Tuesday, 10 December 2013

5 December: China and Brazil in African agriculture - news roundup

By Henry TugendhatCBAAnews

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.

Emerging Powers Footprint Study
The researcher Xavi Cirera has just published a footprint study on emerging powers in international development. This paper scrutinises all publically available data on emerging powers’ aid, trade and investments to present key trends so far. This provides a useful background for mapping exercises on Chinese and Brazilian aid.
(Institute of Development Studies)

Japanese civil society call for immediate suspension and review of ProSavana
Japanese civil society organisations have written a joint statement calling for the immediate suspension and review of the ProSavana project in Mozambique. “This statement is based on the gravity of concerns repeatedly expressed by the farmers and civil society organizations of Mozambique, as well as on the findings of our field research conducted between July and August this year in Mozambique.” Their statement contains a list of 7 formal requests to JICA and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

China-Africa roundtable conference and China’s province-level agricultural cooperation
22 Nov: The 4th China-Africa Roundtable Conference was held in Hainan last week. This conference is a subsidiary of the larger FOCAC conferences as means of keeping interactions going. Agriculture and food security were discussed and Hainan province is said to have promoted itself especially as a collaborator in this field. Jiangsu made a similar, if slightly stronger, promotion of cooperation opportunities with its agricultural sector at another conference last month (18th Oct). Ningxia province is further ahead in such collaborations having already sent out delegates to Ghana’s Volta region to discuss a collaborative rice project. Provincial Chinese governments promoting themselves in agricultural cooperation efforts appears to be a growing trend to watch.

Brazil’s agribusiness exports
Brazil’s agribusiness exports to Africa have fallen from $7 billion worth of exports to $ 6.2 billion in the same period this year. Brazil is said to have experienced a drop in demand in most of its export destinations this year, except in Asia. Asia comprised 42.2% of total exports, and its demand for Brazilian agricultural goods grew by 21.3%. Beef and soy were the main two exports.
(Brazil-Arab News Agency)

China-Africa-Europe sustainable agricultural development cooperation
Following the informal ECDPM meeting on sustainable agricultural development cooperation between China, Africa and Europe, a short video of discussions with some of the attendees was released.
(ECDPM video)

BRICS Think Tank Council
11-12 Nov: Think tanks from the 5 BRICS countries held a meeting two weeks ago to share research outputs since their establishment in March 2013. They also discussed their collaborative long-term strategy, which will be finalised at the next BRICS summit.
(Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa)

Chinese ambassador to Kenya promotes China-Africa media ties
18 Nov: China’s ambassador to Kenya has called for a deepening of Chinese and African media ties. These partnerships have been an important part of China’s public diplomacy efforts in Africa, as officials have often felt their operations have suffered from unfair local reporting.
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

Growth Returning to Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Sector
Ian Scoones wrote in the Zimbabwe Herald last week on Zimbabwe’s land reforms, looking at changes in the country’s agrarian structure and related markets. Bloomberg news also published an article on the same topic last week, including a section on the role of China buying Zimbabwe’s agricultural goods and thereby boosting the agricultural sector.