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Showing posts with label critical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label critical. Show all posts

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Renewable Energy: New report exposes geopolitics of critical materials in supply chains - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet: ... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

The energy transition requires a dramatic increase in the supply of critical materials, yet their supplies chains remain vulnerable to a range of geopolitical risks. 
Diversifying critical material supply chains minimises geopolitical risks - ITREALMS
While there is no scarcity of reserves for energy transition minerals, global capabilities for mining and refining them are limited.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vaccines, animal feed critical to safeguard livestock assets


The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has launched an emergency animal health campaign across Iraq's Mosul area, which was recently retaken from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The campaign, NaijaAgroNet reports, is aimed at protecting and enhance the assets of 210 000 people who rely on rearing livestock for food and income in the Ninewa Governorate - of which Mosul is the capital. It includes vaccinating almost 1 million sheep, goats, cattle and buffalo and providing 1 500 tonnes of high-nutrient feed for 60 000 animals.

The campaign is being implemented in partnership with Iraq's Ministry of Agriculture, with funding from the Iraq Humanitarian Fund.

Ninewa has been profoundly affected by conflict since ISIL took control of central and north-western Iraq in 2014. More than one million people remain displaced, the majority staying within the governorate's boundaries in host communities or camps. Many families fled their homes with their livestock, most of which have not been vaccinated since ISIL took over the area.

FAO is concerned that these livestock are likely to carry highly contagious epidemic diseases that can spread rapidly across national and international borders to other herds and people, leading to serious socio-economic and public health consequences.

"If immediate measures are not taken, the effects on livestock production and food security could be devastating," said Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Representative in Iraq. "Through this animal health campaign, FAO aims to contain and prevent disease outbreaks in Ninewa and across Iraq, and stop these diseases spreading to other countries in the region."

The FAO-led initiative is the first comprehensive animal health campaign in the Mosul area since ISIL's arrival in 2014. Throughout the governorate, the remaining parts of which were retaken from ISIL in August this year,FAO plans to vaccinate the animals against six diseases: sheep and goat pox, brucellosis, enterotoxaemia, blackleg disease, lumpy skin disease, and foot-and-mouth disease.
FAO working with local partners  

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Action on malnutrition is critical – da Silva

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Mr. José Graziano da Silva has explained why a global action is paramount on malnutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

He gave this explanation at the recently held United Nations General Assembly in the New York city, noting that some 159 million children under the age of five are stunted, which means they have a low height for their age.

“Another 50 million children in that age bracket are wasted in other words, they have low weight compared to their height,” he said.

The FAO boss also pointed out that some 1.9 billion people are overweight of whom 600 million are obese.

“And there is a gender dimension to this, too. Malnutrition continues to disproportionately affect women and girls, who often forgo food for male family members or lack the income to secure adequate nutrition for themselves,” he said.

This estimate, NaijaAgroNet gathered, suggested that maternal and child undernutrition alone cost up to 11 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as malnutrition in early life often results in ill health in adulthood.

Well-nourished children, inversely, are 33 percent more likely to escape poverty as adults. This means that investing in nutrition has significant potential to break endemic poverty cycles and boost economic development by allowing people to live healthy, productive lives.

As with ICN2, stewardship of the Decade of Action lies with FAO and WHO, who together will focus their efforts on two main objectives.

One is assisting governments in building national policies and programs that advance nutrition. The other is to align the efforts of existing global initiatives and social movements towards common goals.

To support concrete action on nutrition programs, both agencies will further organize special meetings to strengthen countries' technical capacities to tackle new nutrition challenges.

One example of this is a symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition to be held in Rome December 1-2.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that both agencies had agreed to put in place a solid system for reporting and monitor achievements.

Remmy Nweke/ED, Ops
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Pix: Mr. José Graziano da Silva

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Open data critical to Africa’s agricultural revolution - Chinje

Open data has been described as critical to solution of the African continent, especially in the agriculture sector, says the chief executive officer of the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“Programme on open data is critical to solution of the continent challenges,” he declared.

He made this assertion while addressing participants at the weeklong open data training for members of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Journalists Network ongoing in Hilton Hotels Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday.

He urged African media practitioners to discharge themselves of the maxim of being ‘watchdog’ or ‘forth estate of the realm’ when they cannot use their tools to enthrone good governance and leadership on the continent for the common good.

According to him, any supposed dog watching over certain part of the society on behalf of the people or less privilege must be able to stand up to be counted at all times through holding of those in leadership or authorities adequately responsible for the path or direction the society goes to.

“The purpose of the media is helping Africa to address the change we all wanted,” Chinje enthused.

He further urged media practitioners to live above board by ensuring that they bridge the gap through reportage that are evidence-based that will not be disputed by anybody because such a report has sufficient data to show or vindicate itself.

Chinje was optimistic that Africa and media practitioners precisely have a brighter future by offering adequate coverage on what unites the continent like agriculture than what divides Africa.

He, therefore, urged for practitioners to live up to their primary responsibilities in order to build a legacy worthy of emulation in no distance future.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the Open Data training is organized in line with the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) -led partnership as part of the Global Open Data for Impact and Capacity Development on Agriculture and Nutrition (GODIVAN) scheme; a Department for International Development (DFID) project, implemented under a joint venture of international partners with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency as facilitated by Local Development Research Institute (LDRI).

Remmy Nweke in Nairobi, Kenya/ED, Ops
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Pix: Research Analyst, Gro Intelligence Kenya, Antal Neville, Executive Assistant at Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) Ms Wangui Muriu, chief executive officer, African Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, Project coordinator-Global Open Data for Impact and Capacity Development in Agriculture & Nutrition (GODIVAN ) at Centre for Technical Agriculture (CTA-EU) , Ms Isaura Lopes Ramos, Executive Director, LDRI, Mr. Muchiri Nyaggah and LDRI director, Mr. Stephen Nyumba at the open data training for CAADP journalists in Nairobi, Kenya.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

WAAP: Research, development critical for agricultural transformation

... Three observations from WAAPP initiative in Côte d'Ivoire.
Africa relies on rain fed agriculture to feed its people and millions of others around the world. Rain, however, isn’t always the most reliable partner in this endeavour. Realisation of agricultural transformation in Africa will need the continent to make some changes.

The World Bank, the International Water Management Institute and many others estimate rain fed agriculture coverage in sub Sahara Africa to be greater than 95%. This places a great deal of the continent’s food production at the mercy of temperamental rain and the effects of climate change.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet a farmer in Abidjan’s Azaguiè area who has broken his reliance on rain to feed his family. Albert Kangah is the proprietor of the Plantation Dougba, a plantain plantation dedicated to producing off-season plantain.

During regular plantain season, farmers can realize prices of about 100CFA per unit but off season plantain prices rise to highs of 600CFA. By planting 3 months after other farmers have planted and investing in irrigation equipment, Albert exploits the price increase to generate higher than average income from his farm. Albert’s story provides us with an example of the possible positive impact of adopting irrigation on livelihoods and signals the possibilities irrigation provides us in improving food and nutrition security on the continent. This is what agricultural transformation is all about.

Albert Kangah is a beneficiary of the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program supported by the World Bank and running in 13 West African countries. The West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) was designed to respond to the challenges of improving agricultural productivity, an important part of any agriculture policy and central to the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). It started in 2008 under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with financial support from the World Bank (WB) and coordinated at sub-regional level by CORAF/WECARD.

WAAPP aims to generate and accelerate the adoption of improved technologies in key priority areas of the agriculture sectors in participating countries. It also aims to provide producers with technologies to enhance and improve the competitiveness of their produce. The generation of technologies and innovations, including new crop varieties, is done through participating national centers of specialization hosted by the national agriculture research centers of the member states.

In Côte d’Ivoire, WAAPP’s national center of specialization focuses on plantain with farmers like Albert benefiting from the new better yielding, pest and drought resistant varieties that become available. Thanks to the inventory of plantain on his farm, he produces at least 12 tonnes a year. He says plantain changed his life. It’s not hard to see why.

WAAPP is also investing in value chain development for the priority commodities in participating countries. One example is the adoption of technology from Senegal through which at least 15% of the flour used in baking bread and pastries is corn or cassava flour. Through an improved manufacturing process, the amount of wheat consumed would reduce while improving the value of cassava and corn for producers through increased demand and new use cases. Establishing partnerships with the Union of Bakery Owners of Cote d’Ivoire has made it possible for the project to expand from the pilot 10 bakeries using the composite flour in Abidjan to more than 50 in Abidjan and two other towns up country.

I made three observations from this visit to WAAPP project sites:
  1. We need to ensure agriculture is a profitable business for Africa’s farmers if it is to become a key driver for Africa’s industrialization. Its profitability will draw young people to the farms and help lower the average age of Africa’s farmers while propelling efforts to reduce hunger, end poverty and reduce inequality on the continent.
  2. Investment in research and development cannot be left to happenstance. It must be deliberate and determined by the agricultural transformation strategy in place at the national and regional level. Data from the Agriculture Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) shows Cote d’Ivoire’s spending, in 2011 PPP US dollars, has reduced by 50% between 1981 and 2011. During the same time the population more than doubled but plantain production did not resulting in lower per capita plantain production in 2011 than 30 years earlier. R&D on better varieties and increased adoption of better technologies could have been useful in avoiding this. They are now imperative to reversing the trend.
  3. Increased production without investment in value chains development won’t deliver the added value to small holder farmers at the point of origin. WAAPP’s effort to invest in new use cases for cassava and corn flour could result in better prices and incentivize production whilst improving the nutritional value of pastries in Ivorian society.

The work being done by WAAPP partners provides valuable lessons for other regions in the continent especially where value chains development, R&D and regional collaboration on food and nutrition security is concerned. These are some of the elements which are important for CAADP compacts if Africa’s quest for agricultural transformation is to be realised.

*Muchiri Nyaggah, Executive Director, Local Development Research Institute (LDRI)
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Pix: Ivoiren farmer, Mr. Albert Kangah speaking to visiting journalists recently.