Africa – African Green Revolution Forum

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The future of Africa’s agriculture looked brighter in September as leaders from across the continent converged in Abidjan to discuss strategies for industrialising agriculture.

At the 7th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), held in the Ivorian capital between September 4th-8th at the behest of the African Development Bank (AfDB), African political leaders offered solutions and discussed challenges to the continental green agenda.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called for proper land management strategies for agriculture. Insisting that forestry and mining were increasingly competing for agricultural land, she called for efforts to make African agricultural land more economically productive.

Ivorian President Allassane Ouattara said the continent’s agricultural progress was hampered greatly by the impact of climate change and appealed to western nations to support measures to contain it.

President Ouattara said the Bank’s “High Five,” which puts agriculture as central to achieving Africa’s industrialisation agenda, has helped to make agriculture central to government plans.

In Cote d’Ivoire, President Ouattara said agriculture contributed 16% of GDP, with at least 60% of the population living on agriculture.

President Ouattara said the fact that more people depended on a sector whose contribution to the national economy was still minimal, meant the challenge of growing agriculture still remained.

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Women tea pickers in Kenya – CC 2010

The African leaders emphasised the need for the agriculture sector to generate more jobs for youth to stop the mass exodus out of Africa.

The AfDB is advocating closer linkages between development partners and policy-makers to enhance the informal sector’s contribution to building an African food and cuisine value chain.

The Bank’s proposition was made at a B2B (business-to-business) meeting on ‘AfDB’s ENABLE Youth platform: The Economics of Food Cuisine’ at the Summit.

The goal of the platform is to enhance the viability of food entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, seeking to start and grow a food-related business through knowledge-sharing; mentorship services; skills development; and access to finance.

AfDB and Hivos International have partnered and developed an inclusive end-to-end strategy that enables innovative entrepreneurs to become agents of change at the forefront of a more sustainable agri-food sector in Africa.

Young entrepreneurs will receive training along the different phases of the value chain (input, production, marketing, retail) as well as in business development.

Africa needs to move away from solely producing raw consumables and invest more in value-added processing units and branded food products and focus more on downstream activities such as the food service industry, according to the Bank.

Current heads of state and former leaders, including former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) and John Kufuor (Ghana), attended the Summit, which was due to end on September 8th, with new financial investment pledges.

In 2016, at least US$30bn was pledged for investment in Africa’s agriculture sector.
(PANA, Abidjan 8/9; AfDB, 19/9)

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin:

Agricultural Investments
Economic, Financial and Technical series
Vol. 54, Issue 7, pp. 21800A–21800B

African Jobs Shortfall
Economic, Financial and Technical series
Vol. 54, Issue 6, pp. 21741B–21741C

AFRICA: Boosting Agricultural Productivity
Economic, Financial and Technical series
Vol., Issue 3, pp. 21632A–21632C

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East Africa – Pest Outbreak Threatens Crops

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There are serious concerns over the new armyworm outbreak, which has already ruined large areas of cultivation.

On February 14th international leaders held talks in Harare, Zimbabwe, to tackle the armyworm outbreak, which has spread across several African countries, including Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana.

There have been more recent reports suggesting that Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia may also be seeing outbreaks. The species of ‘fall armyworm’ originates from the Americas and United Nations (UN) FAO coordinator for South Africa, David Phiri, said, “farmers do not know really how to treat it.”

The caterpillars eat maize, wheat, millet and rice, key food sources in southern and eastern Africa. The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) recently said that it is spreading rapidly and needs an urgent response.

The armyworm name is misleading as the pest is actually a caterpillar, and should not be confused with the African armyworm, which is known in the region. This species originates from the Americas, although no-one is sure how it made it to Africa. It is thought that it could have arrived on a commercial flight or in imported food.

According to the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), it has taken only eight weeks for the pest to spread to six southern African countries. The caterpillar stage does the damage but “it’s the adult moth that migrates long distances and that’s how it’s managed to get round Africa,” said Professor Ken Wilson, an armyworm expert.

“These army worms attack the maize leaves, the flower and even bore into the stalk. And because they dig into the stem of the plant, it is difficult to notice them. It is only on close inspection that you realise almost the entire plant has been destroyed” said Chimenya Phiri, Malawian farmer, reported BBC News on February 14th.


Armyworm – www.phys.org

South Africa’s agriculture ministry said little was known about how the armyworms arrived or what their long-term effects would be; “It may become a migratory pest similarly to the African armyworm and may migrate in large numbers from one area to another, causing great damage,” reported UK-based the Guardian.

“If it is a small level of the worms, it’s easy to control, using pesticides. Otherwise, it’s very difficult to control it, so they will have to use different methods – including sometimes burning the crops,” said Phiri.

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Davis Marapira said that the pest had been detected in all of the country’s 10 provinces.

The FAO, which is hosting the Harare meeting, said armyworm outbreaks combined with current locust problems “could be catastrophic” as southern Africa has yet to recover from droughts caused by the El Nino climate phenomenon.

Zambia reported that almost 90,000 hectares of maize have been affected. In Malawi, some 17,000 hectares have so far been affected. In Namibia approximately 50,000 hectares of maize and millet has been damaged, and in Zimbabwe up to 130,000 hectares could be affected.

The FAO said it had initiated the process of procuring pheromone insect lure traps, which are used for capturing armyworm and monitoring their spread.

(© AFP 14/2 2017; PANA, Lusaka 16/2)

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin:

RWANDA: Food Security Fears
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol. 54, Issue. 1, Pp. 21568A–21568C

Drought and Hunger
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol. 54, Issue. 1, Pp. 21563A–21563C

Africa’s Pulse – Agriculture Could Be The Key
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol. 53, Issue. 9, Pp. 21424A–21424B.

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Burkina Faso – Drought Adaptation

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Farmers seek creative solutions to persistent drought, as analysts stress that diversification must be central.

Parts of rural Burkina Faso are experiencing increasingly lengthy droughts; the dry season which historically came between February and June is now extending to July and even August in many rural areas.

With the lack of rain, crops left in fields dry up, rendering a large part of the harvest useless. On May 11th Al-Jazeera reported that the drought caused the government to intermittently cut the water supply to the capital Ouagadougou. One resident in the city said she had not experienced such a crisis for over 20 years.

Farmers in the Passore region have been helped by the introduction of mobile ‘plant clinics’ that allow farmers to bring in damaged crops for inspection and consultation. The initiative is part of the Building Resilience to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, supported by the United Kingdom’s (UKDepartment for International Development (DFID).

Erik Dirkx, from Welthungerhilfe, a German charity that helped establish the plant clinic system, said, “the plant clinics took a while to get off the ground but are starting to bear fruit…the farmers we speak to appreciate getting expert advice that’s available to them locally,” reported Reuters.

In Burkina Faso over 80% of the population rely on subsistence agriculture and persistent droughts have big implications. According to the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), malnutrition in the north Sahel stands at 9.4% for children under five; 10% is considered a serious emergency.

In Tamissi village in northern Burkina Faso, Reuters reported that two “plant doctors” – Maurice Albert and Rihanata Sawadogo – had set up plants clinics. In one case they diagnosed an insect agricultural pest and offered an environmentally friendly pesticide as a solution.

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Farmer, Burkina Faso – CC

Currently, 14 million people across southern Africa are facing hunger due to the prolonged drought caused by the strongest El Niño weather phenomenon in 50 years. South Africa is expected to import half of its maize and in Zimbabwe as much as 75% of crops have been abandoned in the worst-hit areas.

According to new research entitled ‘Timescales of transformational climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan African agriculture‘, diversification is a central strategy that needs to be pursued by farmers suffering from drought and pests. The research suggests that farmers growing nine key food crops are able to withstand the effects of climate change to a much greater degree.

Maize, bananas and beans, some of the most important crops to sub-Saharan Africa, are under the most significant threat. There are suggestions that highly exposed and sensitive areas in Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger, which depend highly on maize, millets, sorghum and legumes, should seek to diversify soon. Sorghum and millet, for example, have a higher resistance to heat that maize.

In Senegal there are plans for weather forecasts to reach 7.4m rural people via community radio and text message, which will help farmers to make crucial decisions on the farms, around planting, fertiliser and weeding.

“The images coming out of southern Africa today are alarming, and they should serve as a warning: there is still time to adapt tomorrow’s agriculture for a warmer world, but only if we start now,” according to Julian Ramirez-Villegas, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, reported AllAfrica.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin:

COTTON: Burkina Faso
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.53, No.4, Pp.21258B–21259B

Drought and Famine
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.53, No.4, Pp.21239A–21239B

Food Security
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, No.10, Pp.21025A–21025C

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Africa – Agricultural Policies Harm the Poorest

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Research suggests that small-holder farmers are often negatively impacted by agricultural modernisation policies.

According to research by University of East Anglia (UEA) scholars Dr Neil Dawson, Dr Adrian Martin and Professor Thomas Sikor, published in the World Development Journal, ‘green revolution policies’ promoted by the organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are adversely impacting the poorest.

As much as 90% of the population in Africa are smallholder farmers and are reliant on some form of agriculture; new agricultural innovation poses possible benefits but also great risk.

According to the research, only a minority of wealthy people have been able to keep up agricultural modernisation, as poorer farmers are not able to afford to risk of taking out credit to purchase expensive seeds and fertilisers. Instead, due to pressure from the government, farmers often choose to sell their land.

Specifically the study examined Rwandan agricultural policies and changes to rural inhabitants in eight villages in the west of the country. In this area, high population density and modernising agricultural policies have forced farmers to adopt single crops, in comparison to as many as 60 different types cultivated previously.

Policies in Rwanda posit that agriculture should be focused on specialisation and land management in an efficient and uniform manner, said Dr Dawson, cited by UK-based the Guardian. One farmer commented that ““We have no ability to oppose decisions made by the government. They tell us to plant crops in the wrong season. They’ll say, ‘Grow beans now’ and everyone here knows it’s the wrong time to grow them.”

“The result we saw was that the long-standing knowledge of soils, ecological gradients and associated social as well as economic interactions have, in a flash, been replaced with rules and administrative boundaries”, said Dr Dawson.

“Similar results are emerging from other experiments in Africa. Agricultural development certainly has the potential to help these people, but instead these policies appear to be exacerbating landlessness and inequality for poorer rural inhabitants,” he continued.

The authors of the study recommended green revolution policies be subject to much broader and more rigorous impact assessments, and that poverty mitigating efforts should be incorporated, such as encouraging land access for the poorest and supporting traditional practices in a “gradual and voluntary modernisation”.

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Uganda: CC- 2011

Agriculture is of crucial importance to the well-being and economic stability of many African countries; Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently stated that agriculture is the country’s only hope for an economic resurgence, as profits from oil exports continue to decline, reported Ventures Africa.

In South Africa, agriculture is in a precarious position due to an ongoing drought, which has seen five out of nine regions declared disaster zones. Mpumalanga, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and North West provinces have been declared disaster zones. Cattle, sheep and goat farmers have been urged to cut the sizes of their herds, as land has been scorched and the maize harvest is expected to fall by 25%. Food prices are also expected to rise by 20% or more in 2016, reported the Africa Report.

On February 17-18th development leaders, African heads of state and other representatives gathered for the 39th Session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

President of Italy Sergio Mattarella said, as has been witnessed in South Africa, one of the greatest threats to food production is climate change. He highlighted the IFAD Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme – which now assists farmers in developing countries around the world adapt to changing climatic conditions.

Investing in smallholder agriculture helps to stabilise communities and countries and reduce conflict. “You achieve the means to feed families, support forms of social organisation, preserve land and biodiversity, fight against climate change, create jobs and prosperity, contribute to stable and just societies and, most importantly, eradicate the root causes that push more people to emigrate, ” Mattarella said in an IFAD Press Release.

The African Transformation Forum (ATF), which is to take place on March 14-15th, in Kigali, Rwanda, is to see wide-ranging discussions on the possibilities of agriculture as the basis for economic transformation across the country.

However with the polarised debates around agricultural modernisation, the evident impacts of climate change, and resurgence of an economic emphasis on agriculture, it is crucial to consider carefully the role of agricultural policies and practices in creating greater inequalities and deepening poverty among the poorest and most agriculture-dependant populations.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin

Southern Africa’s Food Crisis – from Bad to Worse
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue. 12, Pp.21097B–21097C

ETHIOPIA: Drought Aid
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.12, Pp.21094C–21095B

Food Security
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.10, Pp.21025A–21025C

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Namibia – Water Crisis Escalates

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Livelihoods at risk as ongoing drought puts excessive strain on the water supply system across the country.

Water supplies in Namibia have reached a critical level forcing the authorities in Windhoek Municipality to declare a water crisis on December 3rd. Poor rainfall and high temperatures have put excessive strain on the bulk water supply system and analysts have said the agricultural sector is likely to be hit hardest.

National water company NamWater stated in 2014 that it would need Namibian Dollar (N)$8 billion to supply the current 33 million cubic metres needed per annum. The company stated that it intended to extract 3.5m cubic metres from the Von Bach and Swakopport dams, but government-owned daily New Era reported that both were already overexploited and another, Omatako, which supplies water to the capital, currently has no water.

According to reports the water crisis has been exacerbated by rising populations in Windhoek; the population increased from 250,262 in 2001 to 342,141 in 2011, without an increase in the capacity of water infrastructure.

City municipality spokesperson Lydia Amutenya said in a statement on December 3rd that there was only a combined 15 percent of water left in Swakoppoort and Von Bach dams. The authorities recently set aside N$458m for the fast-track of the Neckartal Dam.

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According to a report by the Namibian Economist the government is the largest consumer of water in Windhoek and there is a significant amount of wastage due to leaks and broken pipes.

The report identified certain industries such as Namib Poultry Industries which requires around 240,000 cubic metres of fresh water per year. The Meatco feedlot in Okapuka, in Windhoek municipality, holds 9000 cattle and requires around 450 cubic metres of water per day.

The water shortage has also been affecting miners at small-scale mines in Xoboxobos, 80km from the village of Uis in Erongo region. The miners face a constant water shortage due to the remote location, having to pay around N$10,000 for water; currently the constituency office in Uis is unable to supply water for at least two months, reported New Era.

Immediate concerns resulting from the water crisis are for livelihoods; food supply, health, economic productivity and employment are all likely to be affected. The Namibian also added that there are concerns that the shortages could lead to an increase in domestic violence.

Often, within rural communities, it is the women who collect water from boreholes or water tanks, and during crisis periods they may have to travel lengthy distances to secure water, this is known to cause tension within households. In southeastern Uganda a water scarcity led to a noticed increase in domestic violence.

BBC News Online reported that over the past two years, the weak or absent rains have left at least 500,000 people needing emergency food aid. The government has launched a well-drilled programme for food deliveries to most affect areas; Namibia’s response has been admired in South Africa.

However, already one of the driest countries in the world, Namibia is being put under increasing strain and questions have arisen of how the country will cope with climate change. A report published by the government in 2011 stated that over the previous 40 years there had been a marked increase in days over 35C.

Maria Johansson from an NGO the Creative Entrepreneurs Solutions (CES) said, “the country is already importing 70% of its foodstuffs. India has already said it won’t export any pearl millet to Namibia. Currently, Namibia is buying from Zambia but what if Zambia doesn’t produce? This is a global problem.”

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Growth Slows, Food Insecurity Rises
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.9, Pp.20979A–20980C
NAMIBIA: State of Emergency
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.50, Issue.5, Pp.19982A–19982B
Namibia: Selected Economic Indicators baseline scenario, 2014–2018
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.9, Pp.20998B–20998C

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Africa – GMO Debate Reignited

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As a number of countries debate the use of GMO crops to address food security, others have stressed opposition to profit-driven agribusiness.

Recently, in August, Kenyan Vice-President William Ruto announced a move to lift a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) imports by the end-of October, with a wide-ranging selection of Ministers supporting the move. GMO crops are now free to be field tested in the county with sites already set up at Kalro field stations.

Currently there are trials for a virus-resistant transgenic cassava at Alupe; a vitamin A-enhanced cassava at Alupe; biofortified sorghum at Kiboko and virus-resistant cassava at Mtwapa, explained the East African.

The Daily Nation reported that the decision to lift the ban has reignited the debate around GMO crops with farmers groups protesting across the country; one group, the Kenya Small-Scale Farmers has sought an order from the high court to reverse the decision. Some have even called for investigations into the funding for organisations involved in the sector.

Some scientists do see GMO crops as the answer to stark situations of food security across much of the ‘developing world’; the Kenya National Farmers Federation (Kenaff) stated that the country needed modern technology, of which GMOs are a part.

Kenaff CEO John Mutunga, said that such technology would need to be backed by sound scientific evidence, to dismiss claims that such crops cause adverse health impacts, and to remove the vested interested and donor-oriented policy that dominates the sector.

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Cassava Seed (CC)

Tanzania is also planning trials for a GMO Maize variety for April 2016 in Makutupora area of Dodoma, conducted by Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA), a public-private partnership led by Kenyan-based African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The government recently revised its GMO laws to allow confined trials of maize and cassava, reported the East African.

Similarly the Director-General of the Nigerian National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Rufus Ebegba, has said that the safe application of modern biotechnology will trigger an agricultural revolution in Nigeria.

“Modern biotechnology has the huge potentials to enhance the agricultural sector, promote industrial growth, and the medical sector; and it can also be used for environmental sustainability; but our agency is not to promote modern biotechnology or its products but to ensure the safety because we are aware that this technology has that potential for adversity especially in the agricultural sector” he said, reported Leadership.

Only South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan have officially adopted GMO food on the African continent . However the recent and ongoing drought across much of Southern Africa – with five districts in South Africa declared disaster zones–  and the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon more widely across sub-Saharan Africa, has raised the urgent need for inclusive solutions to the problem of food security, particularly for the very poorest.

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Sorghum Market Ethiopia (CC)

A 2013 report accused scientists of conducting research that favours seed companies; the study by Canadian Professor Matthew A Schnurr claimed that GMOs could jeopardise the livelihoods of local farmers by supplanting locally derived and often resilient seeds, for new supposedly high yielding varieties.

The research, entitled Biotechnology and bio-hegemony in Uganda: Unravelling the social relations underpinning the promotion of genetically modified crops into new African markets, was based on over 70 interviews in Uganda with research scientists, policy experts, lobbyists, and promotional organisations between 2009 and 2012.

In relation to GMO cotton, the report details that the crops are resistant to species of bollworm. However Schnurr claims that bollworm is of limited problem in Uganda, and the crops still continue to be affected by black arm disease and other pests. According to Schnurr the market is supply rather than demand driven, and BT Cotton finds a ‘solution to a non existent problem’, report the East African.

The report also throws doubts on the ability of farmers to pay for the new SureGrow 125, a cotton variety from the United States (US), with evidence from South Africa showing that farmers are paying 30-40% more for their seeds. The variety, which is suited to American climate and mechanised picking, may be unsuitable for the Ugandan context.

It is important that the aims of improving food security and livelihoods for the most vulnerable people do not get lost amidst the rhetoric of a profit-driven agricultural sector. GMOs are likely to be a useful resource in some contexts, but it is important to also remember the wide-variety of foodstuffs, non cash-crops, and farming activities undertaken as livelihood strategies across Africa, which have a tendency to be forgotten in the privileging of monoculture, cash-return GMO crops.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), on November 10th, launched its 2016 International Year of the Pulses, to “raise awareness about the protein power and health benefits of all kinds of dried beans and peas, boost their production and trade, and encourage new and smarter uses throughout the food chain”, reported the UN News Service.

“They have been an essential part of the human diet for centuries…yet, their nutritional value is not generally recognised and is frequently under-appreciated” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Growth Slows, Food Insecurity Rises 
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.9, Pp.20979A–20980C

CEREALS: Southern Africa
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.6, Pp.20896C–20897B

FOOD: FAO Report
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.2, Pp.20752A–20753A

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Madagascar – Drought Raises Food Security Fears

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Adverse weather patterns lead to crop failures and increased hardship for large swathes of the Malagasy agricultural and transhumant population.

According to a recent United Nations (UN) report, around 46% of the population in Madagascar, some 1.9 million people, are food insecure with almost half a million facing chronic food shortages. The Crop and Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), an initiative from the Malagasy government, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), identified the highest levels of food insecurity in the southern regions of Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Andrefana.

The UN stated that a significant drop in agricultural production over the last three seasons, largely due to a shortage of rainfall, has negatively affected many people, who have often responded by selling off assets and withdrawing children from school to overcome food shortages.

A number of programmes intended to eliminate hunger, improve nutrition and to promote sustainable agriculture have recently been announced. The WFP said that they would be assisting 130,000 people with a ‘food/cash-for-assets‘ scheme which are designed to improve resilience and to prepare communities for the next harvest season; those that are unable to work will be distributed food, reported a WFP press release.

The FAO have announced a ‘drought-resistant seed’ as an emergency response mechanism to ensure the replanting of over 6000 hectares of land for 13,000 households in Androy and Anosy regions. The FAO added that it had eradicated a plague of locusts that had afflicted crops between 2013-14, with help from the Malagasy government,reported the UN News Service.

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(Madagascar – Agricultural Map: www.amadeusvanillabeans.com)

Earlier on October 21st the Malagasy government and the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed an agreement in Rome for finance to support the Project to Support Development (AD2M-II) in the Menabe and Melaky regions to the cost of around US$56.7 million, reported an IFAD press release.

AD2M-II aims to improve the incomes and the food security of smallholders by improving and developing irrigated agriculture and natural resource management approaches. Sana F.K. Jatta, IFAD Regional Director for the East and Southern Africa Division added that it “It will also address land tenure security and safeguarding the land rights of smallholders so that they can investment more in their land and increase their incomes”.

Much of Southern Madagascar has been afflicted by a drought, which has lasted for almost a year and led to the deaths of a number of people, while also destroying livelihoods of the agricultural population. The Mayor of Anjapaly, Bernard Tolia, said that “the death rate varies from two to 10 per day due to drought in our area”.

“It has been almost a year since we saw the last rain. People have to travel 15 kilometres, often on foot, to find drinking water. Livestock is suffering and die while cultivation is impossible due to drought,” Tolia added, cited by the Namibian.

The General-Director of Meteorology in Madagascar, Samueline Rarahiveloarimiza, blamed the drought on the El Niño weather phenomenon, stating that while the southern regions are experiencing little rain, other regions may be inundated with rainfall.

Countries identified by the UN, WFP and FAO as most at risk are Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe, all already suffering extensive crop failures, and there are also concerns in Lesotho, and parts of Angola and Mozambique. Malawi is facing its worst food insecurity for a decade with 2.8m at risk coupled by widespread floods.

The WFP stated that solutions would have to involve ‘drought-resilient crops’ such as cassava, sweet potatoes, sorghum and millet and supplementary irrigation in order to cope with prolonged dry spells. The WFP also said it would be monitoring the food price situation in the countries which is likely to cause further hardship if they were to rise, reported a WFP report.

At the beginning of October, the Malagasy government urged the UN to take steps towards a meaningful agreement at the upcoming UN Climate talks in Paris in December. Malagasy President Hery Martial Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana said that it was important to recognise that developing countries are not the main parties responsible for climate change, although they pay much of the price; he stated that Madagascar is systematically suffering from the consequences of climate change, destroying efforts towards social and economic progress, reported the UN News Service.

Find out more in the Africa Research Bulletin:

Cereals: Southern Africa
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.6, Pp.20896C–20897B

Southern Africa: Devastating Floods
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.52, Issue.1, Pp.20704C–20706C

Madagascar: Locust Plague
Economic, Financial & Technical Series
Vol.50, Issue.6, Pp.20014C–20015A

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