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Kenya | GMOs ban to hit relief food efforts

Kenya | GMOs ban to hit relief food efforts | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Kenya Public Health Minister Beth Mugo announced a ban on all GMO foods to be implemented “with immediate effect”. Mrs Mugo was reacting to recent concerns by French researchers that GMO maize had caused cancers and damaged other body organs in rats.

 

Thousands of Kenyans relying on relief supplies would be the hardest hit by the ban on the importation of genetically modified foods.

 

“We have not yet assessed how this will affect the supplies at hand, let alone those in the pipeline,” Mrs Rose Ogola, a communication officer with the World Food Programme, told the Nation on Thursday.

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Issues Affecting Food Security in East and Central Africa
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SOUTH SUDAN | Famine Threat Recedes After Rain, Relief Efforts | WFP

South Sudan has averted a famine after seasonal rains boosted food supplies and relief workers distributed aid to people displaced by nine months of conflict, while millions still face hunger, United Nations officials said.


Rains that began falling in May increased fish supplies as well as grasses, water lilies and roots for people to eat, Joyce Luma, South Sudan country director for the World Food Programme said in an interview yesterday in the capital, Juba.


“This year there will be no famine,” Luma said. “However, moving beyond December we are very, very concerned there could be another situation where people don’t have adequate access to food.”


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How to Boost Food Production in Africa

Smallholder farmers, who hold over 80 percent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling to adapt to rapidly rising temperature and erratic rains, according to the 2014 Africa Agriculture Status Report(AASR), released on 3 September in Addis Ababa. It says these farmers are now facing the risk of being overwhelmed by the pace and severity of climate change.


Farmers are already contending with an increase in average temperatures, with further increases of between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees centigrade expected by 2050.


Despite a decade of pro-growth and food security policies and programmes such as the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), 200 million Africans are chronically malnourished and 5 million die of hunger annually, says report by AGRA.

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800 Million People Still Malnourished, UN Says

More than 800 million people worldwide do not get enough to eat, even as the world produces more than twice as much food as it needs, according to new figuresreleased Tuesday by the United Nations.


Hunger has declined slowly over the last decade: 11.3 percent of the world’s population was clinically undernourished in the 2012-14 period, down from 18.7 percent in the 1990-92 period. Hunger keeps its hold on a handful of countries. Chad, Central African Republic and Ethiopia have some of the highest rates of undernourished people. A relatively large percentage of the population remains hungry across South Asia...


...The report defines hunger as having “insufficient food for an active and healthy life.”..

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SOUTH SUDAN | In crisis yet hopes of peace and prosperity live on

SOUTH SUDAN | In crisis yet hopes of peace and prosperity live on | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

...One afternoon, local attention turns skyward as a giant World Food Program cargo plane, dispatched from Ethiopia, circles overhead. The Russian-made Ilyushin swoops over Akobo, three times dropping more than 30 tonnes of seeds that will help needy local farmers start planting crops again. But for many of Akobo's children, the next harvest is likely to come far too late....

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Global Food Supply May Not Meet Future Demand

Global Food Supply May Not Meet Future Demand | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it


Here's some food for thought: as the world population continues to grow, the global food supply may not meet future hunger demands, according to a new study.


Since the 1960s, the global population increased by about one billion people every 12 to 14 years. With this many more hungry mouths to feed, researchers from the University of Virginia worry that food resources may not be able to keep up. Agriculturally poor countries in arid to semi-arid regions, like Africa's Sahel, are particularly vulnerable, according to researchers, since they already depend on imports for much of their food supply.


The new study, published in the journal Earth's Future, examines global food security and the patterns of food trade that, until now, hadn't been studied in-depth...

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KENYA | Young Scientists Can Help Increase Agriculture Production

KENYA | Young Scientists Can Help Increase Agriculture Production | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

African governments and universities should nurture young scientists so that they can make an impact in agriculture production and ensure food security. Experts at an agriculture forum noted that Africa is increasingly becoming a 25-35 year-old continent hence the need to invest and nurture the youth in agriculture....

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Unlocking African potential faster

The potential of new technologies to transform financial services in Africa has long been heralded by the likes of Kenya's M-Pesa and others.

But services for corporates have remained relatively underserved - until now. From the sands of the Sahara in the north to the Limpopo river which marks the border with South Africa to the south, economic, political and technological changes are emerging that favour new opportunities for banks.

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Horn of Africa: Declining food security

The food security situation is deteriorating in South Sudan and Somalia. Mathias Frese, head of relief for the ICRC in Eastern Africa, takes stock of the factors that have led to too many people suffering from lack of food. He describes what the ICRC, with our partners the South Sudan Red Cross and Somalia Red Crescent, is doing to help.

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SOUTH SUDAN | Threat of famine, fighting loom: U.N. Delegation

A delegation from the U.N. Security Council urged the state's warring leaders to resolve their differences, warning on Tuesday that the risk of famine and reports of growing arms imports could bring fresh woe to South Sudan. At least 10,000 people have been killed since fierce fighting erupted in South Sudan in December, pitting President Salva Kiir's government forces against supporters of Riek Machar, his former deputy and longtime political rival. Adding to the country's many problems, aid agencies say South Sudan could be headed for the worst famine since the mid-1980s, when malnutrition swept through East Africa and killed over a million people.

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Africa needs to make agriculture create wealth not just food

Africa needs to make agriculture create wealth not just food | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

..."Africa has to move away from agriculture for food in the stomach to agriculture for wealth into the economy and into the pockets of farmers," said Martin Bwalya, the head of The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), an African Union (AU) initiative.
Experts say that this needs action from governments and others to invest in research to produce higher-yielding crop varieties, improve marketing and add more value to produce instead of exporting raw commodities from which others profit....

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Africa's booming population needs agricultural innovation

Africa's booming population needs agricultural innovation | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

...Global hand-wringing over Africa's prospects began anew this month with news that the continent's population may double over the next 35 years -- including almost a billion children where one in eleven will die before age five. The boom threatens to overwhelm Africa's already strained capacity to feed itself, it's said, let alone build a sustainable economy. Families are too big. Farms are too small. Land is too dry. Girls marry too early.


But we've seen a shift in this storyline -- in the lives of people like Kisemei -- through agricultural innovation, education, and the resulting empowerment of women and girls that promises to make the coming boom a turning point toward truly sustainable development....

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Unlocking the potential of Africa

Unlocking the potential of Africa | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it
Unlocking the potential of Africa Banking Technology In addition, the US corporation says it has partnered with international and local organisations to help improve the education, health and livelihoods of African communities through better access...
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The case for drought-tolerant maize

The case for drought-tolerant maize | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Across much of sub-Saharan Africa, where maize is the most common staple crop, production is almost completely rainfed, making farmers highly susceptible to extreme weather events, such as drought.

Drought conditions damage about 40 percent of all maize crops, endangering the livelihoods and food security of millions of smallholder farmers.

Enter drought-tolerant maize....


...The U.S. Global Development Lab is bringing together more organizations than ever before to work on this issue — from traditional research centers and development programs to multinational corporations and small entrepreneurs. The team is looking to draw expertise from the private sector to provide needed logistical, supply chain, distribution and marketing expertise to help disseminate seeds to small and medium seed companies, and ultimately to smallholder farmers...



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The State of Food Insecurity in the World | FAO

The State of Food Insecurity in the World | FAO | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014 presents updated estimates of undernourishment and progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and World Food Summit (WFS) hunger targets. A stock-taking of where we stand on reducing hunger and malnutrition shows that progress in hunger reduction at the global level and in many countries has continued but that substantial additional effort is needed in others.

Sustained political commitment at the highest level is a prerequisite for hunger eradication. It entails placing food security and nutrition at the top of the political agenda and creating an enabling environment for improving food security and nutrition. This year’s report examines the diverse experiences of seven countries, with a specific focus on the enabling environment for food security and nutrition that reflects commitment and capacities across four dimensions: policies, programmes and legal frameworks; mobilization of human and financial resources; coordination mechanisms and partnerships; and evidence-based decision-making.

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UN, IGAD seek humanitarian help for East Africa

THE United Nations and East Africa's regional community on Monday, appealed to the international community to move swiftly and avert a looming humanitarian disaster in the Horn of Africa region.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-Wha Kang, and Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), made the appeal in a joint statement issued in Nairobi.


 The statement said that the appeal was for the purpose of raising fund to help 14 million people who were food insecure in the region.

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World hunger easing but 1 in 9 people undernourished: food agencies | WFP

The number of hungry people in the world has fallen sharply over the past decade but 805 million, or one in nine of the global population, still do not have enough to eat, three U.N. food and agriculture agencies said on Tuesday.


The number of chronically undernourished people dropped by more than 100 million, equivalent to a country the size of the Philippines, according to a report by the United Nations food agency (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP).


Government drives to improve nutrition have helped the developing world move towards a U.N. goal of halving the number of people suffering from hunger between 1990 and 2015, said the report entitled "The State of Food Insecurity in the World".

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SOUTH SUDAN | Airdrops Aim to Ease Suffering | WFP

SOUTH SUDAN | Airdrops Aim to Ease Suffering | WFP | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

...The World Food Program has started emergency airdrops of food to millions of people isolated by conflict and rainy conditions in South Sudan, the agency said on Monday, in the latest effort to address an unfolding crisis in the world’s youngest nation.


The WFP is conducting the daily drops out of bases in South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to provide food and nutrition assistance to at least 2.9 million people in the three oil-rich states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei by the end of the year, said Lydia Wamala, WFP spokeswoman in Uganda....

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Beyond the Paradox: Realising Africa's Agricultural Revolution (AGRF 2014)

Beyond the Paradox: Realising Africa's Agricultural Revolution (AGRF 2014) | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Africa spends about $35 billion per year importing food. Imagine if it went to our farmers and fishing communities instead.


Attending the Alliance for a Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2014, Kofi Annan, former secretary-general to the UN and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation, encouraged participants to fulfil Africa's potential to be a leading and inclusive food producer. In doing so he alluded to a paradox that dominates African economic development.


This paradox was outlined robustly by Kanayo Nwanze, IFAD President, in a keynote address to the forum. He said that although Africa is now home to some of the world's fastest growing economies, including consumer spending that will double in the next ten years, sub-Saharan Africa is also the only region where the absolute number of people living in poverty has risen steadily between 1981 and 2010....

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Tanzania trains agripreneurs for agriculture change

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has started a special scheme for young people dubbed 'IITA Youth Agripreneurs' to help transform agriculture into business.


The scheme is part of others already operating in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


It is a pilot study that has two main objectives, tackling youth unemployment and encouraging young people to transform agriculture in Africa. IITA is one of the world's leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.

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Giving smallholders a seat at the table

While it seemed too early to draw meaningful conclusions about the impact of agricultural PPPs in Africa, in spring 2014 the Fairtrade Foundation took an early look at a small number of PPPs in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya, to assess how they were engaging smallholders, what their experience had been so far, and whether there were lessons to be learned by governments, private sector investors and NGO partners.

A seat at the table? found examples of PPPs failing to engage effectively with smallholder farmers, making assumptions about farmers’ needs while ignoring or overlooking their actual concerns and priorities, and treating farmers as beneficiaries rather than as equal partners. We found few, if any opportunities for farmers’ representatives to sit around the table with governments, companies and other PPP stakeholders, or to influence the design or development of the PPPs that claimed to improve their position...

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A seat at the table? Ensuring Smallholder farmers are heard in Public-private partnerships


Governments and NGOs are increasingly partnering with the private sector to tackle global hunger and poverty. A seat at the table? Ensuring Smallholder farmers are heard in Public-private partnerships, a study of agricultural PPPs in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya, identifies examples of PPPs failing to engage effectively with smallholder farmers.  This can lead to partnerships that miss or ignore smallholder farmers’ priorities or in the worst case scenario, actually aggravate local social and economic disparities and exacerbate poverty


The report asks governments, donors and companies to go further to ensure that smallholder farmers are given the opportunity, space and information to play an active role in the design and development of agricultural PPPs – should they wish to participate in them.


A seat at the table?  Ensuring Smallholder farmers are heard in Public-private partnerships – Full report


A seat at the table?  Ensuring Smallholder farmers are heard in Public-private partnerships – Executive Summary

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Good coffee prices bring back distraught farmers in East Africa

Good coffee prices bring back distraught farmers in East Africa | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it
After years of neglect and frustration from unscrupulous middlemen, resilient coffee farmers in East Africa are now enjoying the fruits of their labor as international price of the commodity sour on global market, even enticing growers that had abandoned cultivation of the colonial era cash crop. - See more at: http://afkinsider.com/70686/good-coffee-prices-bring-back-distraught-farmers-east-africa/#sthash.33ZD3i2D.dpuf
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World Bank injects Ksh. 2.7b to boost farming in East Africa

The World Bank has injected Ksh. 2.7 billion in Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity project in Kenya since 2012 towards rice, wheat, dairy and cassava production.


Speaking in Busia during a project windup session with Agricultural stakeholders from Busia, the Kenya’s World Bank head of Agricultural production Dr. Andrew Karanja said the aim of the project in the four East African countries was to strengthen regional cooperation and increasing agricultural productivity of the four priority commodities....

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Poverty and hunger will not end without better rainwater management

Poverty and hunger will not end without better rainwater management | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

The world will fail to meet international targets to eradicate poverty and hunger unless countries improve the way they use rainwater, which billions of people depend on to grow food, leading water experts said.


More than two billion of the world’s poorest people live in the driest “hot spots”, including Africa’s Sahel region, parts of India, northern China and parts of Brazil. These regions, which also have the world’s highest population growth rates, depend on unpredictable rainfall. 


But these regions do receive enough rainfall overall, and could grow a lot more food if they had better ways of using rainwater, experts said at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm on Sunday....

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KENYA | Drought threatens food security | WFP

KENYA | Drought threatens food security | WFP | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

The United Nations World Food Program says malnutrition in parts of Kenya, especially in children under five is alarming.

 
The program is also concerned about the rising levels of food insecurity and drought particularly in parts of the country's arid North.
 
A recent survey from Kenya’s health ministry says one in four children is malnourished and needs medical attention.
 
Challis McDonough, spokesperson from the World Food Program says, "There are in some areas up to 28 percent of children under five who are malnourished, and that's a rate that's significantly higher than last year, and in excess of the emergency levels, so we are talking with all of the nutrition partners about scaling up nutrition assistance." 
 
These startling figures are common in Kenya's Turkana, Marsabit and Mandera regions. 
 
Rains here are sparse and the terrain harsh.
 
Pastoralists and nomads often battle for water and land for grazing and livestock. 
 
In some of these areas, the number of malnourished has doubled from last year. 
 
And while it may not be as bad as the famine that gripped parts of East Africa in 2011, the WFP says that poor rains will likely yield a harvest less than average this year, meaning that over a million Kenyans will require food aid in the next few months.
 
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Mobile payments: How digital finance is transforming agriculture

Mobile payments: How digital finance is transforming agriculture | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

At the recent Fin4ag conference hosted by the Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation in Nairobi, GSMA, the apex organization for over 850 mobile network operators worldwide, declared its strategic business interest in transitioning cash payments to farmers by large commodity buyers to mobile payments. East Africa’s urban centers have become — or will soon be — saturated with mobile money, so mobile money providers are now beginning to pursue strategies for rural rollouts. Mobile payments to farmers can be economically viable for value chains with predictable and high volume transactional activity. Characteristic of this next generation of mobile money in rural areas will be investment by large commodity buyers as well as a “high-touch” approach to the ecosystem creation of mobile money users and cash-in/cash-out agents....



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