25 Oct

Feed Africa: Adesina to set up fund for young farmers

“I am proud as the Governor of Iowa State to proclaim Dr. Akinwumi Adesina as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate.” With these words, the Governor of the State of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, officially named President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, as the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, on behalf of the World Food Prize Foundation, setting off an atmosphere of festive celebration at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Accompanied by Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, and John Mahama, former President of Ghana, Adesina took elegant steps to the podium to receive the award – the world’s highest recognition for food and agriculture, with his wife Grace and his two children, Rotimi and Segun, and a large and distinguished crowd cheering him on. Representatives of the Nigerian Government, Purdue University, his alma mater, friends, associates and Bank staff were among the well-wishers who came in out in large numbers to celebrate the African agriculture icon, known as “Africa’s Norman Borlaug.”

In line with his avowed commitment to a new deal for youth empowerment, Adesina pledged devote the US $250,000 prize money to a fund in support of young African farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs, or “agripreneurs.”

“And so, even though I don’t have the cash in my hand, I hereby commit my $250,000 as a cash prize for the World Food Prize award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture to feed Africa,” Adesina said.

“We will arise and feed Africa. The day is coming very soon when all its children will be well-fed, when millions of small-holder farmers will be able to send their kids to school,” Adesina said.

“Then you will hear a new song across Africa: ‘Thank God our lives are better at last.’”

The President of the World Food Prize Foundation, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, paid tribute to Adesina, “whose breakthrough achievements have impacted millions of farmers and those living in rural poverty in Nigeria and throughout Africa…”

Read more: Adesina to set up fund for young farmers, agripreneurs with US $250,000 World Food Prize money

 

19 Oct

Delivering land rights documentation to Ghanaian farmers

Landmapp, an Accra-based agri-tech start-up, provides landholders (particularly smallholder farmers) with a one-stop-shop land documentation service, allowing them to register their properties under their name. The documentation is compliant with Ghanaian regulations and customary traditions, and can be used as collateral for accessing agricultural loans.

Landmapp uses GPS data to map landholders’ plots, word-of-mouth to verify land ownership, and confirms the landholders’ identities in order to seek certification of land deeds from local authorities.

The company also has a presence in the Netherlands, with offices in Amsterdam.

“Authorities benefit by having a fully verified digital dataset, including biometrics and high-quality surveying. In turn Landmapp helps landholders access relevant services such as finance, leveraging their land document and personal dataset,” noted Simon Ulvund and Thomas Vaassen, the founders of the business.

The duo further answered How we made it in Africa’s questions.

1. How did you finance your start-up?

Initially we had a grant to explore technical feasibility. However, since then we have gone the classic start-up route, raising two rounds of early-stage finance from a mix of angel and institutional investors. Our investors are spread across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

2. If you were given US$1m to invest in your company now, where would it go?

Expanding to new markets. Following our successful implementation in Ghana, we’re seeing quite some interest from other markets.

3. What risks does your business face?

Structurally, we can only operate in an environment where there is strong land administration legislation in place and where the judiciary respects land laws. On the customer side, our biggest risks are related to cash constraints, which can significantly affect ability to pay.

4. So far, what has proven to be the most successful form of marketing?

We use multiple channels and it varies by community. Anything from radio commercials, to working with commodity buyers, the traditional councils and chiefs – and our favourite: getting a slot at the end of Sunday service in churches, where you can present your wares to the whole congregation.

Read more: Start-up snapshot: Delivering land rights documentation to Ghanaian farmers

 

22 Sep

Agriculture: Private equity investors can help Africa to feed itself

The agriculture sector employs more people in Africa than any other industry and it also accounts for almost half of the continent’s GDP.

Yet inefficiencies in the sector have held back production in the sub-Saharan African region, hindering the sector’s growth and stymieing the industry’s ability to achieve cross-border trade and long-term food security.

This represents a fairly significant socioeconomic challenge, but it also provides private equity investors with an opportunity to support one of the continent’s biggest industries while contributing to job and wealth creation.

For investors, returns from the farming industry can be enhanced through investment and implementation of modern farming techniques.

In turn, successful agribusiness investments stimulate growth through the access to new markets and the development of a vertically integrated supply chain in the form of food processing, packaging and assembly, transportation, distribution and retailing.

Most importantly, well-targeted investments, alongside close collaboration between governments, donors, entrepreneurs, the international community and investors can make a significant and lasting contribution to Africa’s 2050 goal of being able to feed itself, as referenced in the African Development Bank’s Feeding Africa action plan.

Businesses that succeed after investments in their production and processing capabilities go on to create jobs and stimulate the wider supply chain.

Most importantly, they help to reduce Africa’s crippling reliance on food imports.

A March 2017 article by the Rockefeller Foundation says that one third of the world’s food, “never makes it from the farm to the table” and in developing countries, about 40% of produce is lost immediately or soon after harvest because of poor farming techniques and technologies. Inadequate storage facilities, poor processing, weak transport networks and poorly structured markets all work against Africa’s ability to feed itself, and most fruits and vegetables never make it to market for these reasons.

These facts are even more tragic in the context of the famine in South Sudan. The UN has also warned of a high likelihood of famine in Somalia and Nigeria.

Read more: Private equity investors can help Africa to feed itself

20 Sep

Nigerian entrepreneur offers solution to age-old farming problem

For over a decade now, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu has been producing radio shows for smallholder farmers in the rural southern region of Nigeria. These agricultural programmes are broadcasted on the Smallholders Farmers Rural Radio – a community station he established in 2003, when he was just 21 years old.

As a vegetable farmer himself, Ikegwuonu has first-hand experience of the huge post-harvest losses incurred because of a lack of cold storage. In Nigeria, it is estimated about 60% of smallholder farmers’ fruits and vegetables spoil due to inadequate storage and agro-processing facilities.

Ikegwuonu is addressing this challenge with ColdHubs – a solar-powered walk-in cold-room solution aimed at farmers, retailers, and wholesalers. The cold rooms are installed at major food production and consumption centres, such as markets and farms.

The idea for the venture came from a radio interview he did with a cabbage seller.

“I was going to interview a young man who came with a J5 truck full of cabbage. However, a few hours to the close of market, I couldn’t find him except for his truck of cabbage,” Ikegwuonu recalls.

When Ikegwuonu went looking for him the next day, he saw that the seller had just three baskets of cabbage left.

“I asked him why he left a J5 truck full of cabbage unattended to and he told me the cost of taking it home doesn’t make any sense. It is better it waste there or let the driver of the J5 find someone who will buy it to cover the cost. And I was thinking, in the south-east of Nigeria, that is a lot of money!”

Ikegwuonu questioned the young man on what could be done to make his business better. The cabbage seller told him, “If there is a way to preserve foodstuff in the market, he would have kept it there, sell a little bit of cabbage as much as he can sell in a day and pay for storage until he finishes his sales.”

 

Read more: Nigerian entrepreneur offers solution to age-old farming problem

 

29 Aug

Is the African mining sector becoming uninvestable?

mining sector

At the recent Africa Forum hosted by Hogan Lovells, in London, a number of common, positive themes came through: Africa is a continent of endless possibilities and opportunities; Africa has significant natural and human resources which can be unlocked for the benefit of all Africans; and the investability of many African countries has improved, for various reasons, including mature banking, finance and legal institutions, investment-friendly policies and regulatory frameworks, and national development plans which demonstrate governmental support for sustainable infrastructure and development.

Why then, within the context of a mostly positive view of investment in Africa, is the question posed whether the African mining and natural resources sector, is becoming uninvestable?

Firstly, positive views of investment in Africa don’t always extend to the mining and naturals resources sector. While it is often acknowledged by stakeholders that the mining and natural resources of a country can contribute meaningfully to growth, development and transformation, there is a growing questioning of the impact of mining on aspects such as the environment, host communities, social structures, tourism, and industries such as agriculture, versus the benefits that often flow from mining and beneficiation operations. As the voices of concern increase and develop, the benefits that flow from mining and beneficiation operations are likely to be questioned, even further.

Secondly, the recent mining policy and regulatory changes in Tanzania and South Africa have brought into sharp focus the fragility of investment decisions relating to so-called frontier markets, such as Tanzania, and emerging markets, such as South Africa.

With a decrease in the number of investable frontier markets (equity and bond markets which are typically smaller than emerging markets and where there is less liquidity) and investment instability in emerging markets, such as South Africa, the recent events in these two countries are more concerning.

Tanzanian president, John Magufuli, signed into law the Natural Wealth and Resources Bill 2017, and the Natural Wealth and Resources Contracts Bill 2017, on 3 July, 2017. These laws, which were fast-tracked though the Tanzanian parliament, in a matter of weeks, have far-reaching consequences for foreign companies with investments in Tanzania, one of the continent’s largest gold producers.

There has been extensive investment in Tanzania’s gold mining industry, with a large percentage of the investment, focused on prospecting operations, which are of course critical in the creation of a pipeline that can be converted into mines, in the future. Many of these investors are listed in Australia, and the Australian Stock Exchange took the drastic step of suspending trading of various junior mining companies, following the announcement of the enactment of the laws, by President Magufuli. The uncertainties flowing from the new laws are likely to impact on these junior mining companies, who are focused on exploration, quite dramatically and it will make capital raising exercises extremely difficult, if not impossible. Where ownership of mining assets in a company are put at risk, this is likely to scare off would-be investors, and make existing investors exercise extreme caution.

Key changes brought about by the new legislation in Tanzania include the following:

  • The Tanzanian government is given the right to re-negotiate or dissolve current mining contracts with multi-national companies
  • The state will be required to own at least 16% of mining projects
  • Export royalties have been increased
  • The Tanzanian government can reject a mining company’s valuation where the government believes that the transfer price is too low, and the Tanzanian government is entitled to purchase the consignment of the minerals, at the price declared by the mining company
  • The right to international arbitration is removed
  • The Tanzanian government is also pushing for compulsory listing of mining companies on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, with the complexities that this will bring, particularly because of the potentially small pool of investors who can take up the public offerings.

While multi-national mining companies with investments in Tanzania continue to engage with the Tanzanian government, some of the multi-national companies have declared disputes with the Tanzanian government and are referring these disputes to arbitration. None of this is good for the Tanzanian mining sector.

On 15 June, 2017, the South African minister of minerals, Mosebenzi Zwane published the “Reviewed Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals Industry, 2016″, (“Mining Charter 3“).

The response was immediate, dramatic, and far reaching. It is estimated that mining stocks lost approximately R50bn (US$3.8bn) in value, following the announcement, with the rand losing ground, and the Chamber of Mines, the body that represents the majority of the mining companies, launching legal proceedings against Minister Zwane. The grounds of challenge go to the heart of the minister’s powers and functions under the mining legislation and the Constitutionality of Mining Charter 3.

While Minister Zwane has labelled the legal challenge as being anti-transformation, the Chamber of Mines and other bodies representing mining interests have consistently expressed the position that the industry is committed to transformation, that the industry has demonstrated its commitment through the implementation of appropriate programmes of transformation – including in respect of the host communities through the social and labour plans, which are a requirement under the mining laws, but that the targets in the Mining Charter must be achievable, sustainable, and the timeframe should take into account the reality that the mining industry finds itself in, with the spectre of further job losses in the near future (while figures vary, the suggestion is that in excess of 80,000 direct jobs have been lost, in the industry, over the last three to five years. Various South African mining companies have recently announced proposals for further job losses, which may exceed 20,000 direct jobs).

Mining Charter 3 made significant amendments to the transformation requirements under the previous versions of the mining charter. Key changes include the following:

  • Holders of new prospecting rights must have a minimum of 50% plus one black person shareholding
  • A holder of a new mining right must have a minimum of 30% black person shareholding (up from the previous 26%)
  • The 30% black person shareholding in new mining rights must be distributed amongst three beneficiaries, namely a minimum of 8% for employee share ownership plans, a minimum of 8% for mine communities to be held in a community trust, and a minimum of 14% to Black Economic Empowerment entrepreneurs
  • For employee share ownership plans, a minimum of 8% for mine communities to be held in a community trust, and a minimum of 14% to Black Economic Empowerment entrepreneurs
  • A holder of a new mining right must pay a minimum of 1% of its annual turnover in any given financial year to the black person shareholders prior to, and over and above, any distributions to the shareholders of the holder
  • While there is limited recognition of the “once empowered, always empowered” principle, unless the historical Black Economic Empowerment transaction achieved 26% black shareholding or more, the historical transaction is not recognised
  • Where a historical Black Economic Empowerment transaction is recognised, the holder is required to top up the black person shareholding from the existing level to a minimum of 30% black person shareholding within 12 months;
  • Even where a holder of a mining right maintained a minimum of 26% black person shareholding as at 15 June, 2017, the holder is required to top up its black person shareholding to a minimum of 30% within 12 months from the date of publication of Mining Charter 3;
  • Minimum requirements are specified in relation to procurement, supplier and enterprise development. A holder is required to spend a minimum of 70% of total mining goods procurement spend on South African manufacturedgoods, with the 70%, being broken down into specified requirements. A minimum of 80% of total spend on services must be sources from South African-based companies, with the 80%, being broken down, into specified requirements;
  • A foreign supplier (a foreign controlled and registered company, supplying the South African mining and minerals industry with mining goods and services, which does not have at least a Level 4 DTI Code BEE Status, and 25% plus one vote black ownership) must contribute a minimum of 1% of its annual turnover generated from local mining companies towards the Mining Transformation and Development Agency;
  • Employment equity targets are increased, and there are specified requirements from board level, to core and critical skills.

There were glimmers of hope when, following negotiations between the Chamber of Mines and Minister Zwane, Minister Zwane agreed to suspend Mining Charter 3 pending the outcome of the legal challenge initiated by the Chamber of Mines. However, the following week, Minister Zwane published his intention to issue a notice placing a moratorium on all applications for new prospecting and mining rights, renewals of prospecting and mining rights, and ministerial consents in terms of Section 11 of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, No. 28 of 2002 (“MPRDA”) (in summary where a right or an interest in a right is to be transferred or there is a change of control, ministerial consent is required).

The minister indicated his intention to issue the moratorium notice under Section 49 of the MPRDA which vests the minister with the authority to issue a notice prohibiting prospecting or mining in respect of certain geographical areas or certain minerals for a particular period, having regard to the national interest, the strategic nature of the mineral in question and the need to promote the sustainable development of the nation’s mineral resources.

The widely expressed view was that the minister had exceeded his powers under Section 49 of the MPRDA by intending to issue a blanket notice. Litigation was again initiated, and at the time of publishing this article, there is uncertainty regarding the status of the moratorium notice.

On a positive note, stakeholders across the spectrum, including the largest, recognised trade unions in the mining industry, have spoken out against the actions of Minister Zwane, and there have been widespread calls for his resignation or sacking.

But this of course does not remedy the turmoil which the South African mining sector finds itself in, and large scale job losses loom.

While the South African and Tanzanian mining sectors are in turmoil, this does not mean that Africa is uninvestable.

Africa has a significant and, often, thriving mining and minerals industry, providing millions of jobs and opportunities. It is also a source of significant foreign direct investment, and the mining sector remains a substantial contributor to the GDP of many African countries with the benefits that this brings to the growth of those economies.

It is likely that demand for certain precious metals will continue to grow, and that the demand for the so-called “battery metals” will grow exponentially. All of this creates opportunities for investors, provided that the investors have a proper understanding of the various risks that are faced in these investment opportunities.

The investability of Africa is likely to depend, significantly, on balancing the growing need for mineral resources while at the same time, addressing concerns that multi-national companies extract value without returning benefits for the host countries, and ensuring that the vast socio-economic benefits that can flow from mining operations, materialise.

Warren Beech is global head for mining at Hogan Lovells in Johannesburg. Jessica Black Livingston is a deputy for mining at Hogan Lovells in Denver.

 

from How We Made It In Africa

24 Aug

Africa: Agriculture a Culprit in Global Warming, Says U.S. Research

Global Warming

New York — Agriculture has contributed nearly as much to climate change as deforestation by intensifying global warming, according to U.S. research that has quantified the amount of carbon taken from the soil by farming.

Some 133 billion tons of carbon have been removed from the top two meters of the earth’s soil over the last two centuries by agriculture at a rate that is increasing, said the study in PNAS, a journal published by the National Academy of Sciences.

Global warming is largely due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from such activities as burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees that otherwise would absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

But this research showed the significance of agriculture as a contributing factor as well, said Jonathan Sanderman, a soil scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts and one of the authors of the research.

While soil absorbs carbon in organic matter from plants and trees as they decompose, agriculture has helped deplete that carbon accumulation in the ground, he said.

Widespread harvesting removes carbon from the soil as do tilling methods that can accelerate erosion and decomposition.

“It’s alarming how much carbon has been lost from the soil,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Small changes to the amount of carbon in the soil can have really big consequences for how much carbon is accumulating in the atmosphere.”

Sanderman said the research marked the first time the amount of carbon pulled out of the soil has been spatially quantified.

The 133 billion tons of carbon lost from soil compares to about 140 billion tons lost due to deforestation, he said, mostly since the mid-1800s and the Industrial Revolution.

But the findings show potential for the earth’s soil to mitigate global warming by absorbing more carbon through such practices as better land stewardship, more extensive ground cover to minimize erosion, better diversity of crop rotation and no-till farming, he said.

The world’s nations agreed in Paris in 2015 to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases generated by burning fossil fuels that are blamed by scientists for warming the planet.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark Paris accord in May, saying it would undermine the U.S. economy and weaken national sovereignty.

Supporters of the accord, including some leading U.S. business figures, said Trump’s move was a blow to international efforts to tackle global warming that would isolate the United States.

Source from allAfrica

22 Aug

Mozambique: Gas-Fired Power Station Plans to Triple Production

electricity generation

Maputo — The company Gigawatt-Mocambique plans to expand the electricity generation from its gas-fired power station at Ressano Garcia, on the border with South Africa from the current 120 to 350 megawatts.

Cited by the Maputo daily “Noticias”, the Gigawatt director of operations, Nazario Meguigy, said that an additional 60 megawatts of generating capacity will be added in 2018, with an investment of about 120 million US dollars.

The project to almost triple production, to 350 megawatts, will require a further 700 million dollars, and Meguigy, who was speaking during a visit to the power station by Deputy Labour Minister Osvaldo Petersburgo, said this sum is under negotiation with several financial institutions.

For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Gigawatt-Mocambique, Bruno Morgado, said the company intends to transfer knowledge from foreign technical staff to their Mozambican colleagues, so that Mozambicans can guarantee the company’s production.

“When the company began its operations, we drew up a plan to reduce the number of foreign workers”, said Morgado. “We are in the second year of the plan and we think that within the next three years the company’s operations will be 100 per cent managed by Mozambicans”.

He added that, whenever necessary, specialists will be hired to support the Mozambican workers in such sensitive questions as the maintenance of equipment. Currently the Ressano Garcia power station employs 112 workers, of whom 102 are Mozambican.

“We have no doubt that, within the next three years, the company will be run by Mozambican workers”, he stressed.

source allAfrica

16 Aug

Africa: ‘Recovery Lending’ Helps Disaster-Stricken Farmers Get Back On Track

microfinance

Accessing credit has long been a major hurdle for small-scale farmers in Africa, who produce some 70 percent of the continent’s food. Not only does this mean yields fall far below their full potential, but the ability of farmers to manage the increasingly frequent and severe weather shocks brought about by climate change is also greatly reduced.

However, help could be at hand. A new method of aid microfinancing, known as recovery lending, aims to give such farmers a much-needed short-term boost, especially in times of crisis.

Vision Fund International (VFI) is a project of the international NGO World Vision. It sourced a two-million-euro returnable grant from the UK’s Department for International Development to be loaned to 14,000 families in Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia after disasters so they can rebuild their lives and start generating income again.

Farmers need loans at the beginning of agricultural seasons to buy seeds, fertilisers, and other vital inputs. But as smallholders often lack title deeds or other forms of collateral, traditional banks don’t view them as viable debtors, while the rules imposed by other kinds of lenders – the return of the principal sum in full, for example – don’t always suit the seasonal economics of farming.

Charity Mati, VFI Kenya’s business development and integration manager, explained that the lender tries to tailor its repayment terms to borrowers’ needs, unlike other microfinance institutions that charge interest every month, leaving the entirety of the loaned sum due on maturity.

“Most of our clients are farmers,” Mati told IRIN. “While recovering from the El Niño rains, they were met with a second shock: the drought. We sat down with them and developed workable repayment plans, listened to their voices, and arrived at a solution,” she told IRIN.

A case study

In 2015, Alice Muthee, a smallholder farmer in Motonyi, a village nestled in Kenya’s Narok County, took out a $200 loan from a microfinance organisation and leased an acre of land with the aim of turning a good profit from growing tomatoes.

“With five mouths to feed, in addition to the pressure of educating my children, life had seemed overwhelming,” recalled Muthee. “I had had to sell livestock to meet the rising demand for finances in my family.”

Muthee believed her tomatoes would bear fruit and she would be able to repay the loan within three months.

But tomatoes are a notoriously fickle crop and certainly no match for the El Niño rains that wreaked havoc in late 2015, not only in parts of Kenya, but also in Somalia, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

“From the cost of leasing the land, labour, purchase of seedlings, and fertiliser, I ran a deficit,” Muthee told IRIN. “My several attempts to have extra money for buying pesticides failed. When the 2015 rains persisted, I watched helplessly as my tomatoes disappeared.”

Facing the daunting prospect of having to sell more livestock in order to repay her loan – the terms of which required full settlement of the principal sum in a single payment at the end of the agreed period – Muthee heard about a new kind of finance geared specifically for small-holder farmers, small businesses, and communities recovering from disaster shocks.

‘Hand up’, not ‘hand out’

Recovery lending, described as a “hand up” rather than “hand out” approach, was pioneered by VFI in the aftermath of 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, with the disbursement of almost 5,000 loans with an average value of $430 designed to help people restart their lost small businesses.

According to Philip Ochola, CEO of Vision Fund Kenya, in the wake of major disasters, many microfinance institutions grow reluctant to continue extending loans because potential customers lack collateral and are seen has having little ability to make repayments.

“Credit is required most during post-disaster to help rebuild communities,” said Ochola. “Governments’ help to affected communities during disasters usually come in form of relief, which is not sustainable.

ADVERTISING

“Preparing the communities for loans, helping them establish business and embrace agri-business is the sustainable assistance you can give to a vulnerable community.”

VFI distributes loans on the basis not of lenders’ available collateral but on an assessment of their likely ability to repay. It then provides business training to its customers.

Muthee took out a $300 recovery loan from VFI, which she invested in growing vegetables and starting a business selling second-hand clothes. She has since been able to settle her previous loan and pay her children’s school fees.

Aid, with conditions

In all, VFI has loaned out some $1.2 million in Kenya.

“DFID gave us the money not as a grant to dish out in the field, but a returnable one to be used wisely, lend it wisely, recover it, and pay back. Aid with conditions is good,” said Ochola.

“Aid is aid and human beings are human beings. If I know that appearing as poor as possible will make me continue receiving charity from you, I will always want to appear that way. But if it comes with conditions, it will help me get on my feet, stabilise, and work.”

Among the other beneficiaries is 38-year-old Chiwai Ole Taka, a father of six who lost seven cows and 10 sheep during a severe drought. He used his $300 loan to buy weak sheep and goats, which, thanks to the training that came with the loan, he fattened up and sold for a profit.

“It is not the first time that I have lost livestock to drought. It has happened before. This drought threatened to drive our community to extreme poverty,” said Chiwai, adding that he was now much better placed to meet his family’s basic needs.

Recovery lending was the result of joint research by Stewart McCulloch, global insurance director of VFI, and Professor Jerry Skees of GlobalAgRisk. The thinking behind the initiative was published in a report titled: A New Model for Disaster Preparation and Response for Microfinance Institutions.

“Recovery loans are not suitable for the highly indebted or those without viable cash-generating livelihood options; but rather for the economically active poor, including (but not limited to) those not normally targeted for humanitarian aid,” the report says. “The support to this group should have a disproportionate effect on the community’s economic recovery.”

While Alice Muthee could be a poster child for the success of recovery lending, others like Ole Peres have found themselves unable to keep up with VFI’s terms amid multuple climate shocks.

Peres, whose maize was destroyed by rains, had trouble making the $55 monthly repayments on a $300 loan.

“I obtained a second loan of $450 where I bought 10 sheep for fattening, but the drought killed five of them. With a monthly loan repayment of $40 for a 12-month period, I sold the remaining animals I had bought and ventured into maize buying and selling at a profit, but have been faced with shortage,” he said.

Peres is now in even greater debt and seeking a reduced interest rate on his loans.

The UN’s World Food Programme has flagged estimates that hunger and malnutrition could increase by up to 20 percent by 2050 if bold efforts to improve people’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from climate shocks aren’t undertaken.

Recovery lending is not a panacea for all the problems African farmers face, but it is helping.

Author Note

Part of a special project that explores the impact of climate change on the food security and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe

 

Source from IRIN

14 Aug

Nigeria: Prepare for Life After Oil, Govt Advises Amnesty Beneficiaries

oil

Port Harcourt — As the world marked the United Nations 2017 International Youth Day saturday, the federal government has warned youth in the country, especially beneficiaries of the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region to prepare for life after oil.

Speaking at a forum to mark the event in Port Harcourt, the Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme, Gen Paul Boro, called on the Niger Delta youths to prepare for life after oil by making use of the skills, knowledge and experience they gained while undergoing training.

The forum was put in place by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nevido Media in collaboration with the NOA with the support of the Nigerian Youth Council and other bodies.

Boro called for paradigm shift in thinking and focus among the youths and beneficiaries of the amnesty, saying, “since it has become clear that oil will not last forever, there is need to prepare the youths for the future.”

He noted that the federal amnesty programme had the mandate to train 30,000 youths, out of which it had already trained 16,000.

Represented by the Head, monitoring and evaluation in the federal amnesty, Mr. Bestman Probel, Boro explained that this was why “the youths have been drawn into training in agriculture and skills while an exit programme whereby the youths after training are mobilised to start practicing the trade they learnt”.

In his remarks the Rivers state Director of NOA, Mr. Oliver Wolugbom, expressed concern that Nigerian youths have abandoned the old cherished value system and taken to kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, thuggery and other odious practices that debase humanity.

“It is equally a source of concern that all the centrifugal forces such as separatist movements by ethnic bodies and their accompanying hate speeches are being bandied by the youths”, he said, adding that for peace to be built in the society, the youths must be properly positioned while the leadership re-strategise to plan

From allAfrica

14 Aug

Kenya: Focus Shifts to New Leaders On Proposed Coffee Sector Reforms

coffee

The elections are over. And the focus is now turning to incoming leaders and whether they will embrace reforms proposed by a team of experts to turn around the fortunes of the coffee sub-sector.

The proposals, which were on the way to being implemented, were stopped after the High Court declared them unlawful following opposition by the Council of Governors and a group of farmers.

Meru Governor Peter Munya, who was chairman of the Council of Governors at the time the case was filed, is among the leaders sent home in the polls. He lost to Mr Kiraitu Murungi of Jubilee.

The CoG had teamed up with New Farmers’ Association, contending that members of the task force did not involve all stakeholders when arriving at the resolutions.

“I am prepared to work with new governors in the 31 coffee growing areas, hoping that they will support the legal reforms we proposed,” Prof Joseph Kieyah, who chaired the task force, told Sunday Nation on Friday.

During the telephone interview, Prof Kieyah admitted that he found it difficult to work with some governors, adding that reforms cannot be successfully implemented without their support.

County governments play a major role in the agriculture sector, which is devolved, and farmers have been banking their hopes on the units to realise better returns for their harvests.

The proposed legal reforms were aimed at improving production for small-holder farmers and enabling them to access credit facilities.

They were also meant to make millers and marketing agents more accountable to farmers.

Restructuring co-operative societies, which growers use to market their coffee, is also part of the reforms.

Another proposal by the task force was to set aside Sh200 million to brand and promote Kenyan coffee locally and internationally.

Some governors were keen on supporting small-holder farmers in improving their production and remuneration.

In Nyeri, then Governor Nderitu Gachagua (deceased) had come up with an ambitious marketing programme for small-scale farmers where they were supposed to market their crop directly to overseas consumers.

But the initiative came a cropper, making producers incur heavy losses. Mr Gachagua pointed fingers at coffee cartels.

As a management official of Rumukia Co-operative Society in Mukurwe-ini sub-county, Mr Wanyaga Mutahi, explains, farmers have never recovered the losses that saw most societies incur huge debts.

 Source from allAfrica

Global Symbology Paperback + ebookTHE LEI HANDBOOK:
Exchange Data's Guide to Financial Codes

Invaluable for everyone in finance, this unique handbook will give you a full understanding of the world’s codes, helping you to decide which code to use and when.

THEI LEI HANDBOOK