Interview: “Pastoralist women have the capacity to lead”

Photo: Ujamaa Community Resource Team

ILEIA | 19 December 2016

By Madeleine Florin
“After my university education I felt I had to work for change in my community.” Paine Eulalia Mako is a Masaai and a pastoralist in Tanzania. She works to connect grass roots and national level campaigns for pastoralists’ land rights. Much of her work is about empowering women to take the lead and claim what is rightfully theirs. Paine explains why women have been most active in their communities’ recent struggles for land.
How has Tanzanian pastoralists’ access to land changed recently?
There has been a lot of restriction of pastoralists to certain areas of land. There are several factors contributing to this increased restriction. But generally in Tanzania, large scale investment is increasing and this has a huge impact on pastoralists’ access to land. Most of the areas that investors are interested in (for conservation, wildlife management and hunting) happen to be pastoral areas.

Dubai to import lemons from Mozambique

WAM | 29 January 2017

Jaranda Agricultura Norte is owned by Jacaranda Development Limited Mauritius, which is reportedly owned by South Africans.

Nampula (Mozambique), 26th January, 2017 (WAM/AIM) — A company in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula is to begin producing lemons for export to Dubai later this year.

 The company, Jacaranda Agricultura Norte, is already producing bananas commercially, and its citrus operation will begin with ten hectares dedicated to producing lemons.
According to the General Manager of Jacaranda, Abilio Chipupure, if the business proves sustainable, the company will increase the area devoted to lemons in the near future. “The contract with Dubai is pretty much firmed up”, said Chipupure. “There are just a few technical details to be finalised, such as the forms of packaging and exporting the product. The market is guaranteed. When it’s all fixed, lemon production will take off with the prospect of gradually increasing the area under production.”

South Africa: Agriculture to get boost from foreign investment

Ghanaweb | 25 January 2017

– Afriyie-Akoto 

Minister-designate for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriye-Akoto

The Agric Minister-designate says the sector under the current administration will pursue foreign investments in a bid to increase production.

 Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto revealed Tuesday that investors from South African and the United States have already undertaken preliminary feasibility studies and, coupled with assurances from the government to support the sector, seem satisfied.
“Last week, a group came from South Africa, I sent them out to the field to Afram plains, to Kintampo and other places and they came back very excited based on the assurances that I gave them that this government is going to support the sector with infrastructure, roads and so on and all that, and they are coming back with a boat load of cattle, young cattle, sheep and goat,” he said.
The incoming minister made the revelations in Parliament Tuesday when he came before the Appointments Committee for vetting.

Algerian firm signs $300 million farming deal with U.S. group

Reuters| 25 January 2017

A farmer harvests cauliflowers for sale at the field in Tipaza, west of Algiers, Algeria June 3, 2015. Photo: Reuters/Ramzi Boudina

An Algerian company has signed a deal with a U.S. group to set up agricultural projects worth $300 million in the North African country as it seeks to reduce dependence on imports, Algeria’s agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

Under the deal, privately-owned Algerian dairy company Tifralait and the American International Agriculture Group (AIAG) will set up a joint venture to develop projects over an area of 25,000 hectares covering cereals, potato, fertilizers, dairy and cattle feed, the ministry said.

Algeria imports most of its agriculture-related products because of weak domestic output, but has promised to develop the farming sector as part of efforts to diversify the economy away from oil and gas after a drop in oil prices hit state finances.

It has also approved a new investment law offering incentives to foreign and local private firms willing to invest in the non-oil sector…

Khartoum provides Saudi investors new guarantees

Asharq Al-Awsat | 24 January 2016

 by Fahd Baqmi


Jeddah- Council of Saudi Chambers is discussing forming a delegation of its councils and the business sector to tackle the potential agricultural and food security investments – this coincides with Khartoum hosting the third Arab Conference to be held by Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment Development (AAID).
“Our Food .Our Responsibility” will be the theme under which AAID will hold on 27-28 February the third Arab Conference, with the patronage of President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir. According to the authority, organizing the conference launches from its vision to reinforce Arab food security.
The conference will host an elite group of senior officials from Arab countries, businessmen and investors in the agricultural sector, international and Arab organizations, representatives of farmers and economists unions and other researchers in the agricultural sector.
The conference aims to highlight the significance of creating an attractive investment climate to increase agricultural investment in Arab countries, particularly those rich in agricultural resources.
The conference will be held in Sudan given the country’s promising investments in agriculture sector and its compliance to al-Bashir Food Security Initiative…

Gabon: The battle over palm oil

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. ..

The new superpowers in the global land grab and how they operate

The Conversation | 17 January 2017,  by Nikita Sud

Dealmakers: an investment conference in Cambodia. (Photo: EPA/Kith Serey)

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.

 Today, new scrambles are afoot from Brazil and Nigeria, to Ethiopia and Indonesia. Once again, land is the prize.
In the past decade, almost 50m hectares of land have been leased or bought from individuals, communities and governments in the global south for the large-scale production of biofuels, food, forest resources, industrial goods, infrastructure, tourism and livestock. A complex network of multinational companies, financial institutions and governments in the north are the key beneficiaries.