Migration, Rural Economy 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:
Animal rights activists have sounded a warning that the current massive slaughter of donkeys across the country will greatly hurt the economy in rural, arid and semi-arid areas. The current massive slaughter of donkeys to meet China’s high demand of donkey meat and skins has seen more than 100,000 donkeys slaughtered over the past one year, a situation that has also contributed to theft of donkeys for slaughter crippling economy in rural areas.
The agricultural sector is the world’s largest single employer. It provides jobs for more than 40 percent of the global population. It’s also the largest source of income and jobs for poor, rural households. It is, by and large, a successful sector. There have been huge improvements in yields and food production over the past five decades. More cereals have been produced annually during the past 40 years than in any earlier period. It is also predicted that more grain will be harvested in 2017 than in any year in history. This is as a consequence of scientific advances, increased fertiliser use and favourable rainfall patterns.
Many of these gains have been felt in Africa, yet hundreds of millions of people in Africa are going hungry every day. So where is the disconnect between food production and food security in Africa? Why does the continent spend about $40-billion a year importing food when so many of its own residents are farmers? And how can this situation be changed?
A high-level symposium of Africa’s interior, environment and foreign affairs ministers held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, warned that ignoring the plight of jobless young people in sub-Saharan Africa is a recipe for political instability and global insecurity. They called for support to create land-based jobs in the rural areas to ward off the temptation for the most disillusioned to take up alternative but dangerous sources of income.
This is the first time high-ranking officials drawn from Africa’s foreign affairs, environment and interior ministries have met jointly to find solutions to Africa’s growing challenge of rural youth unemployment that is driving distress migration and radicalization of disillusioned young men.
“If I’m a farmer in Cameroon the true reality is that I’m not part of the value chain of cash crops on international market. I’m the victim of the prices, fixed every year by big companies” says Dr. Zacharie Tchoundjeu, Regional Coordinator for the World Agroforestry Centre of West and Central Africa, and 2012 National Geographic/Buffett Award recipient.
For decades, this has been the tragic reality for many African farmers. Prices for cash crops like cocoa, coffee and rubber are fixed by corporations. There are no government subsidies to make up the loss in income when they sell their crops at a lower price. What’s worse, the raw materials of these cash crops cannot be used for the farmer’s most immediate need: putting food on the table.
Twice a week a group of grannies gathers at the Tshifulanani Stadium, outside of Thohoyandou, where they exercise and play soccer.
They are excited about these regular soccer games, which they say help them keep fit and able to fight diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Together the grannies have formed a soccer team known as the Tshifulanani Old Age Football Club, which was founded back in 2014.
Despite being a preventable and curable disease, malaria continues to affect people in 91 countries. In 2015 alone there were 212 million cases and about 430,000 deaths. Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately large burden with 90% of malaria cases and 92% of deaths from the disease.
Malaria is a very old parasitic disease. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquitoes. Not all types of Anopheles mosquitoes like the same conditions but, in general, standing water, increasing temperatures and sunlight are favourable to most malaria-carrying species. This explains why, for a long time, infection has been linked to environmental conditions.