AAAE News Brief

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August 19, 2020 | No.6
AfJARE's New Editorial Board

The African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AfJARE) has inaugurated a new Editorial Board. The board is comprised of young and dynamic agricultural and development economists, who are all members of the AAAE, a parent association. Congratulating the new Editorial board during the introductory virtual meeting, the Chief Editor, Dr. Joshua Ariga (BMGF) said that this was aimed at expanding representation with individuals who will bring additional expertise and reinforce some of the skill sets needed to inject younger talent. The journal’s Co-editor, Dr. Suresh Babu (IFPRI) expressed his hope that the new board will find this a great opportunity to share their expertise with a wider audience, and engage in research pursuits towards growing and fulfilling the goals and scope of the journal. AAAE President, Dr. Guy Blaise-Nkamleu (AfDB) welcomed the new board and told them that their work is cutout and starts immediately, especially in dealing with a high volume of manuscript submissions currently received. READ MORE

source: AfJARE
Averting hunger in sub-Saharan Africa requires data and synthesis

Governments across sub-Saharan Africa have responded rapidly to prevent a food-security crisis being triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Togo transferred cash to families directly to buy food. Mali provided free livestock feed to farmers, and waived electricity and water bills for the poorest households from May to June. These crucial emergency measures do not address the bigger threat — long-term disruption to food supply chains. As the United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in a briefing on 9 June, the world faces an impending food crisis on a scale that has not been seen for 50 years. READ MORE

source: Nature
Microsoft SA invests R40-million in SA agriculture sector 

Microsoft South Africa has announced an investment of up to R40 million in South Africa’s agriculture sector, which is one of the country’s critical industries driving growth and job creation. The investment is aimed at driving sustainability in the sector for smallholder farmers, who form an important part of the agricultural workforce in the country. Over two million of these farmers help reduce poverty for local communities and establish food systems for South Africa and the wider southern African region. However, they face challenges that prevent them from becoming commercially viable, efficient and sustainable. READ MORE

source: Microsoft
New project to improve agricultural productivity in Zimbabwe

A new European Union-funded ‘Livestock Production Systems in Zimbabwe’ (LIPS-Zim) project is working to increase agricultural productivity in the country’s agro-ecological Zones IV and V. It is promoting the adoption of climate-relevant innovations in livestock production systems and improving surveillance and control of livestock diseases. READ MORE

source: ILRI
In COVID-19–Hit Africa, Agricultural Research Feels the Pinch

It is strangely quiet at the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, Uganda. Seventy percent of its 400 staff members have not reported for work since the country instituted a lockdown in March due to a partial furlough and government policies brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE

What Does China Need to Do to Improve its Agriculture Assistance Programs in Africa?

China has provided agricultural assistance to Africa for decades. Yet questions are frequently raised as to how its aid in Africa resembles those run by other development actors in terms of project assessment, management, monitoring, and evaluation. Recent developments, such as the establishment of the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and the deployment of more Chinese Junior Professional Officers to the United Nations have opened the space for closer collaboration between Chinese development actors and their foreign counterparts. READ MORE

Meat, Milk and More: Policy innovations to shepherd inclusive and sustainable livestock systems in Africa

The Malabo Montpellier Panel’s report: "Meat, Milk & More: Policy innovations to shepherd inclusive and sustainable livestock systems in Africa" highlights options for sustainably promoting growth in the livestock sector, drawing from what four African countries—Ethiopia, Mali, South Africa, and Uganda—have done successfully in terms of institutional and policy innovation as well as programmatic interventions. By adapting these lessons to countries’ specific contexts and scaling them up across the continent, African governments can meet their national and international commitments to agricultural growth and transformation. READ MORE

Agritech platforms revolutionise farming investment

Crowd farming platforms are using technology to connect smallholders with much-needed investment across Africa, helping to close the agriculture financing gap and connect urban investors with agriculture. Founded in 2016, Farmcrowdy serves as a conduit between small-scale farmers in need of capital and Nigerian retail investors wishing to invest in the sector. READ MORE

Beyond the Hustle and Towards a New Philosophy for Agriculture

“A Global Food Crisis Looms”, headlined the New York Times in April 2020, drawing attention to the millions of vulnerable populations around the world facing hunger exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Kenya, “We fear hunger more than corona’’ is now a common refrain among the urban poor who earn a living in the informal sector. The COVID-19 crisis has revealed deep structural and policy fault lines in Kenya’s food systems. In the 2019 Global Hunger Index, Kenya ranked 86 out of 117, a position categorised as serious. READ MORE

source: The Elephant
Opinion: A food data revolution in the COVID-19 era

Many politicians have used the language of war to describe efforts to control COVID-19, having to defeat the “invisible enemy.” In war, truth is often the first casualty. So it is tempting to say that good-quality data on hunger and malnutrition have been a casualty of the preoccupation with disease control during the pandemic. The truth is that the data were never remotely fit for purpose — even before the crisis. READ MORE

source: devex


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