Browsing: FAO

Africa is heavily dependent on wheat and other cereals from Russia and Ukraine. Due to the crisis, Africa is a whopping 30 million metric tonnes short of these cereals.

Meanwhile, Africa is looking to take pre-emptive action to avert the inevitable food crisis.

The United States has pledged support to help the continent grow and distribute more food. The aid will come through the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Bank is looking to fund a significant increase in food production in an effort to ward off the food crisis wrought by the Russia-Ukraine war.

In May this year, the AfDB set up a US$1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility. It was established with the aim of supporting some 20 million smallholder farmers produce more food and to do so more sustainably.

The continent comes in last in terms of funding and green development mechanisms in the global carbon market, which increased by 164% to a record $851 billion last year.

The largest market for trading carbon credits is in Africa, but what are the responsibilities of the sellers and buyers? Munyazikwiye questioned.

According to Mohamed Adow, the founder of the climate think tank Power Shift Africa, “Rich countries do not want to decarbonize their economies. It’s a sky trap. Rather than cutting emissions, they pay poor countries to run projects that lower emissions and take credit for that. Africa doesn’t have emissions to cut, but emissions to avoid.”

Adow urged all African leaders to take the helm of climate talks in their nations because “you need to choose the appropriate climate path if you’re the least developed and confront the highest climate vulnerabilities.”

Tanzania is building irrigation schemes for rice production and encourages efficient use of fertilizers via its 10-year National Rice Development Strategy Phase II (NRDS-II).  “The NRDS-II purpose is to double the area under rice cultivation from 1.1 to 2.2 million hectares from 2018 to 2030, double on-farm rice productivity from two t/ha to four t/ha by 2030, and reduce post-harvest loss from 30 per cent to 10 per cent by 2030,” according to ITA.

The exportation of goods is a numbers game. Numbers give a unique perspective on the trend of agro-product exportation across potential and competitive markets in the region and abroad.

ITA shows that the exportation of corn has faced setbacks in the financial year 2021/2022 as forecasted to decrease by 20 per cent, equivalent to 80 million metric tonnes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains. The decrease is attributed to reports of truck drivers’ screenings, lockdowns and curfews in neighbouring countries.

Only a few Kenyans are aware of the entire extent of the law’s punitive nature, which has remained hidden from the public. The farming communities in Kenya who are aware of it are shocked that no public engagement was carried out prior to the adoption of this statute. 

Greenpeace Africa’s Campaigner, Claire Nasike, says that the Kenya government has failed to do what it was supposed to do, which was to make laws to protect the ownership of native seeds, knowledge about these seeds and the intellectual property rights. The current laws on seeds support neo-colonialism and could make it easy for multinationals, big businesses, and other profit-driven organisations to steal local resources. 

Kenya’s 2010 Constitution has made it clear that indigenous seeds, which are also called “informal seeds”, exist and need to be protected. This is done by requiring parliament to pass laws that protect the ownership of indigenous seeds. As it is, the Seed and Plant Varieties Act Cap 326 of 2012 is in breach of the supreme law of the land. 

In 2015, the PLOS Pathogen journey noted that a fungus dubbed Tropical Race 4 had already decimated the crop in Southeast Asia over a number of decades.

According to the independent, the disease was first discovered in Australia, Jordan, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa in 2013. It is so severe that it had destroyed whole plantations.

Fears were that it was just a matter of time before it landed in Latin America. At the time, in 2015, researchers warned that developing new banana cultivars was an arduously expensive affair that would probably not curtail the spread of the disease in time.

Years later, the banana crop remains resilient in most parts of Africa with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) saying that banana and plantain are important staple foods in many developing countries, especially in Africa.

Large-scale farmers usually own specialized and custom-built equipment and keep up with recent technological advancements. Those in the medium-scale farming system mostly hire machinery while for small-scale farmers, mechanisation is limited to a few farm operations like land preparation. Other operations are done manually. Private service providers offer mechanisation services for small scale farmers where the use of machinery is very low in relation to the medium and large-scale agricultural production systems.  

Most of Kenya’s livestock is raised in extensive systems with communal grazing and free-ranging of rain-fed rangelands. Intensive production is practised in the high rainfall areas, semi-intensive systems are found in semi-arid lands and extensively in arid areas. The use of mechanised livestock production systems is very low. However, the potential for mechanisation is high to meet the growing demand for livestock and livestock products.