Despite improved food security following theDeyrharvest, improved livestock conditions, and mostly stable staple food prices, a large number of people across Somalia will be acutely food insecure through June 2015. Many children remain acutely malnourished, despite a small decrease in their numbers over the past six months.
Without global efforts to respond to a fungal disease affecting banana production, the $36 billion global industry, which provides a source of income or food to some 400 million people around the world, is under threat, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The agency and its partners said $47 million is needed to tackle the new and deadly Tropical Race 4 (TR4) strain of Fusarium wilt disease, part of which would be used to provide swift on-the-ground assistance to countries facing new outbreaks.
China's long-term motivation for investing in African farming could be to export food back to its home markets, a research paper from Standard Chartered bank has warned. The world's largest country is more or less self-sufficient in grains, but within 20-30 years it is expected to need to import an extra 100m tonnes of food a year to meet the growing appetites of its middle classes.
The number of displaced people in the East African region stood at 11.4 million by end of September, a new situation analysis report shows.
According to the report, released by the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), at least 2.47 million people of the total displaced population are refugees, while another over 8.97 milion are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others severely affected by conflict.
This represents an increase of 1.4 million people...
...The report says at least 12.8 million people in some 10 countries in the region , including Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, are actually facing severe food insecurity...
Innovative partnerships have been instrumental in helping smallscale farmers and pastoralists in East Africa become more resilient.
But finding the right scheme is a challenge, Ayman Omer, country director of Oxfam Ethiopia tells Devex’s Kate Warren in this video interview on the sidelines of Devex’s Careers and Partnerships forum in Addis Ababa.
“It’s not always easy to find the right partnerships,” he said. “But this is something that we believe in and we really try to get the right partners.”
Watch the above clip to learn more insights from Omer about how Oxfam helps build agricultural resilience in the region, which organizations they are partnering with, and areas they are focusing on.
Up to 15 million children are directly entangled in violent conflicts, mostly in the Middle East and Africa, a report by the group said.
...In South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, which gained independence in 2011, a calamitous civil conflict that erupted a year ago has brought severe hunger, homelessness and death. More than 750,000 children have been displaced in the country, 320,000 others are refugees in neighboring countries and 235,000 under age 5 are suffering “severe acute malnutrition,” the report said.
News of soaring demand for land in Africa and the strain this places on rural men and women is not new. Nor is it news that some of the land governance systems on the continent have not sufficiently protected rural communities in the face of heightened demand for land.
But at the conclusion of the firstAfrican Land Policy Conference on Nov. 14, the momentum behind land policy reform on the continent is strong and clear.
Rwanda, for example, has documented land rights for its rural women and men for the first time. Kenya adopted a new constitution in 2010 which protects women’s rights to land and family resources. Uganda adopted in 2013 a new land policy which envisions an overhaul of the current land rights laws, and further establishes land rights for women.
Each of these efforts was supported by far thinking donors who understand that if countries don’t get land rights right, their efforts on a host of other priorities — from women’s empowerment to food security — will be frustrated. Donor resources are limited: Every dollar counts and the money won’t last. The question for donors is thus how to best support Africa in securing access to land for rural people at this critical juncture.
Here are 10 ways:
1. Work with governments, the private sector and communities to support healthy and sustainable land sector investments.
2. Increase support to Africa’s small and medium-size farms.
3. Support government efforts to recognize and protect community land rights.
4. Seek ways to support women’s access and rights to land — as enshrined in the constitutions, laws and policies of many African countries — and support work to ensure that those rights are realized and implemented.
5. Support government efforts to decentralize land governance at the local level.
6. Base programs on a thorough understanding of local needs, priorities, and capacity.
7. Coordinate more effectively with other donors.
8. Commit to long-term horizon for land policy reform.
9. Invest in robust research and monitoring efforts. 10. Dedicate resources to capacity building in-country wherever and whenever possible.
A new Millennium Development Goal (MDG) report indicates that countries in the region have in recent years given more attention to the services sector at the expense of agriculture yet the latter employs more than 80 per cent of the poor people.
The report, released by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Economic Conference on Africa (Uneca), shows that recent rapid economic transformation had failed to improve the living conditions for most East Africans largely because agriculture, which is key to poverty reduction, had been ignored.
The report came hot on the heels of a meeting of more than 100 agronomists, policy makers, business leaders, farmers and development partners from across the continent, in Kigali, that sought to explore ways of accelerating agriculture transformation in Africa.
Last June, African Heads of State and Government renewed and strengthened their commitment to achieve food and nutrition security on the continent. They adopted a remarkably ambitious set of concrete goals to be reached by 2025, in their ‘Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods’.
This video presents briefly the perspectives of some key CAADP stakeholders about the Malabo Declaration.
Around half a million refugees, mainly from Somalia and South Sudan, living in the Dadaab and Kakuma camps in remote areas in northern Kenya, will receive reduced rations from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as a result of insufficient funding.
The ration cut of 50 percent, starting tomorrow, comes as WFP struggles to raise US$38 million to cover its refugee operation for the next six months. This includes US$15.5 million urgently required to address food needs through January 2015.
"WFP has done everything it can to avoid reducing rations, using all means at our disposal to cover critical funding gaps," said Paul Turnbull, WFP Deputy Country Director for Kenya. "Cutting rations is the last resort and we're doing it to eke out the limited food we currently have available over the next ten weeks, as we continue to appeal to the international community to assist."...
While Tanzania might be famous for Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest peak - and game parks such as the Serengeti, more than half of the population do not have enough nutritious food to eat....
...Thanks to the efforts of the Tanzanian government to educate and encourage people to grow and eat crops which have a higher nutritional value, the demand for these crops is increasing which is also having a positive knock-on effect by boosting their value too.
Addressing gender inequality in farming sector of developing countries could increase global food security, Paul writes. Women are more likely to adopt new techniques in farming practices to enhance household nutrition.
Government and the private sector should work together to enhance the agriculture sector and agribusiness development in the country, Attaher Maiga, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative in Rwanda, has said.
This film focuses on the work of researchers from Makerere University, Uganda, in Rakai district, an area of the country whose farmers are particularly prone to climate change-induced water vulnerability.
As part of the WATERCAP project, they have helped transform local people’s lives. Through the introduction of low-tech innovations, the farmers now enjoy year-round access to safe water for both farming and domestic use. And the researchers have been able to augment their academic training with knowledge gained form working alongside the farmers in the field.
More than three million people in war-torn Somalia -- 20 percent more than last year -- need urgent help because of malnutrition, war and other crises, the UN said Monday.
The warning came three years after more than 250,000 people died of hunger in the troubled east African country.
The people of Somalia continue to face a severe humanitarian crisis. Over one million Somalis are unable to meet their basic food requirements, an increase of 20 percent since February 2014, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) said in a statement.
West Africa's Ebola outbreak, which has been disrupting agricultural and market activities, threatens to erode food security and negatively affect the livelihoods of millions of already vulnerable people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone unless more is done to meet their immediate food and nutritional needs, say aid agencies.
...The World Food Programme (WFP) found that more than 80 percent of people surveyed via mobile phone in the eastern part of Sierra Leone say they have been eating less expensive food since the outbreak began. Three-quarters of respondents have begun to reduce the number of daily meals and portion sizes...
Technological advances can offset resource constraints, FAO experts say in new study
Fish farming will likely grow more than expected in the coming decade, offering a chance for improved nutrition for millions of people, especially in Asia and Africa, according to a new report.
Increased investment in the aquaculture sector - particularly in productivity-enhancing technologies including in the areas of water use, breeding, hatchery practices and feedstuff innovation - should boost farmed-fish production by as much as 4.14 percent per year through 2022, notably faster than the 2.54 percent growth forecast made earlier this year in a joint report by FAO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The Chefe Donsa seed bank is just one of 13 established in different climatic areas of the country. The nation’s central seed bank, which the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity set up in Addis Ababa, helps researchers and farmers retain agricultural biodiversity. By preserving this, researchers hope to strengthen food security in the country and mitigate the risk of famine, which is increasing due to climate change-related droughts.
This film was made with the support of the Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme, which is run by the European Journalism Centre and financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Kenya have signed on November 14, 2014, in Nairobi, a grant agreement to support the growth and formalization of 54 African seed companies in eleven countries.
The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) managed by the Bank has provided US $1 million to fund a technical assistance project in the form of Business Development Services for the 54 seed companies. This technical assistance project will help the seed companies increase their production of quality seeds for rural farmers ultimately contributing to ensuring food security and the reduction of poverty in rural areas. Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director, East Africa Regional Resource Centre, and Agnès Kalibata, President, AGRA, signed on behalf of the Bank and AGRA, respectively.
The 54 seed companies are located in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Rwanda, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Niger, Liberia and Uganda.
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