Asharq Al-Awsat | 24 January 2016
Asharq Al-Awsat | 24 January 2016
African Business| 24 January 2017
by Neil Ford
Firstly, the new Gabonese operations of agricultural trading company Olam International was heavily criticised by US environmental NGO Mighty Earth in December. Then Dimensional Fund Advisors, a big US investment firm that had previously been criticised for continuing to invest in palm oil companies, decided to divest two of its portfolios of all such assets, including equity in Wilmar International and Olam.
The campaign against palm oil could have profound implications for the sector’s development in Africa. Palm oil cultivation has become controversial because ecologically diverse areas of rainforest are often cut down to allow cultivation to take place. Huge areas of forest have been felled in Indonesia and Malaysia, affecting flora and fauna, and producing air pollution caused by forest fires when land is being cleared for palm oil plantation.
According to Friends of the Earth and numerous other environmental NGOs, palm oil plantations are the fastest growing cause of rainforest destruction and an increasingly important cause of climate change. ..http://www.farmlandgrab.org/post/view/26867-gabon-the-battle-over-palm-oil
The Conversation | 17 January 2017, by Nikita Sud
Much of the global south – broadly comprising the continents of Asia, Africa, and Latin America – was shaped by colonialism. The so-called “great game” and the scrambles between Britain, Portugal, Belgium, France and other European states were for power, profit and – most visibly – for land.
By Nellie Peyton
NDIAEL, Senegal (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Thomson Reuters Foundation | 16 Jan 2017
– The women of Thiamene, a tiny straw hut village in northern Senegal, used to scrape together a living by collecting wild baobab fruit and selling milk from their cows.
But their earnings have plummeted since an Italian-Senegalese agribusiness, Senhuile, took over the surrounding land five years ago, blocking their paths to the local market and river, and spraying pesticides that make their herds scatter, they say.
“Life here is precarious, especially for women,” said 42-year-old Fatimata Sow in the village square, gazing at the vast landscape of arid ground dotted with the stumps of trees.
Financial Mail | 16 January 2017
Bloemisterij 13-01-2017 By Hans Neefjes, email@example.com
Ethiopia wants to double its agricultural production. The Netherlands support the Ethiopian government. The current focus is on the integrated development of a new horticultural and floricultural area north of Hawassa. In the meantime, the Dutch embassy is having a critical dialogue with Ethiopia and helping the Ethiopian government to start a conversation with its discontented population.
The activities near Hawassa, about 275 km south of Addis Abeba, might receive support this time round. Niek Bosmans, Counsellor for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality at the Dutch embassy in Ethiopia, explains that it concerns a 1,500-ha area. “It’s situated 1,600 m above sea level, not far from Lake Hawassa. There used to be a state company here, so the land is owned and used by the government. The large plot is divided by a ridge, so it’s actually split up into two parts, one of 1,000 ha and the other one of 500 ha.”