3 May: China and Brazil in African Agriculture – news roundup

Nigerian agricultural research council be more like Embrapa

The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said that he wants Nigeria to transform its Agricultural Research Council to be more like Brazil’s equivalent, Embrapa. This comes on the back of the minister’s recent visit to Brazil
(Federal Ministry of Information, Nigeria)

Compelling the Ghanaian government to restrict foreign purchases of Ghanaian land

The registrar of the Knutsford University College, Dr Nana Oppong, has filed a suit at the Ghanaian Supreme Court to obtain a declaration that would compel the government to take greater action against foreigners buying Ghanaian land. He is critical of the speed at which farmlands have been bought up, and lack of support given to poor farmers who are at risk of being taken advantage of.

Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister on African engagement with China

In this speech, Arthur Mutambara suggests that criticisms of China’s record in Africa are mainly led by Western governments’ political interests, and that African countries cannot blame China for their economic woes. Nonetheless he says that they should be under no illusion that the Chinese are in Africa for “strictly business and not comradeship”. He also stresses that African countries should refrain from bilateral deals with China and negotiate with China through regional blocs.
(Sir Nige blog)

Ethiopians protest against the World Bank

Ethiopians and other supporters led a march against the World Bank in Washington DC last week after Human Rights Watch reported their potential involvement in forcible evictions of smallholder farmers and ethnic cleansing. Later in the week, Prime Minister Hailemariam denied the existence of “land grabbing” in Ethiopia and stated that the government is leading a process to attract investment and create jobs.

(Ethiofreedom.org / Farmlandgrab.org)

Zimbabwe tobacco exports rise

Zimbabwe’s tobacco sector has seen an increase in growers, output, and prices compared with last year. Zimbabwean tobacco is an important sector to watch as it is forms one of China’s largest agricultural interests in Africa.

Rise in Chinese NGOs in Africa

This article discusses the rise of Chinese NGOs in Africa, including dealings with rural communities in Mozambique. The article discusses how they may be more in tune to needs given China’s more recent experiences of poverty, but also their relative inexperience as they are new to the sector and geographical contexts.
(China Daily)