19 November 2014: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup

ABC interview key figures on South-South cooperation

The Agência Brasileira de Cooperação (ABC) has published a series of interviews with people related to its South-South cooperation programmes. Relevant to African cooperation projects, this has included an interview with the Director of EMBRAPA, Maurício Antônio Lopes, and the Beninese Ambassador to Brasil, Isidore Monsi.
(Interview with Maurício Antônio Lopes / Interview with Isidore Monsi)

Agribusiness Due-Diligence

The French development agency, AFD, along with partners have put together the ‘Guide to due diligence of agribusiness projects that affect land and property rights’. This seeks to guide French investments as “It presents an Analytical Framework and a Guide that each institution can now appropriate and use to change their internal project evaluation procedures.”

Zimbabwe VP accused over Brazilian chicken imports

Zimbabwe’s Vice President Joice Mujuru has been accused of importing Brazilian chickens to Zimbabwe despite the country’s import bans to protect local farmers. However, Joice Mujuru is also taking legal action against the Herald and Sunday Mail newspapers for defamation over claims that she was involved in a plot to assassinate Robert Mugabe.
(AllAfrica / Summary of accusations – BBC / Joice Mujuru’s statement)

Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has released a Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water, developed by its team of lawyers, social scientists and environmentalists. “Based on a more than three-year investigation of 80 agricultural investment contracts, the user-friendly guide provides options for countries to develop rural economies, boost employment, build agricultural processing factories, protect against the impacts of climate change and ensure enough water for all.”

‘Transfers Keep Rural Counties Afloat in China’

Blog article looking at how rural county budgets in China are given regular transfers to remain afloat. Since taxes from farmers’ is often insufficient to cover the costs of the local bureaux, award systems have been set up to discourage local governments to resort to selling off the land for development projects. However, local governments still complain that if the subsidies they give to their farmers are counted with the costs the farmers bear to produce, then it is clear the grain is still being sold for cheaper than it is worth in urban areas.
(Dim Sums)

This news roundup has been collected on behalf of the China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project.

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