Agribusiness, Rural Families and Other Reports
Every week, RuralReporters.com collate reports on development issues in rural Africa and its environs.
This report includes some of our top picks from recent must-read research, interviews, blogs, and in-depth articles, carefully selected to help you keep up with global issues.
Here are some of the updates you may have missed from the previous week:
Zambia’s commitment to economic development through agribusiness has a dark side, and it’s bringing hardship to rural communities and smallholders who are forced from land where they have lived and farmed for decades.
That’s according to a new Human Rights Watch report based on interviews with more than 130 affected residents, as well as government officials, the commercial farmers, lawyers and community advocates.
The “Forced to Leave: Commercial Farming and Displacement in Zambia” report finds that the people displaced by the commercial farms lose access to food, water, shelter and schools.
Extreme poverty in rural areas has turned them into zones of economic misery, but also fertile recruitment zones for militants and terrorists. The biggest development challenge today is how to create and spread hope across these battered rural lands. If we don’t, the grinding poverty in rural areas and hopelessness will cause African economies to implode.
We must create sustainable paths out of poverty in rural areas. The way to do this is to invert the economic development model: turn the rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity. The solution lies in making agriculture a source of wealth creation in rural economies.
Think about it for a mment. A great opportunity to invest in and promote agriculture is offered by the projected rise of Africa’s food and agriculture market, which will top $1 trillion by 2030.
Young farmers on the platform of Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative has launched the National Youth Manifesto on Agriculture for Nigeria.
CEO and Founder of the Initiative,Barr. Nkiruka Nnaemego said the Youth Manifesto developed in 2013 would be a national Blueprint to guide government and her partners on the felt needs and aspirations of Nigerian youth in agriculture.
The CEO stated this in her remarks at the 2nd African Youth Agric Festival on Agribusiness and United for Food Campaign hosted under the Initiative Youth Farm Project (Y-FARM),with the theme: Youth at the Centre of Business Revolution in Africa and Naija Jamz for Food respectively.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger and extreme poverty by 2030 will mostly depend on developing rural areas, where over 70 per cent of people live in Rwanda. More resources need to be allocated for investment in rural areas, not just because that is where most of the poor live, but also because these areas have great potential for economic development.
The FAO flagship report “State of Food and Agriculture 2017 (SOFA)”, released earlier this month, shows that, across all regions, rural-based economic activity can be just as effective for poverty reduction as that of urban sectors. The report shows that to achieve substantial poverty reduction in countries where industrialization is lagging, new strategies are needed to leverage the untapped potential of food systems through agro-industrial development. This will help boost productivity and incomes on small-scale farms, and create off-farm employment through the development of downstream agriculture and food value chain development. The resulting transformation would help accelerate rural poverty reduction, and also contribute to addressing urban poverty and food insecurity.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday accused the Zambian government of failing to protect rural communities in central Zambia.
Juliana Nnoko-Mewanu, the principal researcher of the New York-based rights group, told journalists that some commercial farmers dubiously acquired thousands of hectares of land, and in the process displaced more than 10,000 communities.
The 101-page report titled ‘Forced to Leave: Commercial Farming and Displacement in Zambia’ explores the impact of commercial farming on the residents’ right to health, housing, livelihood, food, water, security and education.
South African farmer organization AgriSA has urged more to be done to help stop violent crime against the country’s farmers, following the murder of a farmer earlier this week.
On Thursday AgriSA said South Africa cannot afford further violence against farming communities, adding that farm attacks must be strongly condemned by all South Africans.
“We think of the thousands of fellow South Africans who have lost their lives during the past year as a result of violent crime, 52 murders a day! Many farmers and farm workers count among those who have paid the highest price,” said Agri SA president Dan Kriek.
The World Bank has earmarked $520 million for rural roads infrastructure across selected states in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the World Bank Country Director for Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project ( RAAMP ), Engineer Tunji Ahmed during a courtesy visit to Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed at Government House Ilorin.
According to Engr Ahmed, the project was sponsored by the World Bank, French Development Bank and Africa Development Bank to provide suitable road network for rural farmers to convey their farm produce to the market and avoid losses arising from wastages during transportation.