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.
BRICS Ministers meet on Food Security
Agriculture Ministers and officials from the five BRICS countries met in Pretoria on 29 October to discuss food security. It is the third meeting of its kind, and appears to have focused in particular on food security in Africa. One of the commitments arising from the meeting is to minimise the negative effects of climate change on agriculture and food security by encouraging the production of foods which have less dependence on climatic effects.
Small-holder growth in Zimbabwe and Chinese markets
The Guardian refers to research on Zimbabwe by CBAA project member Ian Scoones, which documents how some smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe have benefited from the land reforms in 2000. After years of economic contraction and poor production immediately following the land redistributions, this article looks at how the sector is now picking up. Among the reasons cited, attention is drawn to China as one of the biggest tobacco purchasers in the country.
Ghana’s president looks forward to Brazil loan
Brazil’s loan of $1 billion to Ghana is set to arrive soon, according to President John Dramani Mahama. The loan will be used for a number of projects, including agriculture, energy and infrastructure. In a recent speech, he focused on applying a large portion of the loan on housebuilding projects, which would also create jobs.
(Ghana Business News)
ECDPM conference: CAADP and emerging economies
Last week the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) hosted a meeting on ‘Emerging Economies and the Changing Dynamics in African Agriculture: What role for CAADP?’. The event was attended by CBAA’s Prof. Li and Henry Tugendhat; a follow conference is expected within the next year. The conference organisers prepared a discussion paper with the same title, ahead of the event:
Emerging Economies and the Changing Dynamics in African Agriculture: What Role for CAADP?
UK announces investment in Tanzania trade links
As part of the UK’s new move towards mixing aid with trade and investments, DFID has announced four projects worth £20 million in Tanzania’s agricultural sector. These projects are largely focused on tea-farming and agribusinesses that work with small-scale farmers.
SSA’s economic exposure to China
The Financial Times’ ‘Beyond BRICS’ blog cites findings from an IMF study that warns that Africa’s increasing dependence on Chinese trade, leave it at risk to economic shocks should China’s growth slow or demands change.
(Beyond Brics blog - FT)
Chinese investors sour on Brazil, and projects melt away
Brazil is falling out of favour with Chinese investors due to stagnant economic growth, heavy costs, and what they see as a political and popular backlash against their presence. Two thirds of the roughly $70 billion in projects announced since 2007 are said to be either on hold or cancelled. This is expected to be a particular problem for Brazil’s farming industry that was said to have been optimistic about Chinese investments in relevant infrastructure.
(Reuters, via SAFPI)
Free book downloads
Fundação Alexandre de Gusmão (FUNAG) have made a collection of books available free to download from their website, on topics including Brazil, BRICS, international relations, foreign policy and more (in English and Portuguese).