Friday, 20 June 2014

16 June: China and Brazil in African agriculture - news roundup

CBAAnewsThis news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture CBAA) project.

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‘Estimating China’s Foreign Aid 2001-2013’
A new working paper by Naohiro Kitano and Yuiknori Harada at JICA has published revised estimates of China’s current aid disbursements. However, they have also presented the data in such a way that it allows a direct comparison with ODA net disbursements according to DAC definitions which has not been done before. The results suggest that net aid totalled $7.1bn in 2013 and that if placed within the list of DAC countries, then China moved from being the 16th biggest donor in 2001, to the 6th biggest donor in 2013. The results are based upon mixture of publically available data and informed estimates.
Forthcoming Brazil-Africa agricultural research agenda publishedThe Agricultural Innovation MKTPlace programme that forms research collaborations between African institutions and Brazil (usually EMBRAPA) has published the preliminary list of research projects and partnerships for the coming year.
(Agricultural Innovation MKTPlace)

Brazilian support for small-scale farming in Africa
Brazil’s ambassador to Ethiopia claims that the PAA programme (Purchase from Africans for Africa / Programa de Aquisição de Alimentos) been successful for smallholder farmers in the 5 countries it currently operates in: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Malawi, Niger and Senegal. She announced that there were plans to expand the programme in Ethiopia, which currently operates mainly in the south of the country.

Chinese agricultural engagements in Mozambique
The Chinese news agency Xinhua has published a series of articles on Chinese engagements in Mozambican agriculture. They all report successes of Chinese projects in the region and two of the articles cite Sergio Chichava, a partner on our research project.
China-Africa blog
Li Xiaoyun, Richard Carey and Yunnan Chen have published a blog on ‘China-Africa cooperation and the modernisation of a continent’. It puts forward that China’s planned infrastructure developments on the continent are a form of public entrepreneurship that will serve to modernise the continent. They also argue that China is proving its commitment to Africa’s economic growth by the size of its investments of money and peacekeeping troops but that a convergence of agendas between China and its African partners will be needed for greater success.
(IDS Globalisation and Development blog)

Large-scale vs. Small-scale farming in China
This blog article looks at the debates currently going on in China between those advocating large-scale farming and those highlighting its problems. The blog also presents studies that argue there is relatively little difference in yields and costs between the two sizes of farms. It would be interesting to see whether these debates also take place with respect to the farming models being exported by Chinese institutions to Africa.
(Dim Sums)
Is the World Bank facilitating land grabs?
In a publication called ‘Wilful Blindness’, 180 organisations comprised of unions, farmers and consumer groups, and NGOs have called on the World Bank to stop publishing its ‘Doing Business Rankings’ as they argue this has facilitated foreign land grabs and thereby damaged local communities.
Brazil and China partnerships on Mozambican hydropower plant
Mozambique is planning to build a new hydropower plant on the Zambezi river with transmission lines connecting Tete to the South Africa Power Pool. The project is to be developed as a public-private partnership involving the China Development Bank and the State Grid Company of China as the main shareholders and financiers of the project. Electrobras of Brazil will also be a minority shareholder.
By Henry Tugendhat