AAAE News Brief

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June 24, 2020

Retool annual budgets toward agriculture production and expand food reserves, as COVID-19 exacerbates food scarcity, urges African Development Institute seminar
African countries need to urgently expand food reserves, keep food supply flowing and boost their agriculture budgets to avert a possible hunger pandemic, partly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, delegates at a two-day webinar hosted by the African Development Institute (ADI) urged on Tuesday. READ MORE
Innovation key to unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential
Agriculture is the fulcrum of Africa’s economy, with growth-enabling roles that cut across all crucial sectors despite its seemingly dwindling share of the continent’s GDP. In the wake of sustained efforts to translate economic challenges into opportunities, the African farmer is at the core of it, and has to continuously re-engineer their approaches to contribute meaningfully to the value chain. READ MORE
SOURCE: Daily Nation
African experts urge a ‘special focus’ on agriculture in post-COVID recovery
African experts are urging governments across the continent to give a “special focus” to agriculture in the post-COVID-19 recovery era. The agriculture sector needs to make more investments in irrigation, dam construction and equipment acquisition, as well as embrace superior seeds, if food and health security risks are to be reduced, experts say. READ MORE

African scientists try to resurrect research sidelined by COVID
As African nations begin easing the lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, scientists are uncertain about the fate of their research projects. A number of scientists in Uganda say they completely lost their research during that country’s two-month lockdown, while others were unable to continue their experiments because they couldn’t procure essential supplies, including test kits, and also lacked support staff to help carry out their work. READ MORE
Analysis: Modern farming in Africa demands professionalism
The African continent, which is poised to see millions of workers enter the job market, is already experiencing massive youth unemployment and widespread reliance on precarious jobs, including those in agriculture. This is the time for smallholder farmers to embrace a new mindset and recognize that what used to work in the past will not necessarily work anymore, especially as the world is facing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, plant pests and diseases and lack of financial support for smallholder farmers across the continent. READ MORE
Be Brave, Be A Leader, and Change Agriculture 
The challenge the emerging economies are facing is defining the transformation needed and then the execution plan of transition from agriculture-based economy to a modern one. In a previous article, I related thoroughly to the issue Economic Revolutions the humankind has gone through, as well as to the main types of agriculture. It is advised to re-read it. READ MORE
EAC Region likely to lose $5b in export revenue due to Covid-19
East African countries are likely to lose more than $5 billion in foreign earnings from agricultural exports this year as a direct result of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and uncoordinated individual countries’ mitigation and containment responses. With agriculture being one of Africa’s most important economic sectors, making up 23 per cent of the continent’s GDP and employing nearly 60 per cent of the economically active population, the disruptions being witnessed now means roughly half of the almost 670 million people face food insecurity. READ MORE
How incoherent farm policies undermine Kenya’s transformation agenda
A key objective of Kenya’s agriculture growth and transformation strategy and the Big Four Agenda is increasing smallholder productivity and incomes. The strategies also aim to enhance value-addition and agro-processing, which could create employment in agricultural value chains. The overall goal is to transform rural economies into commercially viable concerns. READ MORE
Risk of hunger pandemic as coronavirus set to almost double acute hunger by end of 2020
The coronavirus pandemic will see more than a quarter of a billion people suffering acute hunger by the end of the year, according to new figures from the World Food Programme (WFP). Latest numbers indicate the lives and livelihoods of 265 million people in low and middle-income countries will be under severe threat unless swift action is taken to tackle the pandemic, up from a current 135 million. READ MORE
COVID-19 recovery is a chance to improve the African food system
The World Food Programme has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could cause one of the worst food crises since World War II. It predicts a doubling of the number of people going hungry – more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. While wealthier people stay inside and practise physical distancing, the economically marginalised populations risk going out in search of food. READ MORE


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