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Africa Business Economy Education Food and Agriculture General 

The pros and cons of commercial farming models in Africa

Colonialism brought large-scale farming to Africa, promising modernisation and jobs – but often dispossessing people and exploiting workers. Now, after several decades of independence, and with investor interest growing, African governments are once again promoting large plantations and estates. But the new corporate interest in African agriculture has been criticised as a “land grab”. Small-scale farmers, on family land, are still the mainstay of African farming, producing 90% of its food. Their future is increasingly uncertain as the large-scale colonial model returns. To make way for big farms, local people…

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Africa Economy Education Food and Agriculture 

Cros Agro to set up French Fries and Potato Flakes processing factory in Nigeria

Cros Agro Allied Ltd, a Nigerian agribusiness company, has announced a commitment to invest $65 million in the country’s potato sector. In its investment commitment, Cros Agro has outlined plans to expand its existing potato production area to 900 ha, which will supply the company’s potato processing facilities, run by Rosenqvists Food Technologies AB, to increase production of French fries and potato flakes. The company plans to invest primarily in the expansion of its processing capacity through new equipment, and farm machinery to support increased production of potatoes. The new…

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Africa Business Economy Food and Agriculture General 

Factoring services can bridge SME financing gap – Kanayo Awani

Factoring services can bridge the gap in the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa by addressing the challenges the SMEs face in accessing funding for business activities, Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of the Intra-African Trade Initiative of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), has said in Douala, Cameroon. Ms. Awani, who was speaking on 30 March during the opening of a two-day factoring promotion seminar organised by the Bank, said that the effectiveness and potential of factoring services to support SMEs became even higher during periods of financial…

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Africa Economy Food and Agriculture General 

How to unlock the potential of papyrus wetlands in Africa

Most households in tropical sub-Saharan Africa – over 80% – use some form of biomass, such as charcoal or wood as their primary source of energy, mainly for cooking. They source this biofuel from scrublands, savannahs and forests. Wood is the main source of domestic energy for rural populations while charcoal is the major source in urban areas. But the capacity of biomass to provide the energy requirements of sub-Saharan tropical Africa is declining. This is problematic because the numbers that depend on it are growing as populations increase. By…

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Africa Economy Food and Agriculture General 

Eyes in the sky and on the ground are helping forest conservation in Cameroon

The highland rainforests of South West Cameroon are among the oldest forests on the continent. They comprise the richest flora and fauna in continental tropical Africa. The area is one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots. The region encompasses high levels of unique, as well as endangered species. These include the Cross River gorilla, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and forest elephants. But the region is also home to communities who rely on the land for their survival. Most of this unique forest is community land with no formal protected status. The…

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Africa Business Economy Featured Food and Agriculture General 

Africa needs its own version of the vertical farm to feed growing cities

The Netherlands is building its first large-scale commercial vertical indoor farm. It’s expected to serve Europe’s largest supermarket chains with high quality, pesticide-free fresh cut lettuce. Vertical farms use high tech lighting and climate controlled buildings to grow crops like leafy greens or herbs indoors while using less water and soil. Because it’s a closed growing system, with controlled evaporation from plants, this farms use 95% less water than traditional farms. At the same time, most vertical farms don’t need soil because they use aeroponics or hydroponic systems – these…

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Africa Business Economy Food and Agriculture General Technology 

Nigerian agri-tech platform connects farmers to local investors

In Ifo, a town in the south-western Nigerian state of Ogun, a path to a poultry farm is nestled away from freeway traffic heading to Lagos, the country’s commercial hub. In a large brooder, tens of thousands of seven-day-old chicks are stretching on the dirt and dipping their beaks in and out of the feeders. Dayo Adeoye picks up two chicks and places them on a a scale. “I need to check their weight to be sure they are meeting our target,” he explains. “This helps us optimise production and…

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Africa Economy Food and Agriculture 

‘World Wastes One-third Of Its Agricultural Produce” – AfDB

The Acting Vice-President, Operations, African Development Bank, AfDB, Kapil Kapoor has stated that Africa needs to review its commitment in agriculture. Kapoor, who said the issue, would be reviewed critically during the forthcoming World Bank Spring meetings panel said, “We need to look afresh at agriculture in Africa as a series of systems and to see it not as a way of life, but a business”. He said the challenges of food and agriculture are global, disclosing that while two billion people in the world are undernourished, about two billion are…

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How a 17-year-old started a poultry business in the slums of Dar es Salaam

Sirjeff Dennis was five when he witnessed a neighbour lose her seven-month-old son. Living in the slums of Tanzania’s capital city Dar es Salaam, the mother had spent much of her pregnancy hungry and her son was born underweight and too weak to survive his first year. His death hit Dennis hard and created a deep passion for fighting hunger. At age 17 he started a poultry business, Jefren Agrifriend Solutions (JAS), to supply his community with affordable chicken meat and eggs. Four years later the company is producing 2,000…

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Africa Economy Food and Agriculture 

Strawberries ​Top 2016 List of Dirty Fruits

Strawberries top this year’s list of dirtiest produce, according to a report from Environmental Working Group (EWG), which uses data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration (USDA) to rank the 12 most contaminated conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables and the cleanest 15 safest. The 2016 dirty dozens comes in this order: Strawberries, apples, nectarines, peaches, celery, grapes, cherries, spinach, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomates and cucumbers. While clean fifteen were listed as: Avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, sweet peas (frozen), onions, asparagus, mangos, papayas, kiwi, eggplant, honeydew melon, grapefruit, cantaloupe and cauliflower. Apples…

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