Monday, 8 September 2014

2 September 2014: China and Brazil in African Agriculture - news roundup

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

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Brazil’s More Food Africa programme funds £38m of farming equipment in ZimbabweZimbabwe is said to be receiving farming equipment worth $38m in September for the 2014/15 summer cropping, under Brazil’s ‘More Food Africa’ programme. This was announced at the 2nd National Dialogue on Agro-Business, Food and Nutrition Security organised by the National Economic Consultative Forum and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society. The consignment forms part of the first tranche of a $98mil package signed by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, and Brazilian counterparts.
Sichuan province eyes $300mil investment in Ugandan farming
The Agricultural Department of China's Sichuan province is in talks to invest $300 million in cotton, rice and fruit production in Uganda, a senior Ugandan official said on Wednesday. This is said to require 15,000 acres of land, which the Ugandan government is helping them to acquire. The plan is then to establish an “agricultural production and industrial park which will involve developing the whole value chain of cotton, rice and fruits."

Mugabe secures Chinese support
Seeking to find $4 billion worth of funding to reinvigorate the Zimbabwean economy, Mugabe went on an official state visit to China last week. It is unclear how much was agreed upon, but a 9 large-scale projects were committed to by Chinese companies and ministries, some backed by China’s EXIM Bank. Among others, this included deals on telecommunications, power generation and the establishment of a petro-chemical industrial park.

Second Brazil-Africa Forum looks at infrastructure & partnershipsThe Brazil-Africa Institute hosted its second Brazil Africa Forum last week in Fortaleza, under the title: ‘Infrastructure, Partnerships and Development’.
(Forum Brazil-Africa)
Brazil-North Africa projects
Following the Brazil-Africa Forum, the Algerian company Cevital said it was looking to increase investments in Brazil and develop areas such as transportation and logistics for grains and cereals (from Brazil) in its own country. The Brazilian Agroindustrial Company also spoke about its ongoing agricultural project in Sudan where its planted area has increased from 7,300 hectares in 2011 to 11,000 hectares this year growing grains and cotton as well as supplying knowledge and technology.
(Brazil-Arab News Agency)

Increased illegal logging in Mozambique sold to China
China, with its rapidly urbanizing population, is the world’s biggest importer of wood products. In its dealings with Mozambique, it is increasingly buying timber that is illegally harvested, according to a new report (pdf) by the Environmental Investigation Agency.(Quartz)

Brazil and Gates Foundation work on biofortified foods in DRC
The Brazilian development corporation EMBRAPA has been carrying out a project in the Democratic Republic of Congo to teach local researchers to measure the amount of carotenoids in biofortified foods such as the yellow cassava and sweet potatoes. The aim is to increase biofortification so as to overcome micronutrient deficiencies. The next stage of the course is estimated to cost $70-80,000 and so the article reports that project members “will turn to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for funding”.

By Henry Tugendhat