AAAE News Brief

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August 05, 2020
How smart investments in technology can beef up Africa’s economy

There is no shortage of technological innovations designed to boost animal agriculture in Africa. These range from GPS tracking systems which identify and trace pastoralists’ herds to livestock vaccine SMS services that alert farmers to disease outbreaks. But to unlock the economic potential of the sector as demand for meat and milk swells threefold towards 2050, countries must invest in the critical areas that will improve quality across the whole value chain. READ MORE

Scientific meta-analysis: Agro-ecology risks harming the poor and worsening gender inequality in Africa

Rather than helping to address food insecurity, the agro-ecological agenda may in fact be trapping African farmers in poverty.That’s the finding of the first continent-wide meta-analysis of conservation agriculture experiments in Africa, and it threatens to completely up-end the dominant paradigm around agro-ecology.In recent years, agro-ecology has come to be seen as a virtual panacea in sub-Saharan Africa. Aid agencies, churches, development NGOs and United Nations agencies all now tie their support for resource-poor farmers to an explicitly agro-ecological agenda. READ MORE

Africa’s Livestock Sector is Key to its Covid-19 Response & Recovery

Livestock have long been the insurance policy of Africa’s poorest, with even a single goat or a chicken providing a buffer against economic hardship and hunger. But as Covid-19 forces many to fall back on these safety nets, the need for more long-term support of the continent’s livestock sector is laid bare. Amid increased reliance on animal agriculture to cope with shocks, together with rising demand for meat and milk from urban areas, the sustainable growth of Africa’s livestock sector is an opportunity to turn insurance into investment, recovery into resilience. READ MORE

source: InDepthNews
Misery at the Farm: Africa's Coffee Farmers are Losing Billions to Exploitation

Millions of family farmers across Africa are facing economic devastation as coffee prices offered to them continue to be on a downward trajectory, often below production costs.. This is according to the Misery at the Farm: Africa's Coffee Farmers are Losing Billions to Exploitation report just released by Selina Wamucii. The report gives a most-recent and ground-up perspective on how Africa's coffee farmers are exploited to death, in an industry that makes billions of dollars every year. READ MORE

Coronavirus and hunger: WFP ready to assist largest number of people ever

New numbers released by the World Food Programme this week “confirm our fears and paint and even bleaker picture as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll”, says the organization’s Director of Emergencies, Margot van der Velden. WFP is issuing an urgent call for US$4.9 billion in funding in order to reach up to 138 million people with food assistance by the end of the year — this would be the biggest mobilization in the organization’s history, beating last year’s record of 97 million people reached with life-saving support. READ MORE

source: WFP
As pandemic profits increase, so does hunger

Big food and agriculture companies that are making vast profits in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic are being urged to invest some of that windfall in the world’s hungriest people and smallholder farmers. The call comes as an Oxfam International report, “The Hunger Virus: How COVID-19 is fueling hunger in a hungry world”, warned that by December 2020, more people will be dying from COVID-19 related hunger than the virus itself. The organization projects that COVID-19 induced hunger could kill up to 12,000 people per day unless drastic steps are taken to deal with the world’s food security challenges. READ MORE

Why the African free trade area could be the game-changer for the continent’s economies

Most economists see structural transformation as one of the main routes to Africa’s sustainable development. What it means is changing the share of agriculture, manufacturing and services in an economy. It is a central aim of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.With this aim in mind, economists and policymakers need to know what determines structural transformation. They have flagged factors like demand for goods and services, trade policies, financial development, institutional quality and economic integration. READ MORE

First ‘e-Dialogue with a difference’ held on the future of small-scale farming

Smallholder led transformation can reap from huge potential gains, chief among them is the obvious improvement in peoples’ lives’. APRA researcher Milu Muyanga shared his views in the first session of a new virtual series, on ‘What future for small-scale farming?: Inclusive transformation in challenging times’. The first e-Dialogue session, ‘Setting the Scene’ was held on July 16 2020, and provided an overview of the challenges smallholders face and the opportunities for improvement in yields and standards of living. READ MORE

Keeping Farmers in Focus in a COVID-19 World - Episode 10

In this month’s programme, we’re keeping farmers in focus. We’ve got the latest on how farming communities are coping with the COVID-19 crisis. We begin with an interview with IFAD’s President, Gilbert Houngbo. Then we explore the world of livestock farming with Antonio Rota, who tells us what the hot issues are and where the innovations are coming from. We also visit some livestock projects in Kenya with our correspondent Guyo Roba in Nairobi. READ MORE

source: IFAD
New paper published on youth and food system transformation

What, if anything, is special about youth with respect to their engagement in food systems? This is a question asked in a new paper ‘Youth and Food Systems Transformation’, which outlines the importance of the growing numbers of youth and the influence that they will have over future development and sustainability of food systems in sub-Saharan Africa and other areas of the world. READ MORE
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