Zimbabwe Secures $478 Million Funding for Agriculture: State Newspaper

A Zimbabwe farm worker harvests tobacco at a farm ahead of the tobacco selling season starting on Wednesday in Harare

A farm worker harvests tobacco leaves at a farm ahead of the tobacco selling season in Harare March 3, 2015.
REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s government has signed a $478 million agreement with an energy company and three banks to finance the 2017/18 summer farming season in a push to improve food security, a state-owned newspaper said on Monday.

The southern African nation has since 2001 relied on imports and foreign donors to meet demand for the staple maize. Drought, lack of financing and President Robert Mugabe’s seizures of land from white farmers that hit commercial agriculture have been blamed for low grain production over the years.

The Herald newspaper reported that the government and local energy company Sakunda Holdings had signed an agreement that would see three banks provide the capital to mainly fund production of maize and soya.

Sakunda, which imports and distributes fuel, runs a logistics business and operates a 200 megawatt diesel power plant, will work with CBZ bank, Barclays and the local unit of Ecobank to provide the money.

The newspaper did not give details on the funding.

CBZ Chief Executive Never Nyemudzo and Sakunda boss Kudakwashe Tagwirei did not answer their mobile phones when contacted. Officials from Barclays and Ecobank could not be reached for comment.

After a devastating drought last year, Zimbabwe received above normal rains during the 2016/17 farming season and expects to produce 2.1 million tonnes of maize, its highest since 1996, according to official figures.

The Herald said the government would start delivering seed, fertiliser and crop chemicals to farmers around the country between July and September, ahead of the planting season that begins in November.

Farmers would be required to sell their crop to the state grain agency as repayment. Nearly 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s population is rural and survives on agriculture.

Originally reported by Reuters.

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U.N. food agency launches $250 million Zimbabwe plan to end hunger

Villagers collect food aid provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Bhayu

Villagers collect food aid provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) at a distribution point in Bhayu, Zimbabwe, September 14, 2016

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday pledged $253 million to fund a five-year plan to end hunger in Zimbabwe, which is emerging from a devastating drought that left more than 4 million people in need of food aid last year.

An El Nino-induced drought scorched crops and killed livestock in the southern African nation, forcing the government to launch an emergency appeal for food from donors.

On Monday, the WFP representative in Zimbabwe, Eddie Rowe said the agency would move away from short-term food handouts to technical assistance to improve food security in the country.

“While maintaining strong humanitarian assistance, the WFP Zimbabwe’s new country strategic plan focuses on supporting longer-term national social protection and resilience efforts, strengthening the systems and institutions needed to help achieve zero hunger,” Rowe told reporters.

Rowe said the WFP planned to spend $53 million of the $253 million budget in 2017.

The WFP says recurrent climate-related disasters, poverty, poor access to water, a fragile economic environment, liquidity challenges, low agricultural output, limited access to markets and HIV and AIDS are the major causes of hunger in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe expects to produce 3 million tonnes of grain this year following above normal rains and now expects higher economic growth than initial forecasts, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said last month.

Originally reported by Reuters.

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Kenya to Plant a ‘Green Dress’ the Size of Costa Rica

Kenya aims to restore trees and vegetation across almost nine percent of its land mass by 2030, the government said on Thursday, in a bold initiative to combat climate change, poverty and hunger.

The 5.1 million hectares of deforested and degraded land targeted for landscape and forest restoration is equivalent in size to Costa Rica in Central America.

“This program provides the most coherent and systematic effort to restore degraded forests and other landscapes,” Kenya’s environment minister Judy Wakhungu said at the launch of the program.

“It provides us with the opportunity to reduce poverty, to improve food security, to address climate change and to conserve our valued biodiversity.”

Kenya has been hit hard by illegal settlement, logging and charcoal production, reducing forest cover to seven percent of its land mass, government data shows.

The new initiative will count towards the Bonn Challenge, a 2011 global goal to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 and 350 million hectares by 2030.

Kenya is the 13th African country to submit a target to the Bonn Challenge, bringing the continent’s total restoration commitment to 46 million hectares by 2030, according to the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) thinktank.

“This is a huge step forward,” said Wanjira Maathai, daughter of Kenyan environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

She recalled her late mother being asked to describe her ultimate vision.

“She said: ‘To see Kenya redressed with her green dress’,” said Maathai, chairwoman of the Green Belt Movement, which has planted 51 million trees in Kenya since her mother founded it in 1977.

“I know wherever she is, she is smiling on us,” Maathai told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

Three-quarters of Kenya’s landscape is arid or semi-arid and the East African country experiences repeated droughts, trapping millions in poverty and hunger.

Some 1.2 million Kenyans are acutely food insecure following poor rains, according to the Kenya Food Security Steering Group.

The initiative should improve the lives of Kenya’s poor by improving soil fertility, agricultural yields and access to clean water, and creating jobs, its backers said.

“The impacts of climate change will disproportionately affect the poor,” Maathai said.

“They are the ones with the least resilience and ability to adapt when floods and landslides hit. They must be centrally involved.”

Kenya set the 5.1 million hectare goal by creating maps detailing all of its landscape restoration opportunities — the first African country to do so, WRI said.

These include reforestation of degraded natural forests, planting trees on farms and ranchlands, and planting vegetation as buffers along waterways and roads.

Trees, which store carbon, help to prevent soil erosion, retain soil fertility and regulate water flows, as well as by providing habitats for wildlife.

Originally reported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Queries Feel Free to Contact :

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Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
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Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Africa :
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