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.
China solar power engagements in Zimbabwe
Last week, China donated 525 solar systems to power rural institutions that are not connected to the national grid. This included schools, clinics and agricultural extension offices. This comes as Chinese company Powerway has announced plans to invest in a $160million solar power plant in Zimbabwe that would put out 100MW.
- Solar units (AllAfrica)
- Powerway Plant (AllAfrica)
- International Research Initiative on Brazil and Africa
- Tanzania becoming the new Chinese province in Africa (AllAfrica)
China’s New Food Security Strategy
This blog post picks up on a paper recently put together by the State Council’s Development Research Center, explaining the Chinese government’s new strategy on food security. The paper itself highlights four key changes, including: omitting soybeans from the calculations of China’s self-dependency on foodstuffs; equally promote quality and quantities of outputs whilst maintaining a focus on agricultural sustainability; protect and boost its food security interests amid increasingly open markets; and shared responsibility on food security between central and local authorities. This blog does a very good job of analysing and summarising the key points in the paper.
This blog by Ian Scoones looks at the environmental impacts of Zimbabwe’s recent tobacco boom. It looks at how the flue-cured drying method has led to a noticeable degree of deforestation in the country, and calls for greater environmental management and fuel switching.
(Think Africa Press)
Transformation in African Agriculture?
This blog post by Steve Wiggins looks at the recent growth of labour productivity in African agricultural sectors and the need for ongoing research into understanding what drives transformations within the sector. The argument is placed within a wider call for a focus on agriculture if countries really do want to move towards industrialisation in the medium to long term.
(Future Agricultures blog)
Land Grabbing, Agribusiness and the Peasantry in Brazil and Mozambique
This article by Elizabeth Alice Clements and Bernardo Mançano Fernandes looks at Mozambique’s ProSavana project in the context of Brazil’s development of the Cerrado region, and the links between these two projects.
(Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy)
Agriculture Innovation Marketplace final call for pre-proposals
Pre-proposals to the agricultural innovation marketplace for research projects concerning Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean need to be submitted by February 18th (2014). The thematic areas include: technology for higher-yields and climate change mitigation; natural resource management; support for markets or institutions; technologies for smallholder farming.
Why do we need ‘Myth-Busting’ in the study of Sino-African relations?
This new paper looks at why and how a literature of ‘myth-busting’ on China-Africa relations emerged in the first place. The focus is on Western states’ policy interests, and calls for a move away from Western viewpoints on the subject.
(Journal of Contemporary China)
India-Africa research ties
Last October (2013), a meeting between Indian and African officials, scientists and representatives from various parts of the agricultural sector took place to discuss possible collaborations. Research collaboration and knowledge sharing feature prominently, and other areas of cooperation include: “developing technological and professional competence; upgrading technology infrastructure; stimulating collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship; and providing an enabling science, technology and innovation environment.”