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.
Ethiopian and Chinese Ministers of Agriculture sign deals on research and training
Ministers Tefera and Han Changfu signed a number of agreements on “agriculture research, extension, agricultural vocational training activities, demonstration and training centers as well as deployment of Chinese experts in agricultural technical and vocational training centers.” Tefera highlighted skills training at the country’s Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre as a key facet of their cooperation, and spoke of an African Bamboo Training Centre that might also be built in Ethiopia with Chinese support.
(Xinhua – in English / news.aweb.com.cn – in Chinese)
MST Speaks out against ProSavana in Maputo
MST spokesman, Augusto Juncal, was invited to speak as guest of honour at the Second International Small-scale Farmers Conference on Land in Maputo last week. He warned people “open your eyes, you’ll lose the land” and that there was not “enough concern surrounding ProSavana, given the [scale of the] problem that is coming.” The conference was said to have drawn roughly 200 farmers from 6 countries to Maputo.
CAADP policy brief: Can China and Brazil help Africa feed itself?
Future Agricultures has published a series of policy briefs for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The first briefing summarises key CBAA project outputs and is written by Kate Wellard Dyer. It is titled ‘Can China and Brazil help Africa feed itself?’
CAADP policy brief series
‘Distance, myths and imagination between China and the West’
Xu Xiuli from China Agricultural University (CAU) recently visited the Institute of Development Studies, where she looked into the question of why the West and others have become so interested in China’s development experience. She highlights the danger of myths and imaginations that often arise in these views.
(IDS Globalisation and Development blog)
Brazilian and Chinese multinational transparency in Africa
Deborah Brautigam comments on a report by Transparency International (TI) last week that assessed transparency in emerging market multi-nationals. She highlights the companies that got 100% and 0% according to TI’s criteria and finds Chinese companies in both. The blog also raises the interesting point that some of the least transparent multi-nationals surveyed from Brazil, China and others, are operating in Africa.
(China in Africa: The Real Story blog)
Brazil sends military aid to Mozambique
Dilma Rousseff has authorised the donation of three military planes to Mozambique amid rising tensions surrounding the latter’s local election period. This comes following an attack on Renamo’s leader last week leading to the rejection of the peace accord established at the end of Mozambique’s civil war. Brazil is said to regularly donate its obsolete military equipment (such as these planes that were bought 30 years ago) to allies.
(Folha de S. Paulo – in Portuguese)
Lessons for the Guinea Savannah from Brazil
A Nigerian business newspaper has touted Brazil’s development of the Cerrado as a valuable model for Guinea’s savannah region in an op-ed this summer. They highlight the contributions to GDP, employment and exports in Brazil, and possible parallels in Guinea, but the article does not mention ProSavana.
Tanzanian president: Investors must surrender idle farmland
Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, has railed at the hoarding of large chunks of land without developing them for years. The president says that this retards national development and impoverishes subsistence farmers. Connected measures include maximum allocations for various forms of agricultural land such as 10,000ha for local or foreign investors in sugar cane, or 5,000ha rice farming.