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Monday, January 30, 2012

Britain gives N12.337b grant to Zambia

Over the next three years, the Zambian government will receive a grant of GBP58 million, about N12.337 billion from the British government, reports LusakaTimes.
The grant as gathered by NaijaAgroNet was made available through the Department for International Development (DFID) of the British government for growth and poverty reduction in Zambia.
The Public Relations Officer of the Zambian Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Chileshe Kandeta affirmed that the grant would be delivered as general budget support to help the government in the fight against poverty.
“The money will ensure that an additional 54,000 rural people have access to safe water by 2014, keep an additional 50,000 children in school every year and provide an additional 42,000 households with access to electricity by 2015,” he said. Read more
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WorldBank, USAID, Gates work on new approach to feed 1bn globally

In effort to fight hunger and feed the hungry globally, the World Bank, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Gates Foundation are working on new approach, reports PolicyMic.
The new approach as gathered by NaijaAgroNet is to work on increased crop production in Africa through the deployment of high-yielding crop varieties, fertilizers and pesticides; an outlook based on the 1960s Green Revolution which averted famine in India and Latin America then.
With Sub-Saharan Africa as one of the main focus, the Green Revolution is of hegemony ideology over the agricultural development, having the notion that farmers' returns will automatically guarantee their food security.
The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Food and Agriculture Agency (FAO) in Rome, Ertharin Cousin said the project will bring companies to buy goods from smallholders in order for the deal to be beneficial to the smallholders. Read more

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

NEPAD, AU seeks support to address food insecurity in Niger, Sahel

The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) in partnership with the African Union (AU) has called for support in order to fight food insecurity in Niger Republic and the Sahel countries.
This was contained in a communique made available to NaijaAgroNet by NEPAD.
The Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission (AUC) Mrs. Rhoda Peace Tumusiime and NEPAD's CEO Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, urged the international community for an urgent support to Niger and the Sahelian countries.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the request for support is of great importance as the 2011/2012 agriculture season has been characterized by an erratic and a short fall in most Sahelian countries.
The two international bodies also called for the effective implementation of solidarity mechanisms provided for at regional level to support existing efforts.
International communities were also called on to motivate development partners to better coordinate their efforts on the basis of the needs identified at national levels in the affected regions.
The support according to NEPAD is an effort to promote food security as a significant decline was recorded in cereal and grass production in the region compared to the previous year with a higher deficit in Niger.
NaijaAgroNet, recalls that over half of the population of Niger is affected with the erratic and rainfall shortage, the more reason to act fast as people in their millions are living in a critical vulnerability and also in need of assistance.
ECOWAS and Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel will also be joining hands with AUC and NEPAD Agency in mobilizing additional resources for national initiatives that aim to address food security in the affected region.

'Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Kibaki calls for mechanized agriculture across EAC countries

The Kenyan President, Dr. Mwai Kibaki, has advocated for more efforts to mechanize agriculture all over the East African Countries (EAC), reports UgPulse.
Currently the Chairperson of the EAC Head of States Summit, Dr. Kibaki said that agriculture is the region's leading economic activity and yet most of the acts are still based on rudimentary tools couple with traditional practices.
He called for more effort to mechanize agriculture in order to improve farming methods and seeds which in turn will give quantity and quality output from agriculture.
NaijaAgroNet authoritatively gathered that the East African country president cited three key strategies that partner states need to inculcate for the community to succeed.
The three key strategies include economic diversification, improvement in ICT and Tourism sectors alongside investment in infrastructure as key drivers for the EAC economies. Read more
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Investments interest in agriculture on the rise - IIED

International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) had said that investments fund in agriculture shows a growing interest.
This was made known in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, stating that lands and agribusinesses are on the global rush for investment.
Reasons for the increase in land investment as revealed by IIED could be linked to high long-term returns attributable to rising land prices, growing populations and increasing demand for food.
NaijaAgroNet also gathered that investments in the agrobusiness sector's sources are mostly financial players like pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and rich individuals.
Experts at IIED noted that an estimated US$14billion, about N2.234trillion in private capital has already been committed to investment in farmland and agricultural infrastructure. While a larger part of the fund is based in Europe and North America, whereas the figure according to analysts is expected to be doubled or tripled by 2015.
The potential for land values in Africa, they pointed out is much greater where farmland prices are comparatively low.
Returns on investment, as said by them is largely dependent on the prices of agricultural commodities which is the major reason some investors go for land with high yield potential, investing further in agricultural productivity in order to increase their annual returns.
Further, the fund structures in developing countries are reported to be on the increase, especially as they are being used to invest in agriculture, the investors are also being driven by the high expectation of returns which can be linked to rising land values and productivity.
 'Yinka Awosanya/ED
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