Shaking up the rural world, poverty in Nigeria 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:
Improving infrastructure and opportunities in rural areas is key to eradicating hunger and poverty. Entrepreneurship and job creation depend on a facilitating environment.
Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), warns of a “disaster triangle” that is haunting his continent: poverty, youth unemployment, and climate change. These phenomena make young people susceptible to extremist agitation and even to recruitment by terrorists, he says. He would like to see something like a “poverty eradication index” that holds officials accountable for the goals they have set.
Food security in Kenya has deteriorated significantly since the end of 2016. UNICEF reports a significant increase in severe acute malnutrition. Nearly 110,000 children under-five need treatment, up from 75,300 in August 2016.
Waterholes and rivers have dried up, leading to widespread crop failure and livestock depletion. At the height of the drought, surface water in most counties had either dried up or its level dramatically reduced.
Consequently, within a year, the price of maize flour has risen by 31 per cent, milk by 12 and sugar by 21 percent. These food price increases have driven inflation up from 9.04 percent in February to 11.48 percent in April. Many families are making do with just one meal in a day.
Poverty has left farmers with no option than to sell crops at a low price to secure livelihood.
With reports of bumper yields that Malawi has for this farming year, vendors are now setting prices that are very cheap to farmers who take crops like maize as the sole saver from chains of poverty.
Reports reveal that in some parts of the country like Namandanje in Machinga district, a 50-kilogram bag of maize is being sold at K2000 while in some areas the price is at K2500.
Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) has advocated for training and equipping of midwives as they hold the key to the health of rural women in Nigeria.
Speaking at the wrap up of a two weeks advocacy and sensitisation on the roles of midwives in Nigeria, Mrs. Saraki said that women encounter midwives more than doctors.
She said that in the rural areas, a well trained and equipped midwife would educate the rural woman on many health issues that concern them.
Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers say 70 per cent of Nigerians living in the hinterlands have no access to quality medicines, blaming the development on the limited number of manufacturers and other stakeholders in the rural areas.
To this end, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMG-MAN is convening a forum that would focus on ways to expand frontiers of availability of drugs beyond the cities to all parts of the country. Chairman of the Forum, Mr. Biola Adebayo, said statistics released by international organizations including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, had shown that 60 percent of medicines circulating in the hinterlands are either substandard or outright fake.
Rural farmers are groaning in Enugu State, following alleged scarcity of farm inputs like seedlings or fertilizer needed for this year’s farming season.
However, the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Mike Eneh, has blamed the Federal Government over the scarcity of fertilizer, not only in the state but the southern part of the country. He warned of impending food shortage next year.
Investigations by the South East Voice showed that even as many residents of the state have taken to farming due to unprecedented hunger, there were no cassava sticks or other seedlings to buy. It was learned that 50 improved cassava sticks cost about N1,000 even as they were nowhere to be found. Yams, cocoyam and other varieties of seedlings also cost a fortune.
The combined wealth of five richest people in Nigeria, estimated at $29.9 billion, could end extreme poverty in the country and stop about five million citizens living in the North-east from going through looming scorching hunger, a new report published by Oxfam Nigeria has said.
The report titled, ‘Inequality in Nigeria,’ was presented to the media Wednesday in Abuja. It exposed the large and growing gap between the rich and the poor in the country, revealing how the benefits of economic growth have been captured by a small wealthy elite at the expense of ordinary Nigerians.