institution, the United States remains Africa’s largest investor. What are the concerns, and views from African experts?

    Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.A snapshot of three African voices, and a banker in Hong Kong, help gauge the diverse sentiments being felt across the continent as Africa, once again, feels the repercussions from a great power contest.

    For some in landlocked Uganda, there is fear of exploitation of the domestic economy by Chinese exporters.

    Quoted in the The Daily Monitor, Uganda’s most widely read English-language online daily, economist and Makerere University lecturer Fred Muhumuza says that China will be aggressive in looking for replacement markets outside of the United States. This will result in China “dumping its products very cheaply into the Ugandan market to try and consolidate what it has lost in [the] USA market,” he predicts.

    “This will have a negative impact on our local products and manufacturing sector since we may not have the capacity for trade protectionism here as the USA does,” continues Muhumuza.

    Samuel Alemu sees yet another negative consequence of the trade war. The Harvard-educated lawyer, writing in Ethiopia’s The Reporter, suggests that “When China-manufactured goods face tariffs, they are likely to end up in the domestic market, curbing the pace of domestic economic growth and reducing export opportunities for countries sending their goods to China.” Given the challenges in involved, “Ethiopia will have to be particularly creative using the trade war between the US and China as a trade benefit,” Alemu writers.

    Ethiopia’s economy is in a period of transition; much has been privatized, but major sectors remain under government control, such as financial services and telecommunications.  Alemu sees the trade war as an incentive to continue economic reforms: “[I]t is the moment of truth for Ethiopia to rethink its trade practices and become a full participant of international and global trade to benefit from [the] U.S.-China trade war.”

    On the other hand, a leading authority in Nigeria, Africa’s largest country by population, finds opportunity for his country as a result of the trade war.

    If one casts the trade war as simply a confrontation between the world’s two largest economies, then the trade war “would impact the global economy negatively,” Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Muda Yusuf told This Day Live.

    But, he continues, out of this comes a positive opportunity for Nigeria.

    Increased tariffs on Chinese goods going into the United States “will create supply gaps in the U.S. market.” In other words, exports from other countries become “more competitive” thanks to the tariffs on China. Yusuf sees this as an advantage favoring Nigeria.

  • African leaders and their constituents seem to be having two totally divergent conversations about the issue of debt vs. development.

  • Southern Africa is expected to receive erratic rainfall in the 2018/19 agricultural season, according to the latest outlook produced by regional climate experts.

  • Deutsche Bank and South Africa’s Standard Bank have agreed to co-operate under a US-led guarantee programme to promote US agricultural exports.

  • To better support farmers poised to become the commercial farmers of tomorrow, AFGRI Group Holdings (AGH) and its invested company focused on agriculture, AFGRI, have enhanced on a concept that has made a massive impact over the past five years in farmer development.

  • “That’s fresh, just a few hours old,” says Kris Everatt, pointing at a clear print of a lion’s paw in the hot dust. “It’s the ghost pride.”

  • A new study has found that outdated, colonial-era water permit systems across Africa are unintentionally criminalising millions of small farmers who can’t obtain permits. This undermines efforts to boost farming production and meet economic growth goals.

  • As project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors gathered at the Africa Investment Forum to make deals on investment opportunities, leaders of the continent’s  top agribusiness companies shared their thoughts on the future of the industry.

  • African cities, according to a World Bank report, are home to 472-million people — almost half of Africa’s total population. This number is expected to double by 2050.

  • China’s increased lending to governments in Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to support economic growth, but also amplifies credit risks for countries with already high debt burdens and deteriorating external positions, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report today.

  • The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has released its 2017/2018 integrated report which, for the first time, is supplemented by additional digital content about the organisation’s work. CEO Yolan Friedmann has penned an insightful opener, addressing the issues surrounding illegal wildlife trade.

  • Innovation is a critical part Africa’s DNA, but it only plays a part in shaping the continent’s narrative when the world becomes aware of it. This is where tactical communication is paramount in disseminating information about the continent’s progress, so that the right people join the journey in supporting and investing in innovation.

  • Investing in irrigation in Africa’s semi-arid areas could stem the flow of migrants from the continent across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe and significantly curb urban migration, the African Union has found.

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