6 March: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup

Sudan seeks stronger ties with Brazilian agriculture

Sudan’s Minister for Agriculture has said that their country is seeking to attract greater agricultural investments and trade with agricultural companies from Brazil. He cited their interest in chicken and fish farms as a priority for the Sudanese government at present. Brazil’s main exports to the country are currently agricultural machinery and meat. These remarks were made at the same conference attended by the Tunisian CEO mentioned above, entitled ‘Brazil and North Africa – Opportunities for Agribusiness and Food Security’. Egypt, Morocco and Mauritania also took part.
(ANBA – story 1 / story 2)

Despite hunger, Mozambique leases huge land holdings to foreigners

A new report by Mozambique’s National Peasant Farmers Union, UNAC, claims that since 2006 the Mozambican government has signed at least 35 long-term land leases covering more than 535,000 hectares. The report claims that thousands of smallholder farmers were displaced to make way for these agricultural investments which have often focused on crops for export. The authors stress this as a worrying discovery as 24.5 million people in the country are said to be facing food shortages.
(Farmlandgrab.org – Reuters story / Farmlandgrab.org – GRAIN/UNAC press release)

Problems with China’s pork statistics

This blog piece looks at the difficulties of dealing with Chinese statistics around its pork industry, and how they are even tabled differently by the National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Agriculture. Part of the problem is that the former is still drawing on the agricultural census from 1996. In 2009 the authorities sought to publish more detailed monthly and quarterly statistics on inventories, production, prices, and diseases so as to help farmers be better informed about market trends.
(Dim Sums)

Increased Global Hunger Forecasts
The American academic Lester Brown is due to retire at 80 this year and has warned of potential rising cases of hunger around the world due to increased dustbowls. He draws on examples of this particularly occurring across Northern China and the Sahel region of Africa to show how people are leaving land and desertification is encroaching.
(The Guardian)

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

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