Friday, 6 June 2014

4 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. For regular updates from the project, sign up to the CBAA newsletter

China provides grant for Agricultural development in the Maldives
China has provided 1mil RMB ($160,000) grant aid to the Maldives for it to develop its agricultural sector. This appears to be intended for research among other activities related to the Maldives agricultural sector specifically, but there are few details at present.
Does Fairtrade work?This four-year research project conducted in Ethiopia and Uganda to understand how global trade in agricultural commodities affects the lives of the poor in Africa, especially through wage employment. They have just published some of their findings from this research that show how those working on fair-trade farms are often paid less than those on large-scale farming operations, who can afford to pay more and give more stable employment.
China’s investments in Zimbabwe up 5000% in 5 years
According to the Chinese embassy in Harare, Chinese investments have risen from $11.2mil to $602mil in just 5 years. Zimbabwe’s proportion of Chinese investments into Africa went up from 0.8% of $1.43bil five years ago to 17.2% of $3.5bil last year making China’s largest African recipient of FDI now.
(Zimbabwe Chronicle)
Zimbabwe gives preferential treatment to Chinese investors
Zimbabwean Indigenisation Minister, Francis Nhema, said that the government will enact legislation to give preferential treatment to Chinese investors. This comes as part of wider reforms to the indigenisation law which means not all businesses have to cede 51% of shares to locals. China is particularly favoured because it has been a source of investment during the years of Western sanctions on Zimbabwe.
(Zimbabwe Daily News)
China-Mozambique: new book by Chichava and Alden
Sergio Chichava and Chris Alden have just published a new book together called ‘China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalists’ looking at the history and nature of their engagements.
(Jacana Bookslive blog)
Is South-South agricultural cooperation innovative?
Jean-Jacques Gabas and Frédéric Goulet have published an article that looks at the question ‘Is South-South agricultural cooperation innovative? A comparative analysis of Chinese and Brazilian cooperation in Southern and West Africa’. This piece broadly compares their respective approaches towards aid, trade and investment.
Chinese and Brazilian Agricultural Co-operation in Africa (
‘Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security’
The International Food and Policy Research Institute held a three-day conference in Addis Ababa about how resilience can be strengthened for food and nutrition security. The conference was welcomed by Prime Minister Desalegn who spoke of the need to strengthen food security in Ethiopia following the conference. Papers and Briefs from the conference can be found here.
“We need more agribusiness in Africa”
Carlos Lopes, the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has published the following op-ed calling for more agribusiness in Africa along similar lines to that which China and Brazil have experienced in their own countries. He highlights untapped opportunities in land use, rapid urbanisation, and increased investment opportunities in infrastructure among other reasons as to why this should be a success.