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

Tanzania target to build giant grain silos in Mombasa. www.theexchange.africa

The Tanzania Cereals and Other produce Board (CPB) reported that the grain stores in Juba and Lubumbashi were already experiencing a vibrant business environment. They also expected the Mombasa facility to outperform the two.

According to the 2019 Statistics, Tanzania exported more than 97,000 tonnes of maize. This factor opened the country to the opportunity of launching its grain surplus scheme with the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

SAGCOT was established in 2010 to create a transformed and economically viable agricultural sector in Tanzania that protects food security, enhances environmental sustainability, and improves livelihoods. The Agricultural growth corridor uses 350,000 hectares in the fertile southern islands of Tanzania to grow maize, wheat, paddy, sorghum, cassava, millet, beans, bananas and sweet potatoes.…

Songela Mafuta Bora in Tanzania is made from sunflower. www.theexchange.africa

The programme aims at empowering extension officers who would, in turn, train farmers through expert guidance. Chemba district targets to produce 100,000 tonnes of sunflower in the 2022 season to increase the production of edible oil in the country.

President Samia’s administration has plans to improve cotton farming, among other crops. The government has taken measures to improve sunflower production through an increased budget allocation for the Agricultural Seed Authority, up from Tsh.5.42 billion (US$2.3 million) in 2020-2021 to Tsh.10.8 billion (US$4.7 million) in 2021-2022.

In 2021, the government boosted the capacity of the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) by providing Tsh.208billon (US$90 million) to the bank to reach more farmers and finance them. It also empowered the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to purchase 95,000 tonnes of maize from farmers.…

Insects could feed all the population in the World. www.theexchange.africa
  • World Bank reports that insect farming could provide over 14 per cent of the crude protein needed to rear all the pigs, fish, poultry and goats in Africa
  • Dorte Verner, a Lead Economist at World Bank, says that it is possible to feed all people in the world with nutrient-rich insects and decrease the environmental impact of food and agriculture
  • The population of Africa could hit 2.53 billion people by 2050, and the demand for food and protein would increase significantly, which the current linear food system might not satisfy

Most people see insects as ugly, dirty and irritating creatures that are only good at transferring germs. However, according to the World Bank, insects farming could answer Africa’s poverty, hunger and ecological crisis.

Despite their dirty nature, insects have a pack of great nutritional value, and the world could use them to tackle malnourishment in the continent, especially in children.…

Buhari launches 13 million bags of Rice to reduce the prices. www.theexchange.africa

Buhari said that the rice pyramids would aid efforts to reduce the price of rice in Nigeria. He expressed his expectations for other agricultural organizations to join the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-funded Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) that supports Buhari’s drive for food sufficiency.

Speaking at the event Central Bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that CBN collaboration with RIFAN increased the national output of rice to over 9 million metric tonnes in 2021, up from about 5.4 metric tonnes in 2015.

Productivity per hectare of smallholder farmers has also increased from 2.4 metric tonnes to about five metric tonnes over the same period.…

Agriculture center launched in Kenya

Agriculture center launched in Kenya:

  • Elgon Kenya and the University of Nairobi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding paving the way for constructing the Agricultural Technology and Innovation Centre (ATIC)
  • The ATIC will nurture and strengthen innovations in agriculture and entrepreneurship, to foster the adoption of cutting edge innovations leading to job creation and product development
  • Elgon Kenya Managing Director Dr Bimal Kantaria lauded the partnership, terming it the missing link between research and industry

The agriculture sector in Kenya has received a significant boost following a partnership between two leading institutions to set up a technology and innovation centre, the first of its kind in East Africa.

Elgon Kenya and the University of Nairobi have signed a Memorandum of Understanding paving the way for constructing the Agricultural Technology and Innovation Centre (ATIC) at the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Services, Upper Kabete Campus in the capital city.

The ATIC …

www.theexchange.africaz
  • A climate-smart crop insurance scheme introduced in Kenya combines satellite data and smartphone imagery to provide farmers with much-needed protection
  • It relies on satellite images to determine if a particular area – sometimes covering up to 1,000 farmers
  • Picture-based insurance requires farmer champions to periodically take photos on behalf of farmers’ crops at different growth stages 

As climate change worsens, millions of smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa grapple with unprecedented weather changes and influxes of pests and diseases that ravage their farms and devastate their livelihoods.

However, a climate-smart crop insurance scheme introduced in Kenya combines satellite data and smartphone imagery to provide farmers with much-needed protection.

To cushion farmers against climate change and boost productivity and resilience, governments and private sector players have been exploring various financing solutions.

Among them is index-based weather insurance, which relies on satellite images to determine if a particular area – sometimes covering up …

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