Monday, 7 October 2013

25 September: 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.

CBAAnewsPAA Africa launches website
Inspired by Brazil’s ‘Food Purchase Programme’ (Programa de Aquisição de Alimentos), PAA Africa aims to support family agriculture and hunger alleviation by buying food outputs from smallholders to give to those in need. PAA Africa is a partnership between African countries with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP), Brazilian experts and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). It emerged in 2010 from the “Brazil-Africa Dialogue on Food Security, Fighting Hunger and Rural Development”. Of the countries our CBAA research is concerned with, it operates in Mozambique and Ethiopia.
PAA Africa website

Pan-African Land Grab Conference
The first ever pan-African land grab hearing of its kind took place Johannesburg last month, co-hosted by Future Agricultures. Panellists discussed their experiences from all over the continent, discussing issues of policy failure, transparency and gender dimensions. The director of the UN’s African Institute for Economic Development and Planning chaired the event with a number of other high profile panellists.
(Future Agricultures event page)

Land grabs in Ethiopia
This op-ed encourages researchers and journalists to look beyond how land grabs were happening in Ethiopia, to focus on why and what happens after land has been acquired. Within this context, it discusses the Ethiopian state’s motivations for attracting investors and the support mechanisms it gives them.
(The Reporter)

China’s aid in Africa
The UN’s Humanitarian News and Analysis office (IRIN) has published a report on China’s aid in Africa, saying that there was too little information to make a proper analysis, but concluding that “The real question to ask is whether Chinese aid and development policies benefit the population at large, not just leaders.” The report also questions whether China will really continue its policy of non-intervention in Africa, as they expect China will occasionally be drawn to interfere in African politics to protect Chinese migrants.

Food Futures conference at Chatham house on December 9th
Chatham House is hosting a two-day conference on the subject ‘Towards Sustainable Production and Consumption’. Panels will be convened on the futures of: consumption, production, climate change, technologies, food and diets.
(Chatham House)

USAID official discussing food security and land grabs
USAID land tenure and property rights division chief, Gregory Myers, argues that done right, large-scale land acquisitions can boost development. He also highlights the need for increased investments in agricultural sectors, this could be a reference to the New Alliance project currently being spearheaded by USAID with a number of agribusinesses.

BRICS countries agree on climate change measures
Last week the 16th BRICS Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change met in Rio de Janeiro, after which they issued a joint statement (below). In it they expressed commitment to the ongoing processes within the UNFCCC, but stressed the importance of “fairness” and “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”

BRICS Declaration (English & Portuguese)