Monday, 1 July 2013

26 June: China and Brazil in African Agriculture - news roundup

By Henry Tugendhat

This news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project. For regular updates from the project, sign up to the CBAA newsletter.

High level forum on under-nutrition in Africa between the AU, FAO and Lula Institute
The meeting on undernourishment between the AU, FAO and Lula Institute will begin at the end of this week. Their discussions and agreements will focus on combating hunger by 2025 and feed into CAADP. According to convenors: “The meeting will also brainstorm (on) ways to support African countries, their governments and organised civil society to incorporate successful experiences from other countries”.
(AfriqueJet / Instituto Lula – in Portuguese)

The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund
The high level forum mentioned above will also discuss a new food security fund that receives money from its African members only. It is to be administered by the FAO, and has just received a $10m investment from Angola, following other contributions from the DRC, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. It will work with CAADP and has been described as an interesting model of South-South Cooperation.
(Instituto Lula – in Portuguese)

Donor conditions on Mozambique and Chinese logging
The 19 donors and funding agencies who provide direct financial support to the Mozambique state budget have pledged around $580 mil for 2014, but have warned they want to see progress in corruption issues. The case of China’s illegal logging is particularly highlighted, discussing the possible interaction between Mozambican government officials with representatives of the Chinese company MOFID.
(Club of Mozambique)

Ghana setting up quarantine centres at borders
Ghana is setting up quarantine centres on its borders to prevent animal, plant or humans pests and diseases coming into the country. This measure came after a group of Chinese nationals were caught at the airport trying to smuggle in 350 fertilized eggs which raised fears of avian bird flu.
(Ghana Business News)

John Briscoe talk on Brazil’s lessons for African Agriculture
John Briscoe, Director of the Harvard Water Security Initiative at Harvard University recently spoke on infrastructure and water management’s place in developing Africa’s agricultural sectors. In his talk he highlighted Brazil as a source of various good examples and spoke of the need for more investors into Africa’s agriculture.
(Event report / Video and presentations)

Chery’s Agricultural Technology Problems
One of China’s foremost agricultural technology brands, Chery (Heavy Industry), is said to be suffering increasing setbacks in the quality of its farming equipment; according to this article, due to its large number of mergers and acquisitions of late. After-sales service and reparations have been a big problem for farmers involved with faulty Chery products this year, and the article highlights the lack of such reparation protocols problem with Chinese agricultural technology companies more generally.
(NBD – in Chinese)

Royal African Society events
15 July 6-8pm: ‘The Great African Land Grab’ Book Launch. Written by IIED researcher, Lorenzo Cotula and chaired by Camilla Toulmin who is the director of IIED (a partner organisation of the CBAA project). The talk will take place in the Brunei Suite at SOAS. (RAS event page)
23 July 6-8pm: ‘China’s Aid and Soft Power: The Case of Education and Training’ Book Launch. Written by Prof. Kenneth King, Emeritus Professor of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. (RAS event page)

UN’s “Land grab guidelines provide little aid to farmers”
A year ago the UN created an instrument to prevent land grabbing called the "The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests." This article looks at its achievements and challenges to date.