Monday, July 22

Agribusiness

Expensive Loans
  • Sustainable Agriculture Farming Practices have been identified as the only way to ensure food security in the future
  • Crop Life International launched its flagship commitment, the Sustainable Pesticide Management Framework (SPMF) program in 2021
  • Kenya has made significant strides in pesticide management by integrating global best practices into its new pesticide law.

Kenya is among the nine countries in the world undertaking a $13 million (Sh1.7 billion) agriculture funding program over the next five years. The funding is aimed at supporting sustainable agriculture farming practices in the selected member states mostly targeted towards reducing harm caused by pesticides.

According to Crop Life International, Kenya is among the countries that have done well in Integrating global best practices into the new pesticide law, enhancing the national poison control center, and establishing an industry-wide pesticide container management scheme with 310 collection sites.

In its latest Annual Report for its Sustainable Pesticide …

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Expensive loans
  • Expensive loans remain a significant issue across populations engaged in agriculture in Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.
  • A report by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) says capital injection is a significant strategy agribusinesses use to survive.
  • Moreover, agribusinesses face high operational costs from fuel prices and low-profit margins driven by currency devaluations.

The lack of agriculture-friendly financial systems saw agribusinesses turn down expensive loan options in the market, with only 15 per cent taking on commercial capital in 2023 and the rest sourcing capital from friends, family and their business savings.

The incentives by the government channelled towards agriculture failed to adequately cushion Agribusinesses from economic shocks, a new report by Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has revealed.

The African Agribusiness Outlook survey is conducted annually to gain insights into the sector’s top priorities, how they address challenges, and what SMEs see as opportunities.

A reflection …

Cash-crops-in-Africa
  • Sustainable agriculture employs 65-70 percent of Africa’s labour force.
  • Only two to three percent of African renewable water resources are usable compared to the 5 percent worldwide.
  • In 2019 a report revealed that Africa produced more than 50 percent of the world’s cassava.

A severe drought has left millions of people in Africa dependent on grain from Ukraine, a country at war with Russia, yet a number of crops that could support more climate-resilient and healthful food systems in sub-Saharan Africa continue to receive limited attention.

Across Africa, cassava, sugarcane and maize stand out for supporting millions of families in governments’ quest to maintain food security

Sustainable agriculture is one of the highlights that support Africa’s economic development. For decades these cash crops in Africa have accounted for almost 20 percent of the entire continent’s revenue. It has further advanced and introduced concepts such as agritech, significantly teaching better farming

Culture Trip

The National Project for Developing the Egyptian Countryside is an initiative estimated to cost US$1.11 trillion. This project will impact at least 1,350,366 households. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in January 2021 that the project would be completed in three years. US$519.28 million of the total funding will come from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The government that took power in 2014 inaugurated a series of projects to reignite Egypt’s economy. As a result, Egypt’s planning minister, Hala al-Saeed, expects the country’s economy to grow to 5.6 percent in the FY2021-22. Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, referred to Haya Karima as an “icon” project that will help Egypt rebuild its economy and better the lives of more than half the population in Egypt.…

Tanganda Tea Estates, Zimbabwe. www.theexchange.africa

There is a lot of hype around the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).

For instance, it is said to have had the best performance of African stock market indices over the first nine months of 2020, according to a consolidated report by the African Markets platform. During that period the Zimbabwe All-Share Index, the main index of this financial market, grew by 612 per cent.

This was when values were calculated using local currency. When the values are calculated using US$ and Euros the market still posted some very impressive returns of 46.6 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. This implies that investors who made hard currency investments in African markets made the most money from their investments in Zimbabwe… A caveat is in order here because these are merely statistics…

UNPACKING THE TANGANDA TEA COMPANY 2

In 2020, only Malawi and Rwanda had their stock markets post positive returns albeit marginal with returns of 6.8 …

Expensive loans

On a spiritual level, the fracturing of the relationship between the people and the land as urbanisation kicked in with a vengeance is causing lasting and severe damage to the environment and the population’s food security.  

The curious thing to a British observer is that nearly all of the people of my age (more than 50 years!) whom I know and who are at the top of their professions in finance, government, trade, hospitality or retail are also…..farmers.

In fact, I know hardly anyone who came to the big city seeking an escape from rural ways who is not now farming in the village or on the outskirts of their city. Many times I see them a good deal more excited about their crops than they are about their balance sheets.…

A farmer planting in Zambia. Smallholder farmers need support to stay in agriculture. www.theexchange.africa

The potential for Africa to feed the world cannot be underestimated. IFAD’s The Field Report indicates that a quarter of the world’s arable land is found in sub-Saharan Africa yet the region produces only 10 per cent of the world’s agricultural output. 

Sadly for Africa, rural poverty keeps driving people away from the countryside to the cities in search of a better life. Year after year, cities that have become overcrowded are putting the vulnerable at risk with forced migration. 

Globally, there will be more than 9 billion people on earth by 2050 which is an extra two billion mouths to feed. 

If policies are right, Africa is primed to tap into the opportunity offered by this population growth. IFAD indicates that economic growth from agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa is 11 times more effective at reducing extreme poverty than any other sector. African governments have to get their priorities right. …

Indesso to create an oil producing factory in Msasa IBC village, Muheza district. www.theexchange.africa

The processing factory set up by Indesso may propel Tanzania to become the largest clove oil producer in Africa.

Aloyce Elia Kibiriti, the Chairman of the Msasa IBC village, said that representatives from Indesso camped in the area and chose their village to construct the proposed clove leaves-to-oil producing factory significantly for export to Indonesia.

Chairman Kibiriti added that they had already secured land for the project, saying it would create employment for the farmers who lost their farms after creating the Derema Conservation Corridor.…

World food prices increased in April, for the first time in a year.

With so many more mouths to feed every year, the World’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, particularly on poverty eradication and ending hunger, seem further away than ever before.

The trend is global, and on October 16, 2021, the UN admitted and warned that the global fight against hunger is being lost.

With the warning, the UN called for action to improve food security for the world’s most vulnerable people, African coming on top of that list. For a place that relies so heavily on substantial farming for a livelihood, Africa faces a most daunting reality, clear forests to farm, lose potential output.…

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