Monthly archives: September, 2014

Farm safety commitments

The Deputy Agriculture Minister, Bheki Cele was tasked to deal with the security of farms in the Gauteng province.
Cele spoke at the Kwanalu annual conference in Pietermaritzburg earlier this month saying that the task was handed to him by the minister of agriculture.
“We’re taking it to heart,” Cele added.
There have been two cases of fatal farm attacks this year. The most recent one was at the beginning of this month.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko told Parliament during his budget vote speech earlier this year that the police force would focus on farm safety. Since the early 1990s, there have been thousands of farmers and farm workers murdered around the country.
According to CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union, Sandy la Marque, there is no link to be drawn between race, land claims and farm murders.
KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for agriculture and rural development, Cyril Xaba committed the provincial government to work together with farmers to ensure rural safety. – Farmers Weekly



Ebola outbreak leaves Africa food harvests ‘at risk’ (West Africa)

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa places food harvests at a ‘serious risk’.
It has raised a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. These three countries are believed to be the worst affected.
Rice and maize production will be particularly affected during the coming harvest season, says the FAO. Food shortages are expected to worsen in the coming months.
The outbreak has killed at least 1,550 people in four countries since March – the worst Ebola outbreak in history.
For months now, quarantine zones and restrictions on movement imposed to help contain the Ebola disease have severely hampered the transport and sale of food, the Rome-based FAO said.
Consequently food prices have shot up, as panic buying and shortages have set in, and getting access to food has become a pressing concern for many people in all three worst-hit countries in West Africa.
The price of cassava, for example, rose 150% in the first weeks of August in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
“Even prior to the Ebola outbreak, households in some of the affected areas were spending up to 80% of their incomes on food,” said Vincent Martin, head of the FAO’s Dakar-based Resilience Hub, which is co-coordinating the agency’s emergency response.
“These latest price spikes are effectively putting food completely out of their reach,” he added.
To meet short-term food needs, the FAO has jointly approved an emergency programme with the UN’s World Food Programme to deliver 65,000 tons of food to the estimated 1.3 million people affected by Ebola over a three month period.



Road connecting Ethiopia, Kenya opens for traffic (Kenya)

The Yabelo-Mega road that connects Ethiopia and Kenya was recently inaugurated and is now open to road users.
Speaking at the inauguration, Ethiopian Minister for Transport, Workneh Gebeyhu, said the road was one of several many projects underway in the country aimed at linking Ethiopia with its neighbours through means of infrastructure.
The president of the Oromia Regional State, Muktar Kedir, added that the road plays a critical role. He explained that it was not only a means of connecting, but enhances the provision of health, education and other public services to the local communities.
According to the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), the construction of the road took more than three years to build and had cost the authority 740 million Birr ($37.2million) in expenses.
The project had been contracted by a Chinese company.



Kauai expands to Namibia

The healthy quick-service-restaurant group, Kauai, recently opened its second international store in Namibia. The store is situated in the Maerua Mall in Windhoek and also caters to the needs of local shoppers and gym-goers.
“In our mission to be a global brand, our presence in Namibia is definitely another great achievement for Kauai. We took our first step onto the international stage during February in Dubai. Our first store in Namibia is one of several planned over the next year within Namibia and other international markets,” says Kauai chief global development officer, Geli Briolas.
The Kauai group, now in its 18th year was started in Cape Town by three college friends who were inspired by an experience on the Hawaiian island of Kauai – enjoying the natural, fresh produce and flavours and a healthier way of life.
The brand has grown significantly and currently has 143 stores nationwide. The group further plans to establish 10 more, later this year.
“We are very excited and honoured to open the first-ever Kauai store in Namibia – this is a pioneering brand entering our food and beverage industry. Being awarded the second international franchise licence after Dubai is quite an achievement for us. We see this as an opportunity to showcase this successful South African brand locally, and improve healthy eating through a Kauai experience,” says Kauai Namibia franchisee, Estelle Tjipuka.
Kauai plans to expand into India, the United Kingdom, Mauritius, Australia, Canada and ‘possibly’, US.