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Friday, February 27, 2015

Small holder farmers gain from Village Capital

Small holder farmers in Eastern Africa are now benefiting from the FinTech for Agriculture accelerator programmme organize d by Village Capital, reports Nai

Village Capital is an organization that source, trains, and invests in impactful seed-stage enterprises worldwide and support mission-driven entrepreneurs around the world with Their experiential programs, developed with partners worldwide, harness peer-to-peer support to develop business concepts, fine-tune them for success, and actually invest capital.
Agriculture accelerator program is aiming to unlock innovations which improve access to financial services for smallholder farmers, and 129 applications has been received which most of the applicants are from Nairobi and Kampala.
Among the 129 applicants so far, there will be 12 finalists that will be selected to participate in the three month accelerator, with two startups to secure US$50,000 each in grant.
“We’re very excited with the application pool and look forward to announcing our final 12 startups in mid-March” said John Mulqueen of Village Capital.

Chidozie Anibueze/GEE
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Can Beans help fill fertilizer’s gap in Africa?


A report published last week February 16, 2015 by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has shown that global use of nitrogen fertilizer is estimated to grow by 1.4 per cent each year to above 119 million tons in 2018, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO also said from the same report that less than five per cent of the 119 million tonnes in 2018fertilizer growth will come from Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly because fertilizer is frequently costly for subsistence farmers in the region.

NaijaAgroNet reports that farmers in Africa has been encouraged to plant beans as food and fertilizer as it could help counteract the crash of limited fertilizer take-up across the continent.

The absence of Nitrogen in the soil, in the African region increases the demand of fertilizer which makes the price to be on the high side, which calls for the cultivation of legume crops that add Nitrogen to the soil giving the farmers to harvest both food and fertilizer at a time.

“We want to feed the people and feed the soil” said Ken Giller, a Wageningen University in the Netherlands, who is leading a project called N2Africa that is education subsistence farmers in 13 African countries how to grow Legumes said when growing legumes, such as beans and peas, nitrogen fertilizer is not necessary as the plants grab all the nitrogen they need from the air with the help of bacteria living in their roots. Some of the captured nitrogen also enters the soil through fallen leaves and from decomposing roots.

Chidozie Anibueze/GEE

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brazil to help Africa on food production

The North Africa Authorities and Brazilian government have entered a discourse on collaborative measures in the production of food in Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The partnership was focus of the Brazil and North Africa – Opportunities in Agribusiness and Food Security seminar organized by the Brazil-Africa Institute with backing from the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce which took place at the headquarters of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo, Brazil, recently.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the event was attended by dignitaries from African countries like Tunisia, Sudan, Mauritania, Morocco, Egypt, and, the Brazilian government officials, and executives from Brazilian enterprises that operate on the African continent.

Undersecretary General for Cooperation, Culture and Trade Promotion at Brazil’s Ministry of External Relations, Hadil Fontes da Rocha Vianna, gave some business analysis between Brazil and North Africa countries, pointing out the need to strengthen the relationship.

“Our trade with the [North African] sub-region countries is growing constantly, having gone from US$ 7.8 billion in 2010 to US$ 9.1 billion in 2014. For agriculture, over the same time frame, sales increased by 18.5%. In effect, at this time, over 70% of exports from Brazil to North Africa consist of agricultural products,” he revealed.


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