In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of “Emerging donors & rising powers in ACP agriculture”, since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in this briefing.
China finances Angolan agriculture project
China has granted Angolan agricultural sector 100 million yuan (US$14.7 million) for their technical assistance project. The amount in question is a portion of the overall funding allocated for the project of the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre as well as other initiatives. The agreement was finalised when China and Angola signed a contract in Beijing, in a move to strengthen their existing cooperation relations. The ruling, which makes the respective agreement effective, added that the Development Bank of China and the National Bank of Angola must open a book for the registration and information of all the payments related to the donation, according to the procedures of the Chinese bank and at no expense to the parties. The value of China’s various credit lines to Angola is currently around US$23 billion, and in 2018, when the Angolan President paid a visit to China, the Chinese government approved an additional US$2 billion loan
Africa and Asia come together to lead a global initiative to diversify staples
In a first, the largest agriculture associations in Africa and Asia met on January 13, 2019, in Hyderabad to sign an agreement for diversifying major food staples. Associations including the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF), Food Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) got together to form the Smart Food Executive Council. The Smart Food Executive Council has been formed under the aegis of the Smart Food Initiative that was launched in 2013 and stemmed from the strategic thinking around the need for food that fulfils the criteria of being good for the consumer, good for the planet and good for the farmer. A major objective under the initiative is to diversify staples which can have the strongest impact on nutrition, the environment and farmer welfare. Given that staples may typically constitute 70 per cent of a meal and are often eaten three times a day, diversifying them can have a pronounced impact on overcoming malnutrition and poverty and coping with climate change and environmental degradation.
China South-South Cooperation to boost rice production in West Africa
West African countries is this year receive further technical aid under the China South-South Cooperation in Agriculture to boost further the production of rice, a senior official of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said. Peter Anaadumba South-South Cooperation Coordinator at FAO Regional Office for Africa said the Chinese project was expected to help the four beneficiary countries address the gaps earlier projects could not address. “China continues to be a strong partner when it comes to South-South Cooperation. But specifically with FAO and China two months ago we went on a project formulation mission to Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Cote d’Ivoire,” he disclosed. Anaadumba added: “This will be a sub-regional umbrella project to help countries again to develop the rice value chain.” Africa’s continued cooperation with China on agriculture development he explained was because the continent saw the experience of China which had become the world’s largest rice producer within 30 years as a worthy model to emulate. In addition to the four West African countries, Madagascar, Cape Verde , Uganda and Namibia were also expected to commence the second phase of the Rice Project implementation in 2019. Within the context of the program, the beneficiary countries will be receiving capacity building and experience sharing in irrigation, water control management, adaptation of small equipment for rice production among others. Since there are common challenges within the sub-region of West Africa and to some extent the African region China believes the program will be much more efficient when implemented as a sub-regional umbrella project.
Rwanda, China partnership to reduce post-harvest loss to 5%
Cooperation between Rwanda and Chinese agricultural experts will enable technology transfer so as to reduce post-harvest losses to less than 5 per cent by 2024, according to the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB). Speaking during the closing of intensive training cultivation and processing of tropical food crops in Rwanda, Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of RAB said they recently signed a memorandum of understanding with China for sharing experiences, knowledge and technologies so as to improve agricultural yields, enhancing value addition and other technologies needed in handling post-harvest losses. “We need to reduce post-harvest losses from 16 per cent, as statistics showed last year, to less than 5 per cent by 2024,” he said. The Chinese experts this week trained Rwandans on cassava cultivation and processing, bananas, mushrooms, maize, rice and related processing technologies. A study carried out by RAB in conjunction with University of Rwanda, indicated there is 100 per cent damage in bananas from farm to market and annual economic loss of $35 million to $47 million in Rwanda due to poor postharvest handling practices, damage during transportation, disease and insect damage during production, lack of containers as well as lack of processing options.
South-South cooperation on agriculture a key ingredient for Zero Hunger
FAO to open an International Centre of Excellence in Agriculture Innovation and Rural Development in Beijing. Government representatives attending the Ministerial Forum on South-South Cooperation in Agriculture have today committed to greater South-South cooperation on agriculture and rural development to increase momentum towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of ending poverty and hunger. The Changsha Declaration, formalized at the end of today’s forum, sets out plans to include South-South cooperation principles into national policies and programmes, and was agreed to by 26 countries and 11 international organizations. “As the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in 2015 by world leaders calls for the eradication of extreme poverty, hunger and all forms of malnutrition, more and more we need to mobilize private sector financing in support of the 2030 Agenda, as without the private sector we will never achieve the desired goals by 2030,” the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said during his closing remarks. The result of this Ministerial Forum will provide new momentum for international development cooperation, and will be an important contribution to the second UN Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) to be held in Argentina next year.
Achievements and Experiences of China’s Agricultural Assistance
This study aims to examine China’s agriculture assistance under the framework of South-South Cooperation by looking into specific cases. China- Guinea-Bissau Agricultural Technical Cooperation Projects (ATCP) was selected as the case study. The study finds: i) China-Guinea-Bissau ATCP contributed to agricultural technology development and led to an improvement in technological capacity and mechanization in Guinea-Bissau of participated farmers; ii) the project identified and extended rice varieties suitable for the local environment through years of breeding refinements, which contributed to hunger reduction and food security in Guinea-Bissau; iii) the ATCP has achieved visible results in capacity building and raising the status of women. The case study also recommends that i) the ATCP and other Chinese agricultural cooperation projects should strengthen their exchanges, communications and cooperation with other partners, including national and international stakeholder; ii) strengthen the approach towards systematic planning with relevant stakeholders in order to stimulate longer term impact and synergies.
Innovation and Practice of China’s Agricultural Assistance
This study aims to examine China’s agriculture assistance under the framework of South-South Cooperation by looking into specific cases. China-Mozambique Agricultural Technology Demonstration Centre (ATDC) was selected as the case study. The study finds: i) ATDC succeed in introducing new agricultural technologies and crop varieties that fit local conditions; ii) ATDC established partnerships across multiple stakeholders; iii) ATDC contributed to poverty reduction, and food security in the country. Featuring both marketization and a platform that integrates investment and development assistance, the “Construction-Technical Cooperation-Commercial Operation” model is used as an innovative attempt to enhance long-term sustainability of China’s agricultural assistance projects. The case study also recommends that i) the center could play a more active role in establishing channels for exchange and cooperation with the international community to promote mutual learning and coordination; ii) the center could continue to explore ways to effectively combine developmental assistance with investment activities that support the upgrading of developing agricultural sectors.
In its first visit to the United Nations New York headquarters, the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) joined with the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to launch results of China’s partnership with Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique on agriculture development. With both African countries working to expand agriculture production — a challenge heightened by climate change — the two programmes linked local farmers and officials with Chinese knowledge, technology, and market-inclusive systems to boost food production. The report launched today assesses the two partnerships — the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project in Guinea-Bissau and the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Mozambique — as examples of what South-South collaboration can achieve. “UNDP welcomes these joint assessments, which illustrate China’s commitment to partnerships that support the achievement of national development goals and the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda. We will continue to facilitate increased South-South cooperation to help address the Global Goals’ financing gap, supporting the full national ownership of partnering African countries in the process,” said Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa.
IFPRI report: How China and Africa can promote cooperation in agricultural modernization
Agriculture is key to improving food security and reducing poverty in Africa. Studies have shown that agriculture-driven growth on the continent contributes more to poverty reduction than growth driven by other sectors. Agriculture is a major source of income for most of the rural population of Africa South of the Sahara and accounts for more than half of total employment. But for many reasons, the great potential for African agriculture has yet to be realized. The continent has around 930 million hectares of land suitable for agricultural production—an area greater than that of the entire United States—yet more than half remains relatively inaccessible to good roads and markets.
China and India launch investment spree in Africa ahead of key summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have continued to lend in tandem to African countries ahead of a major emerging markets summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, beginning on Wednesday. Xi, arriving in South Africa on Tuesday, pledged $14.7 billion of investment to the country. His South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa is attempting to reboot the country’s economy after years of mismanagement and stagnation under former President Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa’s target is to raise $100 billion in foreign investment. The South African rand rose 1 percent on the news of China’s commitment, according to Reuters. $2.8 billion of China’s cash will be siphoned off into South Africa’s primary state utility Eskom. The struggling public firm reported a $171 million full-year loss on Monday. Modi’s lending on behalf of India has been more modest, as the world’s fastest-growing major economy trails China’s ubiquity on the African continent.
Africa urged to develop common position in cooperation negotiations with China
African countries have been urged to develop a common position in their engagement with China in the run-up to the Ministerial Conference and Heads of States and government Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) taking place in Beijing in September. The African Union Commission and Africa’s Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are also encouraged to strengthen their engagement in the FOCAC process to ensure regional and continental development strategies are fully considered and carry the aspirations of the African continent. FOCAC is the premier platform through which trade and investment is mediated between China and African countries. Since its formation in 2000, FOCAC has evolved through six Ministerial Meetings, each of which led to a growing portfolio of development projects that have led to significant growth in investment and trade. The 2018 FOCAC Summit will be held in Beijing in September under the theme “win-win cooperation and join hands to build a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa.”
African web entrepreneurs on the rise as China-Africa trade expands
Since China became Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009, trade has continued to flourish, aided by cooperative frameworks put in place by the Chinese government and its African counterparts. The momentum is expected to build over the medium term, and the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in September is likely to help ensure that these increasingly close economic ties become even closer. The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s ambitious global trading and investment strategy, may set a new tone for the country’s investment on the continent. For the time being, this initiative is having a greater impact on East Africa – especially in Kenya, Djibouti and Egypt, but over time the benefits are likely to be seen in other parts of the continent. China-Africa trade volumes continue to increase, rising by 19 per cent last year. In the years ahead, e-commerce is expected to propel growth. Countless web entrepreneurs in China are already focusing their attention on the potential of e-commerce in the African trade and investment picture. Defined as transactions that occur over the internet, e-commerce involves the sale and purchase of goods and services on a website and/or a social media platform. Technology has already sparked some ingenious solutions in Africa, from mobile payments to security crowdsourcing.
Cooperation in agriculture sector will boost trade among BRICS nations, says expert
Hindustan Times, 14/09/2017
Sharing best practises in agriculture among the five BRICS countries can address the issue of food security, a leading Indian expert in the sector has said. Increased cooperation in the sector will also increase trade between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the five members of the group, VS Sahney, chairperson of the BRICS agricultural business forum said. Sahney, who attended the recently concluded 9th BRICS summit in the coastal city of Xiamen in southeastern China, said cooperation in agriculture will also positively impact climate change. The five countries should work to harmonise “quality parameters” and “quarantine restrictions”, Sahney, chairperson of the Sun Group, said. Agriculture was one of the highlighted issues in the Xiamen Declaration, released after the BRICS plenary session last week. The BRICS nations’ leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of food security, trade in agricultural products and investment in this sector. “Noting the fruitful agricultural cooperation over the past years, we recognise the unique characteristics and complementarity of BRICS countries in agricultural development and vast cooperation potential in this area,” the declaration said. It added: “In this connection, we agree to deepen cooperation in the five priority areas such as food security and nutrition, adaptation of agriculture to climate change, agricultural technology cooperation and innovation, agricultural trade and investment.”
IFAD, WFP and FAO commemorated today the UN South-South Cooperation Day together in a joint special event that took place in IFAD Headquarters in Rome. “It is particularly important that we are commemorating together the UN South-South Cooperation Day to remember the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action in 1978 which gave start to the mainstreaming of South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) as a key tool to tackling development issues,” said Daniel Gustafson, FAO Deputy Director General (Programmes). Emerging economies have stepped up in the last decade in taking the lead in SSTC because of the mutual benefit that it brings this cost-effective, more productive, and more efficient mechanism in providing solutions to development issues thanks to the experience in similar socioeconomic environments, and in nutrition. “It is not surprising that SSTC is high in the agenda of the RBAs,” said Gustafson with regards to its increasing role in fighting food insecurity and malnutrition. The event took stock of the achievements of each of the agencies so far, and served to identify new ways of working together to achieve more productive results. “We realize the full potential that SSTC has to contribute to economic growth and development,” said Michel Mordasini, IFAD’s Vice President. Gustafson reminded the long story of FAO SSTC as a leading SSC facilitator. “We provide technical backstopping and quality assurance to the exchanges that have taken place so far in 90 countries. Our main goal is to facilitate the exchange between the demands of the host countries and the supply from the providers while ensuring the quality of the exchange. FAO currently has 37 SSTC ongoing projects. The World Food Programme also recognized the value of SSTC in their Programme, “mainly because it is demand driven,” said Stanlake Samkange, Director, Policy and Programme Division, WFP. Their successful experience with the Centres of Excellence sharing knowledge with other countries about Brazil’s school feeding models, with which “we saw the value of countries from the Global South exchanging experiences,” stated Samkange.
Chinese aid for African forestry: progress, problems and prospects
IIED, September 2017
African countries are the largest recipients of the Chinese government’s human resource development programmes, including in the forestry sector. This research explores both provider and recipients’ experience of the programmes to date; it also describes the training priorities of African forestry experts and the capacity of Chinese organisations to deliver them. We reveal strengths and gaps in the current training, and suggest how the latter can be bridged. This briefing concludes that all future China–Africa forestry development cooperation initiatives should be based on a joint needs assessment, context-specific design, and collaborative implementation and follow-up, to ensure that human resource development programmes build organisations’ capacity to support truly sustainable forestry.
Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will meet with Chinese officials 26 to 30 August to discuss rural development projects in China, South-South cooperation, and a renewed partnership to alleviate rural poverty in developing countries. “With its successful experience in rural development and poverty alleviation, China has a lot to share with other developing countries,” said Houngbo ahead of the trip. “IFAD’s experience shows that the most effective way to reduce poverty and increase food security is to enable smallholder farmers and other poor rural people to build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to overcome poverty themselves,” he added. In Beijing, Houngbo will meet with high-level government officials, including the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture of China, the State Council Leader and the Leading Group Office on Poverty Alleviation and Development. Houngbo will also deliver a keynote address on 29 August during the opening of the ninth IFAD-China joint South-South Cooperation seminar. The theme for this year’s event is “Promoting International Cooperation in Agriculture and Poverty Reduction under the ’Belt and Road’ initiative.”
China’s rapid growth in Africa: Lessons for India
Observer Research Foundation, 23/08/2017
China’s rising economic interest in Africa has caught the attention of scholars, journalists, and policy makers all over the world. Although the literature on China’s role in Africa has proliferated remarkably, most studies present a dichotomous understanding of China’s role in Africa, either as a ‘threat’ or as an ‘opportunity’. In fact, some scholars have even labelled Chinese economic engagement with Africa as the ‘new scramble’ for African resources. On the other hand, there are scholars, who regard China as the new economic frontier which is making a great contribution towards African development. Within India, many experts routinely emphasise the need for India to counter China’s growing influence on the African continent by building closer links with Africa. Others have expressed concerns over ‘China’s deep pockets’ and India’s inability to match China’s soft loans for infrastructure. Sadly, there is very little Indian scholarship devoted to the issue of China-Africa relations. Given the importance of both China and Africa for India, this is indeed quite disappointing. This article tries to highlight some features of Chinese economic engagement with Africa which are often ignored by Indian scholars.
What sub-Sahara can learn from India’s ‘Green revolution’: the good and the bad
The Conversation, 22/08/2017
Sub-Saharan Africa has huge potential to become a global food basket, but it is far from being realised. The region is estimated to have 60% of the globally available and unexploited arable land yet it remains food deficient. Even when arable land is cultivated, hurdles such as limited irrigation, small sized farms, lack of fertiliser and modern agro-technology has kept productivity low. Currently, Africa’s shortfall in agricultural output is met by food imports that are expected to grow from USD$35 billion in 2015 to approximately USD$110 billion in 2025. Low productivity and increasing food demand – due to a 3% per year population growth rate – requires that food production be increased by 60% over the next 15 years. India’s “Green Revolution” could be a useful model if adapted to African conditions. Half a century ago the country too had an underdeveloped agriculture sector. In the mid 1960s and early 1970s, the it faced serious food shortages. And then severe famines in 1965-1966 in eastern India compelled the country to look to food aid. The severity of the crisis gave birth to a new approach to agriculture. Known as the Green Revolution, the policy involved improvements in technology combined with state led initiatives to support farmers. Less than 10 years later India was self-sufficient in cereals. Though imperfect, the “Green Revolution” model offers important lessons for countries in the sub Saharan region. It underscores the importance of government support for agriculture as well as investment in technology such as irrigation, mechanisation and inputs to improve yields. Sub-Saharan Africa could learn from the Indian experience.
Asia-Africa Report: Abe and Modi eye African cooperation
African Business, 21/08/2017
Tearing through the Japanese countryside at speeds of up to 320km/h, the Shinkansen bullet train carried two of Asia’s most powerful statesman on a diplomatic mission from Tokyo to the port city of Kobe. Face-to-face in the padded seats, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe poured on the diplomatic charm while promoting an iconic example of Japanese engineering soon to connect cities in India. For the business-minded reformers – both of whom have staked their credibility on delivering dramatic economic improvements at home – this bullet-train diplomacy represents one strand in a global vision with Africa at its heart. Conceived on the same November trip, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) offers an ambitious reboot of the partners’ long-standing economic and development ties with the continent. From development projects to infrastructure investment and people-to-people ties, the scheme promises to open up a new era of cooperation and offer renewed impetus to efforts long overshadowed by the hyperactive African role of China.
The closest look yet at Chinese economic engagement in Africa
McKinsey & Company, June 2017
Field interviews with more than 1,000 Chinese companies provide new insights into Africa–China business relationships. In two decades, China has become Africa’s most important economic partner. Across trade, investment, infrastructure financing, and aid, no other country has such depth and breadth of engagement in Africa. Chinese “dragons”—firms of all sizes and sectors—are bringing capital investment, management know-how, and entrepreneurial energy to every corner of the continent. In doing so they are helping to accelerate the progress of Africa’s economies. Yet to date it has been challenging to understand the true extent of the Africa–China economic relationship due to a paucity of data. Our new report, Dance of the lions and dragons: How are Africa and China engaging, and how will the partnership evolve?, provides a comprehensive, fact-based picture of the Africa–China economic relationship based on a new large-scale data set. This includes on-site interviews with more than 100 senior African business and government leaders, as well as the owners or managers of more than 1,000 Chinese firms spread across eight African countries that together make up approximately two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP.
This study was conducted in the context of the China–UK Cooperation on African Trade and Investment for Poverty Reduction. It focuses on the evolution of bilateral relations between China and the UK towards trilateral relations with Africa and on building a framework for future cooperation. Special attention is given to infrastructure, agriculture and trade facilitation. It analyses the current engagement of Kenya and South Africa with the UK and China. Main findings and recommendations are that South Africa and Kenya should be linked more to global value chains and to raise the awareness of it as a possible outsourcing destination. Reducing non-tariff barriers between the countries could generate positive impact for local livelihoods and welfare-enhancing effects. Sharing more information and enhancing transparency is recommended for further success in the trilateral cooperation.
Chinese actors are increasingly engaging in African agriculture. Despite China’s innovative approaches to aid and assertions of comparative advantage in agriculture technologies, experience shows that technologies that have worked well in China may not offer the same benefits when transferred to Africa. The perspective of the Chinese agronomists implementing these initiatives is largely missing from the literature on China-Africa agricultural engagements. This paper presents the reflections of more than 160 Chinese agronomists who have spent time implementing agriculture-aid projects in Africa. Although Chinese agricultural aid in Africa dates back to the 1950s, there has never been an attempt to systematically gather the perspectives of practitioners implementing these projects on the ground. This research, conducted by the a research division of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, can be seen as a first step to gain insight into their experiences, in order to allow productive dialogue among Chinese and international stakeholders on improving the design and management of Chinese agricultural aid programmes in Africa.
China-Africa investment treaties: do they work?
IIED, January 2017
Over the past 15 years, China’s investments in Africa have increased rapidly and China has become Africa’s largest trading partner. There are continuing misperceptions about China-Africa economic relations, and little empirical evidence on the policy tools that underpin China’s economic diplomacy in Africa and how they affect the conduct of Chinese companies. China and several sub-Saharan African states have signed bilateral investment treaties. This report explores the content of the treaties, and whether they achieve their stated goal of promoting foreign investment as part of South-South foreign cooperation. It draws on a literature review, a legal analysis of the treaties and interviews with Chinese stakeholders. The findings provide a cautionary tale about whether the treaties fulfill their objective, as well as pointers for follow-on research and for policy and practice in China and Africa.
Good Practices in South-South and Triangular Cooperation for Sustainable Development, the first in its series, highlights Southern good practices that are relevant to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Policymakers and development practitioner seeking to understand better how South-South and triangular cooperation can contribute to the improvement of peoples’ lives will find ample answers in this book. Many of the good practices featured were recommended by member agencies of the United Nations Development Group Task Team on South-South and Triangular Cooperation and other development partners at the subregional, regional and global levels. Others were selected from among the good practices that had been nominated and showcased during the annual Global South-South Development Expos organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation since 2008.
South–South Cooperation, Agribusiness, and African Agricultural Development: Brazil and China in Ghana and Mozambique
Kojo S. Amanora, Sérgio Chichavab, May 2016
The rise of new powers in development has generated much debate on the extent to which South–South Cooperation (SSC) constitutes a new paradigm of development more relevant to African needs or a disguise for a new form of imperialism. This paper critically examines the rise of Chinese and Brazilian technical and economic cooperation in African agriculture with two cases drawn from Ghana and Mozambique. Using a historical framework, policy documents, case studies, and an analysis of the political economy of agrarian development, we trace the role of agricultural development in the relations of China and Brazil in Africa, and the extents to which recent developments in agribusiness and structural neoliberal reforms of African economies have influenced Brazilian and Chinese contemporary engagements with African agriculture. We examine the extent to which the different policy frameworks, political interests in agriculture, and institutional frameworks influence and impede the outcomes of Chinese and Brazilian development intents. We find that China and Brazil have different histories of experience within African agriculture, which influences the nature of their technical and development cooperation. Although they have distinct agrarian structures, the development of agribusiness and commercial seed, input and machinery sectors in China and Brazil influence engagements within Africa. These are often variants of the same interests that underlie the programs of northern donors, and frequently the two rising powers engage in trilateral arrangements with other donors and international agencies, particularly in the case of Brazil.
Brazil, China roles in African farming explained
A special issue of World Development, examines the real roles that China and Brazil are playing in African agriculture, moving beyond what the authors consider as “simplistic narratives of South-South collaboration or neo-imperial expansion”. Eight papers culled from an input of 20 research collaborators detail how Brazil and China are impacting the African economy. The work, organised via the Future Agricultures Consortium, was supported with roughly US$ 934,000 in UK Economic and Social Research Council funding.
Agricultural Models and Best Practices from Brazil and the Southern Cone: Lessons for Africa
German Marshall Fund 15/01/2016
The last 15 years have seen remarkable transformations in farming practices, institutional frameworks, and policies for agriculture in the Southern Cone of South America. This policy brief provides an overview and discussion of these changes and includes considerations of their potential relevance for African agriculture. combination of dynamic international markets and the diffusion of bioinformatics technology — i.e., the application of computer technology to measure and analyze large amounts of raw biological data — are shifting large-scale farming toward a new organizational model. For their part, public research programs are looking beyond mono-cropping systems toward the integration of farming, cattle-raising, and forestry. At the other end of the spectrum, efforts have been made to reinsert family farming into institutional markets such as school meals and public crop purchases as well as special quality markets (whose quality derives from the methods and conditions under which they are produced such as geographical indications, organics, and fair trade). Access to Brazil’s national biodiesel market, which was created from scratch through compulsory blending, is via a public auction system whereby participating firms must guarantee that a specified percentage of their raw material comes from family farm organizations. At the same time, civil society entities and government policies have been promoting an agro-ecological farming model geared to increasing the autonomy of small farmers from the inputs industries and offering a low cost entry option into the potential of the organics market. Farmer networks such as Ecovida in Brazil’s southern states of Santa Catarina and Paraná organize hundreds of farmers along agro-ecological principles. Brazilian NGOs such as Kairos are coordinating a national network of community-supported agriculture initiatives.
China-Africa cooperation: a new dawn for African industry?
At the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg last month, President Xi Jinping proposed a series of major initiatives designed to usher in a new era of ‘win-win cooperation’. 60 billion USD was pledged to support goals such as poverty reduction, agricultural modernisation, and public health – a 12-fold increase on 2006 commitments. Officials highlighted increased industrialisation in Africa as essential and advantageous for both parties, and in line with this China’s central bank announced yesterday a new China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation fund. So what’s in store for African manufacturing in 2016?
Global Players: Asian Giants Strengthen Positions in Africa
The new global players China, Japan and India are on course for the next ‘African campaign’. The continent is once again the object of attention of the world’s leading States, wrote Vladimir Terekhov. “The irony of historical process in this case is in the fact that some time ago the first two themselves were objects of severely ferocious colonial policy. Today, all three of them are quite successfully conquering hearts and souls of Africans with economic tools.” Recently China’s President Xi Jinping, made a trip to the African continent where he attended the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC. The Forum is held since every year since 2000, and this one took place in Johannesburg on December 4-5, 2015. During the forum, Xi Jinping announced that within the next three years China will allocate $60 billion in order to support the operation of ten programs intended for solution of a wide range of problems, preventing full development of African countries. As mentioned by Terekhov in his article, China had become the biggest competitor to the leading Western States in the sphere of economic relations with African countries. “The total volume of Sino-African trade in Year 2014 amounted to $222 billion. Republic of South Africa and Nigeria are the main trade partners of China at the continent. The turnover with each of them is close to 30 billion US Dollars,” Terekhov wrote for the New Eastern Outlook.
Partnering with Emerging Donors
The balance of international aid is shifting, with emerging donors contributing a growing proportion of the international development budget. The surge in investment needs careful handling to avoid gaps and overlaps, and to keep poverty reduction and lowering inequality at the heart of aid. Collaborative projects between the EU, emerging donors and beneficiary countries could be the way forward, according to a European Commission report, ‘The European Union, Africa and New Donors’. Understanding the two donor groups’ different styles, reporting methods and reception in beneficiary countries is the first step towards better coordination.“The importance of emerging donors has been increasing in recent years, and we wanted to understand better how they operate, what their impact is, and how they interact with traditional donors and partner countries,” says Jose A. Becerra, Policy Officer in DEVCO’s International Cooperation and Dialogue unit.
Mozambique prepares India-Africa Fund
At the Third India/Africa Summit, Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho Rosário announced that the government of Mozambique will start preparing projects to be submitted to the US$10 billion fund for Africa launched by the government of India. The projects focus on agriculture, water supply and restructuring of the postal system. Rosário said that there was a lot of interest in strengthening bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector. The Indian government pledged a credit line of US$10 billion and US$600 million dollars in aid over the next five years, indicating that it pledged to work with the continent to develop information technologies and reduce the digital divide. The President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi visited India with 60 businesspeople, and the two governments signed two MoUs in the economic area and decided to move on to military cooperation, especially in the field of maritime safety, taking advantage of the fact both countries have coastlines on the Indian Ocean.
African countries seek India’s cooperation in defence, agriculture
From assistance in defence to mining to agriculture, African countries have sought India’s cooperation in a variety of sectors as part of expansion of engagement between two sides. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral talks with her counterparts from nine countries and Industry Minister of Cote d’Ivoire yesterday during which possible areas for India’s assistance were discussed. A number of countries including Angola sought India’s help in the telecom and energy sectors while many others favoured deepening of cooperation in agriculture, healthcare and infrastructure development. Swaraj assured them all possible assistance.The ministers were here to participate in the third India Africa Forum Summit.Swaraj thanked Foreign Minister of Eritrea Osman Saleh Mohammed for helping India in evacuation of Indians from Yemen earlier this year. Currently there are 1,200 Indian teachers in Eritrea and Mohammed sought more teachers from India.
China-UK fund for African Development signed
There have been a raft of business deals signed between President Xi Jinping and the British government in the so-called new ‘golden era’ of economic co-operation. During the parallel discussions about China-UK cooperation in international development, deals were signed with the Secretary of State Justine Greening has signed agreement on a UK-China fund for African development and a UK-China development partnership between DFID and the Chinese State Council’s Development Research Centre (DRC). Additionally, with the recent launch of the Sustainable Development Goals, these are important development for international development.
China’s green fingers can help African farmers
China has shown that investment in agribusiness can lead to sustained economic growth, as opposed to heavy dependence on extractive industries. China’s modernisation has turned small-scale farms into larger production zones and can be an example of best practice for African countries. However, in terms of hi-tech farming machinery, China and Africa face a similar challenge: to transform farms through the use of foreign hi-tech machinery while also trying to stimulate domestic technological innovation. According to data from Beijing-based Zeefer Consulting, China’s agricultural industry has so far relied on domestically manufactured small-scale, low-end to mid-range machinery and still relies on the imports of the latest high technology. Africa offers may opportunities for Chinese agribusiness investments and partnerhisp, especially considering that 69% of all sub-Saharan Africans work in agriculture.
Cooperation between young Chinese and Lusophone entrepreneurs
The Young Entrepreneurs Forum of China and Portuguese Speaking Countries which took place in Macau, focused on Macau’s role as a trade platform for enhanced business cooperation . Stakeholders, including government officials from China, diplomats from Portuguese-speaking countries, municipalities and business associations of young business people gathered to discuss further cooperation and to gain a greater understanding of the potential of Macau as a privileged trading post in multilateral relations. Alberto Carvalho Neto, of the Portugal-China Association of Young Entrepreneurs (AJEPC), explained that his association “has worked as a triangular association, which organises monthly information sessions in Portugal, in the Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa and in China.”