with a growing number of firms gobbling up arable land in Africa—not solely for crop production but also for livestock and cattle—investment shops are slowly redirecting capital to this agricultural subsector. Investing in this segment of African economies can be transformative, as a significant portion of African wealth and growth opportunity is walking on four legs on the African continent.
For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines—in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen—breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives.
With as little as one-quarter of expected rainfall received, widespread drought conditions in the Horn of Africa have intensified since the failure of the October–December rains, FAO said. Areas of greatest concern cover much of Somalia, northeast and coastal Kenya, southeast Ethiopia as well as the Afar region still to recover from El Niño induced drought of 2015/16, and South Sudan, which faces a serious food crisis due to protracted insecurity.
The African Chicken Genetic Gains project is on a mission to bring ‘more productive chickens to African smallholders’. Led by ILRI, and backed by the deep pockets of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Chicken Genetic Gains project aims to improve the genetic makeup of African chickens. The initiative, which is initially being rolled out in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, is part of what the Microsoft founder has called his ‘big bet’ on chickens, which also includes a promise to donate 100,000 of the birds to families and communities in the world’s poorest nations. . . .
A Cornell development economist and his partners in the USAID-funded BASIS Assets and Market Access Innovation Lab have won an international award for developing a form of livestock insurance that has already proved itself in pilot testing. Now that it is scaling up, the insurance could help hundreds of thousands of African herders stave off poverty in times of drought.
‘Africa, which imports nearly 83% of the food it consumes, has a real chicken and egg problem. The continent is caught between pressure from imports in some countries and an inability to meet demand in others.’ Article by Calestous Juma republished from The Conversation.
The journal ‘Science’ publishes Q&A with Borlaug Field Award winner Andrew Mude