AfricaAfrica AsiaAgrictechFoodHealth

FMARD partners with LASG to ensure proper haulage of meat across the country

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has assured of its readiness to partner Lagos State government to improve the distribution of meat across the country.

Speaking during the study tour and stakeholders’ engagement to understudy the air-cool Meatvans from the Abattoirs and Slaughterhouses to the various meat markets in Lagos State recently, the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria and Director Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Dr. Maimuna Abdullahi Habbib said that “the objectives of the tour was to understudy the state air-cool Meatvans, the Abattoirs, and the Slaughterhouses.

She revealed that the Ministry would facilitate the process to ensure that a policy was drafted to ensure smooth operations, enforcement, and implementation of the process across the nation, pointing out that the Ministry had procured 37 vehicles that would be distributed to butchers for free in order to facilitate the process across the country”.

She further stated that the Ministry would strengthen its collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to make every structure and every movement of meat from the abattoir to the market across the country a success.

The butchers have been supportive to the state government and will continue give its maximum cooperation

In her remarks the Hon. Commissioner Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture Ms. Ruth Abisola Olusanya said that “prior to the launching of Eko Meat van Project in Year 2004, Meat haulage business in Lagos State was rather disorganized, haphazard and unregulated, adding that wooden carts were used to transport Meat and Carcasses from Abattoirs and Slaughter facilities to the deboning and bulk-breaking sections.

She pointed out that four Private investors and Butchers Association Group formed the executing stakeholders to run the fleet of air-cool Meatvans from the Abattoirs and Slaughterhouses to the various meat markets statewide, noting that the project was funded by Polaris bank in agreement with the stakeholders.

She further stated that In 2009, the Ministry launched the Eko Refrigerated Meatvan Project which was an advancement of the air-cool Eko Meatvans into refrigerated form and a total of fourteen private investors’ companies along with the State Butchers Association’s and Lagoon Butchers Ventures were successful –screened and licensed to operate the project under a jointly-registered cooperative umbrella (Agege Meat van Multipurpose Cooperative society).

In his welcome address, the state Director of veterinary services Dr. Macaulay Rasheed Molade said that “the refrigerated meat transportation project runs from 2009 till date and it is involved in the daily haulage of Meat carcasses, cattle officials, head and feet as well as other cow parts from the abattoirs/slaughter facilities to the various meat markets”.

Earlier, in his Goodwill message, the Chairman of Lagos State butchers Association Mr. Alabi Bamidele Kazeem said that “the butchers have been supportive to the state government and will continue to give its maximum cooperation”.

The Essence of the Visit was to understudy the model of meat haulage in the state’s abattoirs, under the umbrella company known as the EKO REFRIGERATED MEAT HAULAGE. Its aims at adopting the best practices in our abattoirs nationwide and learning from the challenges that come from the initiatives in order to improve on them.

In attendance were representatives of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA), National Agricultural Insurance Cooperation (NAIC), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and the CEO A is Farmers Market.

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AU Member States Pledge to Improve Nutrition and Food Security in Africa

African Union Member States meeting in Abidjan have called on governments to speed up investment, coordination, and implementation of programs to improve nutrition and food security in Africa.

African leaders gathered for a three-day meeting to draw attention to the 2022 African Union Year of Nutrition. The meeting ended with the signing of an “Abidjan Declaration.”

“This must be the time for Africa and its leadership to rise to the occasion and provide sustainable solutions to the malnutrition and hunger crisis [in the continent,]” His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho told attendees at an event organized by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire in collaboration with African Development Bank’s African Leaders for Nutrition initiative, the African Union Commission, and several other partners.

King Letsie III, who is the African Union and African Leaders for Nutrition’s Nutrition Champion, spoke about African Union’s Executive Decision in July 2022 that called for a multisectoral policy framework for addressing malnutrition, as well as financing targeted and high-level political commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms.

King Letsie commended the Ivorian government for its leadership on the nutrition agenda, including sponsoring the Africa Union Year of Nutrition.

“It is not normal that Africans are underfed and malnourished – We need to develop our internal capacity to produce for indigenous needs,” said African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki.

Despite progress, most African countries still face the triple burden of malnutrition, where stunting and wasting co-exist with obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases like stroke and diabetes. It is estimated that 61.4 million African children under five years are stunted, more than 12 million are wasted, and some 10 million are overweight.

The Abidjan event focused on strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security in Africa. The Declaration calls for implementing and extending the African Union roadmap beyond 2022. The year’s theme encourages member states to examine challenges posed by hunger and malnutrition and identify actions and strategies to address them.

In his remarks, Vice President of Cote d’Ivoire, Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, called African leaders to action. “The urgency for our continent is to save lives and offer better returns to our youngest, who represent the hope and the future of our community and nation.”

This must be the time for Africa and its leadership to rise to the occasion and provide sustainable solutions to the malnutrition and hunger crisis

Vice President t Koné said his government is committed to working with the African Union, regional member countries, the Bank, and the African Leaders for Nutrition initiative and partners to improve nutrition targets.

“In the case of this year of African nutrition – women, men and children will be the actors and the beneficiaries placed at the heart of development and progress,” Koné added.

Dr. Beth Dunford, Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development at the African Development Bank, said the African Leaders for Nutrition would be working with the African Union Commission toward greater impact out of the African Year of Nutrition.

She stated that the African Leaders for Nutrition, hosted by the Bank, aims to increase financing resources for nutrition by mobilizing African governments to adopt stronger policies and increase financing for nutrition.

Dunford stressed: “If we accelerate investments and improve coordination of efforts, Africa will advance nutrition and improve food security outcomes. The African Development Bank and the African Leaders for Nutrition remain committed to working with all of you, particularly the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, to see that this event’s deliberations are transformed into impactful commitments.”

The ceremony drew many senior African leaders, including Zambian Vice President  Mutale Nalumango; Deputy Prime Minister of Congo-Brazaville Anatole Collinet Makosso; Rwandan Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources Gerardine Mukeshimana;  and Ivorian Prime Minister Patrick Achi.

There were also several ministers representing nutrition-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water sanitation and hygiene; health; education and social protection.

Click here ( to read the Abidjan Declaration,

To learn more about African Leaders for Nutrition, click here (

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U.S. Ambassador supports Community-Based Projects throughout Sierra Leone

United States Ambassador David Reimer recognized grantees who received grants totaling USD 40,000 to eight Sierra Leonean-led community organizations that work to improve economic and social conditions at the local level.  The funds will support projects in seven districts east, west, north, and south of Sierra Leone.  Projects receiving funds this year include:

The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund is one way that the U.S. Embassy supports economic development in Sierra Leone

  • Programs to support adolescent girls and women with limited economic opportunities through skills training
  • Programs to provide clean water and conduct campaigns to promote hygiene best practices to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases
  • Programs to support income generation and food security through aquaculture, rice cultivation, plantain, and banana cultivation, and grain store construction

Ambassador Reimer congratulated the grantees and noted the important role played by the communities themselves, who are actively engaged in the planning and implementation of each project.  These initiatives are funded by the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (SSH) Program, which supports small, community-based projects throughout Africa.  These projects are designed in cooperation with community members, who contribute their own resources, usually in the form of labor and in-kind donations.

Ambassador Reimer said, “The Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund is one way that the U.S. Embassy supports economic development in Sierra Leone.  We do so by working directly with grass-roots leaders like yourselves to implement projects in your communities. This is one of my favorite programs because it allows us to respond directly to community requests and fund projects that immediately impact communities in Sierra Leone.  The key is that they are Sierra Leonean-led development projects, and we would like to see more of those in the future.

For more information on the Ambassador’s SSH Program and other small grant opportunities, please visit the Embassy’s website at

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Godwin Atser eulogies IITA Boss, says it is hard to say goodbye

On 01 November 2011, history was made— a little-known son of Africa would take over perhaps the largest agricultural research institute on the African Continent. That person was Dr. Emmanuel Nteranya Sanginga, who would become the first African-born Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria. Before his assumption of office, IITA was 44, and the leadership had been in the domain of Europeans and Americans.

This heroic appointment came with mixed feelings—on one side, there was the fulfillment that, alas, one of our own—an African— is a director general, but on the other side, there was the apprehension on whether an African will lead and deliver without sinking the ship.

It is worth noting that at the time Dr. Sanginga took over leadership, the world had just come out of the 2008 food crisis, and global attention was in the direction of fighting terrorism. Donor funding to agriculture dropped, and the agenda was on how to track down Osama bin Laden—a key plotter of the attack.

In the days that followed his assumption in office, most of us cautiously watched how this new director general would navigate this difficult terrain.

On the domestic front, Dr. Sanginga faced a staff strength with low morale—most of whom came to the office because they had no other source of livelihood. On their faces, one could perceive the handwriting with the inscription: “I am just buying time. I will soon quit”.  The next thing that would follow was the massive resignation of scientists, signifying all wasn’t well. As the number of voluntary resignations swelled, Dr Sanginga passed the task to his subordinate. Of course, this wasn’t cheery.

Then came his famous message to staff: “What changes, what remains… and how can I be part of it?” This was a very reassuring message to staff and a morale booster. The key takeaway from the message was that things would be better if we all worked for the common good of IITA. He also opened doors to staff and was willing to take advice from both the high and low.

I must say that while there were issues with staff morale; infrastructurally, IITA was not better. The institute had not caught up with the rapid advancement of science in terms of infrastructure. In addition, some of the research facilities had depreciated –the buildings inclusive.

I had the privilege of being one of those to organize an IITA reunion to be held in Ibadan. As part of the feedback we received during a reflection session, one of the alumni said: “We came to supervise the final burial of IITA.” His words mirrored the degradation and indignation IITA had become.

On top of this layer, IITA had lost investments—no thanks to a Ponzi scheme that was well calculated and implemented to the detriment of research in Africa.

To address these challenges, Dr. Sanginga led the development of a strategy that would later turn around the narrative of Africa’s biggest research organization, drawing over 800 insights from all categories of staff irrespective of professional classification.

The strategy, which I will talk about on another day, was people-oriented and prioritized research, partnership, capacity building, and impact on the farm level.

From the outside, this approach was criticized as taking IITA to the realm of development, but to us, in IITA, this was certainly what Africa needed—a de-emphasizing on research pilots to delivery at scale.

Through this strategy, IITA supported countries such as Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, etc., to transform their agricultural sectors. The institute was able to increase its annual budget by more than threefold from $40+ million.

Dr. Sanginga kept his promise of rewarding staff, increasing remuneration within the framework of current realities, and promoting exceptional brains. Today, IITA is on a better footing in research, delivery, and infrastructure.

As one of Dr. Sanginga’s mentees, I learned a lot of things that are already shaping my career path. Some of his nuggets are 1. Never look down on anyone. 2. Never isolate yourself 3. Be the best in your profession. 4 Publish, publish, publish.

Dr. Sanginga, I cherished the time I spent with you and your lively wife—Mummy Charlotte. As you depart in the next few days, it is hard for me to say goodbye. When you came, I made a promise never to leave IITA until you completed your tenure so I could continue to be a pillar of support. Today, I am glad we are leaving at the same time. One attribute we have in common is our love for IITA, which is indisputable. Once again, it is hard to say goodbye, but I wish you all the best. I will continue to keep in touch to learn from your wisdom.

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Amid Food and Climate Crises, Investing in Sustainable Food Cold Chains Crucial- UNEP Report

More than 3 billion people can’t afford a healthy diet; Lack of adequate refrigeration directly results in the loss of 526 million tons of food production or 12 per cent of the global total; Developing countries could save 144 million tonnes of food annually if they reached the same level of food cold chain infrastructure as developed countries

As food insecurity and global warming rise, governments, international development partners and industry should invest in sustainable food cold chains to decrease hunger, provide livelihoods to communities, and adapt to climate change, the UN said today.

Launched today at the 27th Climate Change Conference, the Sustainable Food Cold Chains report, from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), finds that food cold chains are critical to meeting the challenge of feeding an additional two billion people by 2050 and harnessing rural communities’ resilience while avoiding increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The report was developed in the framework of the UNEP-led Cool Coalition in partnership with FAO, the Ozone Secretariat, the UNEP OzonAction Programme, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

“At a time when the international community must act to address the climate and food crises, sustainable food cold chains can make a massive difference,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. “They allow us to reduce food loss, improve food security, slow greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, reduce poverty and build resilience – all in one fell swoop.”

Food insecurity on the rise

The number of people affected by hunger in the world rose to 828 million in 2021, a year-on-year rise of 46 million.

Almost 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, up 112 million from 2019, as the economic impacts of the Covid pandemic drove up inflation. This year, meanwhile, the conflict in Ukraine has raised the prices of basic grains threatening food security.

All of this comes while an estimated 14 per cent of all food produced for human consumption is lost before it reaches the consumer. The lack of an effective cold chain to maintain the quality, nutritional value and safety of food is one of the major contributors to food loss.

According to the report, developing countries could save 144 million tonnes of food annually if they reached the same level of food cold chain infrastructure as developed countries.

Post-harvest food loss reduces the income of 470 million small-scale farmers by 15 per cent, mainly in developing countries.  Investing in sustainable food cold chains would help lift these farm families out of poverty.

Sustainable food cold chains can make an important difference in our collective efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

“Sustainable food cold chains can make an important difference in our collective efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. All stakeholders can help implement the findings of this report, to transform agri-food systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable – for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind” said QU Dongyu, Director-General of FAO.

Climate impact

The food cold chain has serious implications for climate change and the environment. Emissions from food loss and waste due to lack of refrigeration totalled an estimated 1 gigatonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in 2017 – about 2 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.

In particular, it contributes to emissions of methane, a potent but short-lived climate pollutant. Taking action now would contribute to reducing atmospheric concentrations of methane this decade.

Overall, the food cold chain is responsible for around four percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions – when emissions from cold chain technologies and food loss caused by lack of refrigeration are included.

Lost food also damages the natural world by driving the unnecessary conversion of land for agricultural purposes and using resources such as water, fossil fuels and energy.

Reducing food loss and waste could make a positive impact on climate change, but only if the new cooling-related infrastructure is designed to use gases with low global warming potential, be energy efficient and run on renewable energy.

The adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the Rome Declaration on “the contribution of the Montreal Protocol to sustainable cold chain development for food waste reduction” provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the deployment of sustainable food cold chains.

Progress being made

Projects around the world show that sustainable food cold chains are already making a difference. In India, a food cold chain pilot project reduced losses of kiwi fruit by 76 per cent while reducing emissions through the expansion of the use of refrigerated transport.

In Nigeria, a project to install 54 operational ColdHubs prevented the spoilage of 42,024 tonnes of food and increased the household income of 5,240 small-scale farmers, retailers and wholesalers by 50 per cent.

But these projects, which are illustrated among many other case studies in the new report, are still the exception rather than the norm.

Recommendations for decision-makers

To expand sustainable food cold chains globally, the report issues a series of recommendations for governments and stakeholders, including:

  • Take a holistic systems approach to food cold chain provision, recognizing that the provision of cooling technologies alone is not enough.
  • Quantify and benchmark the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in existing food cold chains and identify opportunities for reductions.
  • Collaborate and undertake food cold chain needs assessments and develop costed and sequenced National Cooling Action Plans, backed with specific actions and financing.
  • Implement and enforce ambitious minimum efficiency standards, and monitoring and enforcement to prevent illegal imports of inefficient food cold chain equipment and refrigerants.
  • Run large-scale system demonstrations to show the positive impacts of sustainable cold chains, and how interventions can create sustainable and resilient solutions for scaling.
  • Institute multidisciplinary centres for food cold chain development at the national or regional level.
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Reimagine governance of the commons: Women & communities as restoration leaders

Africa is one of the world’s last frontiers of biodiversity – housing roughly one-fifth of the planet’s known species of mammals, birds, and plants. An abundance of life flourishes in diverse ecosystems across the continent. The Congo Basin – the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest and the lungs of Africa – is found in Central Africa. It covers roughly 300 million hectares of land across six countries: Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the DRC, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

Tropical forests are vital carbon sinks – storing more carbon than they release. Not only are they a natural solution to the climate crisis, forests are also home to biodiversity and provide a range of livelihood benefits (e.g. food, fuel, shelter, etc.). And yet, many of our forests are in danger with human activities (e.g. agriculture, logging, oil exploration, etc.) driving deforestation and degradation.

At COP26 in November 2021, world leaders from 141 countries committed to stopping and reversing deforestation and land degradation by 2030. This was done by signing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. The declaration is testimony to growing international recognition that forests are key to meeting global climate goals and must be at the heart of a just, green recovery from COVID-19.

However, as the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration and recent reports acknowledge, communities’ rights and livelihoods are key to preserving forests and their biodiversity. Among Cameroonian climate activists, there is a growing desire for the rights and voices of women, youth, and communities to be included in the decisions that affect their forests and their future.

Cameroon’s disappearing forests

Cameroon is one of the 32 African countries that signed the declaration at COP26. The dense, majestic forests that stretch across the country are the third-largest in the Congo Basin, following those in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.

Land that used to be forests outside Limbe, Cameroon   © Image taken by ReWild Africa

However, in recent decades, Cameroon has witnessed a devastating surge in forest loss and degradation. Monitoring and data from the Global Forest Watch reveals that the country lost 97% of its humid primary rainforest between 2001 and 2019. Key drivers placing Cameroon’s forest under pressure include climate change, land degradation, migration patterns, commercial land use, and ineffective land and natural resource governance that undermines communities’ power and rights over their land.

Who owns the land?

Land issues in Cameroon remain complex, contested, and rooted in its colonial history. With its legal system based on French civil law, English common law, and customary law, the country is a powerful example of the damaging interplay between the legacies of colonialism, land tenure, and contested land issues. Poor land rights, often referred to as land tenure insecurity, for women and communities is a major challenge across rural Cameroon. Where women do not have full rights to property, Indigenous and rural communities have rights to use forest resources but lack ownership over the land, leaving them at risk of losing their land and livelihoods.

Ewi Stephanie Lamma is photographed outside Limbe, Cameroon on degraded land due to deforestation and conversion of land to palm oil plantations. © Image taken by ReWild Africa
Ewi Stephanie Lamma is photographed outside Limbe, Cameroon on degraded land due to deforestation and conversion of land to palm oil plantations. © Image taken by ReWild Africa

“The lands are bare where there used to be forests. In Cameroon, the government owns all land. Over the years, the land has been taken and given to companies that have big plantations and big ambitions for money. ” -Ewi Stephanie Lamma

As Climate Reality Leader, Ewi Lamma points out in her statement, a major concern is the inconsistencies between Cameroon’s commitments at the international level and what occurs at the local level. Despite being a signatory of  the forest declaration at COP26, Cameroon’s Ministry of Forests and Wildlife announced a call for tenders in March 2022 – the prize: 5 logging concessions in the Eastern and Central regions of Cameroon, amounting to roughly 400,000 hectares.  On top of violating international commitments, these concessions once again place the profits of big business over protecting biodiverse forests and the local communities who depend on them.

African Voices for Africa’s Forests: Women, communities, and Indigenous knowledge  key to forest restoration

Set in Limbe, Cameroon, African Climate Reality Project’s film African Voices for Africa’s Forests tells the story of Ewi Stephanie Lamma. The 29 year old works with Forests, Resources, and People to encourage local communities, women, and youth to use their voices and participate in decision-making processes to protect and restore their local forests. Through her work, Ewi is reframing how we think about governance of the commons (e.g land, water, soil, etc.) and addressing issues of rights, ownership, and gender norms. Her message is simple – local people must be consulted through free, prior, and informed consent processes before development projects take place.

From left to right: Ewi Stephanie Lamma captured at the front door of her home, women from Livandacongo community, and one of the women from the Bimbia community outside Limbe.  © Images taken by ReWild Africa

“The rural people should be the people we should stand for, should be the people we make policies for. When policies are brought from a bottom-top approach it means we have understood, we know where they’re coming from, and we’re wearing their shoes.” -Ewi Stephanie Lamma

Growing research shows that roughly 80% of the world’s remaining forest biodiversity is found in land managed by Indigenous peoples, demonstrating their importance as custodians of land. Ewi works with the Bimbia community outside Limbe, who have learned to take from nature only what is needed for their livelihoods, allowing for its regeneration and the continued support of life.

Image of Bimbia women harvesting food from within the forest where a small portion has been cleared using agroforestry techniques.  © Image taken by ReWild Africa
Image of Bimbia women harvesting food from within the forest where a small portion has been cleared using agroforestry techniques.  © Image taken by ReWild Africa

“The forest means a lot to [communities]. The forest is a source of income, it’s a source of food. It’s a source of water, the best water. It’s a source of construction materials. When facing land degradation issues, communities play a major role in solving it. Community-based solutions where Africans are solving African problems.” -Ewi Stephanie Lamma

Climate Reality Leader, Sunday Geofrey, also works with women and rural communities to play an active role in the protection of Cameroon’s forests. He is the Central Africa Regional Coordinator for the African Climate Reality Project and founder of Support Humanity Cameroon (SUHUCAM).

Photo taken of Climate Leader, Sunday Geofrey, outside offices of Forest, Resources, and People in Limbe, Cameroon.  © Image taken by ReWild Africa
Photo was taken of Climate Leader, Sunday Geofrey, outside office of Forest, Resources, and People in Limbe, Cameroon.  © Image taken by ReWild Africa

“The role of a climate leader is to inspire local action. Change is on the ground.” -Sunday Geofrey

Over the course of four years, Sunday has activated over 300 volunteers to plant over 10,000 trees in the Bamunkumbit Integrated Community Forest and restored 151 hectares of land in Bamunkumbit community, North West Cameroon. He leads a livelihood project with 30+ Indigenous Mbororo women, restoring degraded ecosystems, farm and pastoral lands,, and establishing food gardens using agroecology principles to enhance food security and alleviate extreme poverty.

Climate leader Sunday Geofrey working with Indigenous Mbororo women to establish food gardens using agroecology principles., producing carrots, cabbage, onions, and more © Image supplied by Sunday Geofrey

“Projects of this nature are welcome because they help to revalorize the women in the Indigenous community, as they will be able to grow food organically and improve the nutrition and income of the family…it has brought these women together to reflect on the common problems they face in the community”.

  • Ardo Aliyou, Head of the Indigenous Mbororo community in Bamumkumbit

 The Way Forward: COP 27 and Beyond

 With less than a month until COP27, political will, adequate financing, and meaningful community involvement remain stumbling blocks to driving the Glasgow declaration forward.

Countries, like Cameroon, that have signed the declaration need to turn their pledges into concrete, transparent, and inclusive action with benefits for people and forests. Together with Climate Leaders Ewi and Sunday, African Climate Reality Project is calling for governments, corporations, and public finance institutions to deliver on the following:

Embed inclusivity into forest governance and decision-making platforms by meaningfully involving and ensuring participation from rural women, youth, traditional leaders, and Indigenous peoples.

Adopt or strengthen land and forest tenure rights for women, communities, and Indigenous peoples. With clear rights and security of tenure, people are more likely to invest in long-term sustainable practices, such as reforestation, agroforestry, or agroecology.

Boost climate finance for forest protection in Africa: The Congo Basin only received 11% of international funding for sustainable forest management between 2008 and 2017. Further financing is needed but must be transparent, directed to community-centered initiatives/institutions, prioritize monitoring and evaluation, and enforce zero-deforestation supply chains (including new logging concessions).

Climate education

Creating spaces for climate education in schools and communities to create awareness about how everyday actions impact forests and how to take action to protect forests and people.

Now, more than ever, there is a need to reframe the concept of development and reimagine how we govern the commons (e.g. forests, land, water, etc.), and more importantly, who is best suited to protect and use these resources sustainably to meet current and future generations needs.


Packaged by: Ewi Stephanie Lamma, Amy Giliam Thorp, and Sunday Geoffrey


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Agricultural Automation Can Boost Global Food Production- UN Report

A new U.N. report finds agricultural automation can boost global food production and be a boon for small-scale farmers in developing countries.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, has just released The State of Food and Agriculture 2022 report. The report’s authors said automation is rapidly changing the face of agriculture. New technologies, they say, are quickly leaving behind some of the old larger-type tractors and large machinery in ways that could benefit small holders in developing countries.

Parallels can be drawn with the introduction of cell phones. The World Bank, among other observers, notes that African and other developing countries can harness digital technologies to boost their economies by advancing from landlines to smartphones.

FAO said automation can play an important role in making food production more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Chief FAO economist Maximo Torero said many emerging technologies would have been unimaginable years ago. He cited as examples fruit-picking robots that use artificial intelligence and sensors that monitor plants and animals.

“Automation allows agriculture to be more productive, efficient, resilient, and sustainable and can improve working conditions,” Torero said. “However, as with any technological change, automation also implies disruption to the agricultural systems. The risk is that the automation could exacerbate inequalities if we are not careful on how it is being done and developed and deployed.”

FILE - A weeding robot is pictured during a demonstration of new technologies at the Arvalis farm, an applied agricultural research organization, on June 15, 2016, in Saint-Hilaire-en-Woevre, eastern France.
FILE – A weeding robot is pictured during a demonstration of new technologies at the Arvalis farm, an applied agricultural research organization, on June 15, 2016, in Saint-Hilaire-en-Woevre, eastern France.
The report looks at 27 case studies from all over the world. They represent technologies at different stages of readiness suitable for large or small agricultural producers of varying levels of income.

Torero said the report investigates the drivers of these technologies and identifies barriers preventing their adoption, particularly by small-scale producers. The report, he said, also looks at one of the most common concerns about automation — that it creates unemployment.

“While it concludes that such fears are overblown, it acknowledges that agricultural automation can lead to unemployment in places where rural labor is abundant, and wages are low,” he said. “It is important to understand that in a continent like sub-Saharan Africa, where there is an enormous amount of youth population, we can build the skill sets of these people to be able to have access to these technologies.”

In areas where cheap labor is abundant, the FAO urges policymakers to avoid subsidizing automation while creating an enabling environment for its adoption. At the same time, the report said governments should provide social protection to the least skilled workers who are likely to lose their jobs during the transition.

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Photo News: “The cooperative relations between Côte d’Ivoire and China are highly appreciated in Abidjan”- AACCI

According to the Chinese authorities in côte d’Ivoire, these relations cover several areas, including infrastructure.

“This cooperation between the two friendly countries is gradually diversifying and strengthening,” said the Chinese diplomat.

As Ambassador of Africans Francophone Countries for AACCI, I took advantage, during this meeting, to assure the Chinese diplomat that the Asia-Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through his representation in Côte d’Ivoire, intends to continue the excellent cooperation with Beijing, particularly in the context of: “development of its infrastructure”, but also in “accelerating the processing of its raw materials, particularly cocoa and cashew nuts” “in the context of its industrialization, greater participation of the Chinese private sector in the Ivorian economy, and the strengthening of its relations with the Ivorian private sector, and finally the diversification of our exchanges and the sharing of technologies and the know-how of our peoples”.

I took care to mention that the opportunities for Côte d’Ivoire still remain immense.

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DRC, Kenya Sign Bilateral Agreement to Develop Agriculture

 Kenya and DR Congo on Friday signed a bilateral agreement on cooperation in agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors.The objectives of the agreement include promoting increased agricultural productivity in Kenya and DR Congo, encouraging joint investment ventures between respective private entrepreneurs as well as boosting mutually beneficial trade between the two countries.

Some of the key areas of cooperation covered by the agreement include crop development and promotion, agricultural and livestock research, animal health and production

Some of the key areas of cooperation covered by the agreement include crop development and promotion, agricultural and livestock research, animal health and production.

Revealing Africa Afresh- ADM

Other areas are fisheries, aquaculture and Blue Economy, marketing of agricultural commodities as well as promotion of youth in agriculture programmes such as 4K clubs.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his DR Congo counterpart Felix Tshisekedi witnessed the signing of the agreement at State House, Nairobi.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo signed on the Kenyan side while Ministers Mzinga Birihanze Desire (Agriculture) and Bokele Djema Adrien (Fisheries and Livestock) co-signed on behalf of DR Congo.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Presidency of the Republic of Kenya.

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African countries to define regional agrifood systems priorities

More than 50 African countries will come together at the 32nd Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Regional Conference for Africa (ARC32) to define regional priorities in agrifood systems transformation. The meeting comes as 250 million people in Africa do not have enough food to eat each day, close to a billion people in Africa cannot afford nutritious food, and as countries continue to grapple with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating countries will share best practices and explore partnerships and opportunities for innovation and digital technologies to transform agrifood systems, address food insecurity and climate change, and face other major challenges in the region.

The Regional Conference is FAO’s highest governing body in Africa. ARC32 hosted by the Government of Equatorial Guinea. The four-day conference, scheduled from 11 to 14 April, will be held as a hybrid event, both at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo and online with participants joining via videoconferencing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Agriculture ministers and other government officials from across Africa will join with civil society groups, private sector representatives, development partners and observer member countries for the conference.

A spotlight on FAO’s Four Betters

The four-day conference will be held as a hybrid event, both at the Sipopo Conference Centre in Malabo and online with participants joining via videoconferencing

FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022-2031 will underpin the conference. It aims to help countries achieve better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.

The opening session of ARC32 will include remarks by:

  • Director-General QU Dongyu, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission,
  • Her Excellency Francisca Eneme Efua, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forests and Environment of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of ARC32
  • His Excellency Anxious Jongwe Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement of Zimbabwe and Chairperson of ARC31
  • Ambassador Hans Hoogeveen, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations in Rome, and Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council
  • Ambassador at Large for Global Food Security Gabriel Ferrero, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, and Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS)
  • Spokesperson for civil society organizations (tbc)
  • Spokesperson for the private sector (tbc)

The Conference will also host a series of ministerial roundtables on the following issues:

  • Experience sharing on better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind
  • COVID-19 impacts on agrifood systems in Africa: policy priorities for inclusive and resilient recovery
  • Investing in ecosystem restoration for a more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems transformation in Africa
  • Promotion of investment and trade for competitive agrifood systems: AfCFTA opportunities and progress
  • Placing women, youth and the poor at the forefront of inclusive agrifood systems

Two launches will take place during the conference:

  • The launch of the Africa Regional Technical Platform (RTP) on Common Agricultural Policies and Practices
  • The launch with the African Union Commission of Investment Guidelines for Youth in Agrifood Systems in Africa
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