Monthly archives: July, 2014

AgriBizNiz Summit, African Farmers Workshop and Expo to debate critical issues

The AgriBizNiz Summit which addresses Africa’s agricultural needs will be held next month at the Expo Centre in Johannesburg from 11 to 12 August. It is one of several related events forming part of the African Farmers Workshop and Expo (AFWE) at the same venue from 12 to 14 August.

East Afripack 2014 sustainable development event (Kenya)

East Afripack runs from 9 to 12 September at the Kenyatta Centre in Nairobi.

Famine inspires food scarcity redress (Ethiopia)

Ethiopian scientists and farmers are jointly taking ‘the fight against climate change and food insecurity down to the ground’.

Strategies to end hunger in Africa by 2025 (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea)

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) director general José Graziano da Silva last month congratulated the African leaders that attended the AU Summit, for “raising the bar” in the fight against hunger.

Kasapreko acquires 40% shares in cassava plantation (Ghana)

A joint venture between Kasapreko Company Limited and Caltech Ventures Company Limited has resulted in the acquisition of 40% shares of a cassava plantation, at Hodzo, in the Volta region. The investment is said to be inspired by Kasapreko’s strategic objective to be a total beverage production company by 2016. Deputy managing director, Kojo Nunoo said that the project would support the company’s import substitution strategy, and confirm its position as a prime local manufacturer that predominantly uses local material in production. He added that when the project commenced in May 2015, they would get three million litres of alcohol a year from cassava. “We currently import over 25 million litres of alcohol annually so with this project on stream we hope to cut down our imports of alcohol by 50%,” he said.

The project will also provide liquefied carbon dioxide and cassava flour, enough to produce starch-adhesive to feed a corrugated carton plant being assembled in Accra.

“Kasapreko is in the process of acquiring a fully automated carbonated soft drink bottling plant and will obtain the CO2 from the Caltech project,” Nunoo noted.

Managing director of Caltech Ventures, Chris Quarshie, said the project would have a strong social impact on the Hodzo community, because it would provide massive employment for people in the surrounding community, and that they would generate about 600 megawatts of power from the cassava waste, using gasification technology, of which only about 250-300eKW would be used for its own operations, and the rest will be pushed to the national grid. – MyJoyOnline

MeatCo continues to do well despite rough conditions (Namibia)

Namibian meat producer, MeatCo has reported that it was able to pay producers an average price of N$25 (R25),30/kg, which was N$2,66 (R2.66)/kg higher than the equivalent South African prices in the 2013/2014 financial year despite having an ownership dispute and a drought to contend with. In the company’s annual report, it was reported that revenue increased by 2%, from N$1,38 billion (R1.38bn) to N$1,41 billion (R1.41bn) of which 63,1% went to producers. In total, Meatco paid N$70,3 million (R70.3) above South African prices in 2013/2014. The company said it managed to generate enough profit and will bring the total premiums above South African prices to almost N$100 million (R100 mil) for the year. With regard to the ownership dispute, the Namibian government has been at loggerheads with the company board after the former claimed ownership claiming it was established by state funds in the 1980’s. The board is still awaiting feedback after reaching out to the government. – The Namibian

Social acceptance the biggest challenge for innovative building technologies

Education, community awareness and social acceptance are the biggest ongoing challenges for innovative building technologies (IBTs) – rather than the more obvious issues surrounding cost, quality, strength, durability, thermal and acoustic qualities, as well as resistance to fire, etc. South Africa probably has produced about 40 IBTs – essentially, building systems which are cheaper and better in many ways than bricks and mortar.

Women advised to lead Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency agenda (Gambia)

Women farmers in rural Gambia have been urged to take a lead role in the country’s food security drive and support the ‘Vision 2016 food self-sufficiency agenda’ of President Abdul-Aziz Jammeh and his government. The ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party was speaking at an eight-day nationwide tour intended to reinforce President Jammeh’s food security call and to engage women farmers to ensure their successful participation in this anti-hunger drive. The initiative seeks to stop the country’s decades-long dependency on imported food, with a first priority on rice.
Speaking at a meeting in Kerewan, the administrative town of the North Bank Region (NBR), Women Mobiliser Isatou Jiffanga Jarju expressed hope that the V-2016 targets would be met, but was quick to instruct the women to take a leading role in the implementation process. “Since 1994, the Gambian president has been calling on fellow countrymen to consume what is grown locally, but many people did not understand at that time. Many of the sceptics who thought that his targets would not be attained are now convinced that if people go back to the land, the country can feed itself. What we have never thought of since 1994 is what we are about to see in Gambia’s development,” she told the women. She called on the women folk to continue being proactive in their individual projects, saying they have earned the respect and admiration of the head of state. The president of the West Coast Region chapter of the National Women Federation, Aja Binta Sabally agreed that President Jammeh has done his part in terms of providing farming equipment, seeds and fertiliser to Gambians, arguing that it is now the turn of the citizens to do their part. She furthermore pledged that women of Lower Baddibou and the entire North Bank Region would always support the president in the successful attainment of his Vision 2016 target albeit appealing to the mobiliser movement to ensure that any project that comes for women is handled and implemented by women themselves. “For far too long, projects will come in the name of women and they will be implemented by men and this is of little benefit too us,” she concluded. – The Daily Observer