USAID supports Zambian agribusiness enterprises, Zimbabwe formulates animal health regulations in partnership with FAO

SOUTHERN AFRICA – Zambia has received an additional US$3.9m support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to support small and medium sized agribusiness enterprises. In the two months since Zambia’s August 12 presidential election, USAID has programmed approximately US$30 million in new U.S. Government funding for the Zambian people. The additional funds will help grow small and medium enterprises, particularly those that are women-led, with a focus on strengthening job creation and revenue growth. Meanwhile, key stakeholders in the Zimbabwe livestock sector from both the public and…

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Global food prices rise sharply in August as FAO cuts estimates for world cereal production

GLOBAL – After easing in the previous two months, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index rose 3.1% in August to near a peak set in May reviving concerns about inflationary pressures.  According to the FAO, the rising prices were driven by reduced grain production expectations, frosts that hurt sugar-cane crops in top grower Brazil, and tightening oilseed supplies.  Food supply chains have also been affected by a shortage of workers amid the coronavirus pandemic and higher shipping costs.  Lower harvest expectations in several major exporting countries shunting up world wheat prices by 8.8%…

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India supports climate resilient agriculture in Zimbabwe with US$1m contribution

ZIMBABWE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe has received US$1 million from the government of India to support its efforts towards strengthening resilience to climate change in the country. The contribution, provided through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, will be used to assist more than 5200 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts. Working alongside partners, WFP Zimbabwe will provide expertise through its Smallholder Agricultural Market Support (SAMS) programme, to strengthen the resilience and capacity of selected smallholder farmers. The project will promote the cultivation of…

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FAO promotes growth of Southern Africa’s poultry industry through dissemination of sustainable farming practices

SOUTHERN AFRICA – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has received financial support from the Fleming Fund of the United Kingdom and the MARS Global Food Safety Center to undertake a capacity building program targeting poultry farmers in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The online course launched through its Virtual Leaning Centre for Southern Africa (SFS-VLC) is aimed to strengthen the capacity of farmer field school (FFS) facilitators and master trainers in the Southern African countries to prepare and run quality poultry-focused FFS. A total of 47 participants…

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Global food prices fall for second consecutive month – FAO Food Price Index

GLOBAL – Global food commodity prices fell in July for the second consecutive month mainly driven by higher-than-expected crop yields, declines in the quotations for most food products, and a slow pace of sales caused by high freight costs and logistical hurdles.  According to the recently released FAO report, the Food Price Index averaged 123.0 points in July 2021, 1.2 percent lower than the previous month although still 31 percent higher than its level in the same period of 2020.   The declines in July follow a similar trend observed in June, which marked the first drop in…

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Dairy giant Danone partners with FAO to build sustainable food systems in Egypt

EGYPT – French multinational dairy company, Danone has signed a partnership with The UN-Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) aiming at improving nutrition, agriculture practices and food safety across Egypt for more sustainable food systems. The collaboration involves exchanging the most recent information on developing food safety problems as well as sharing data on food consumption and nutritional intakes in the North African country. Using Egypt as the pilot nation, the parties will use the information in order to enhance awareness and encourage the adoption of better eating habits. Furthermore, the…

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FAO forecasts bumper cereal harvest in 2021/22 despite poor weather

GLOBAL – The food and agriculture organization (FAO) has projected global cereal production in 2021 to reach 2 821 million tonnes,  a 1.9 percent increase from 2020, led by a foreseen 3.7 percent annual growth in maize output.  Although a record high, the latest world cereal production has been lowered marginally since the previous report in June majorly due to concerns about coarse grains which FAO expects to be adversely impacted by adverse weather conditions.  Global maize production is expected to dip due to the prolonged drought period in Brazil which is one of the world’s…

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FAO Food Price Index falls for the first time in 12 months

GLOBAL – The FAO Food Price Index (FFPI) which is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities averaged 124.6 points in June 2021, down 3.2 points (2.5 percent) from May.  The fall has been attributed to declines in the prices of vegetable oils, cereals, and, to a lesser degree, dairy prices, which more than offset generally higher meat and sugar quotations.  Maize prices dropped by 5.0 percent in June as a result of increased supplies from recent harvests in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.  Among other coarse…

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FAO, AUC, UNECA call for transformation of Africa’s agri-food systems to make healthy diets more accessible, affordable

AFRICA – With Africa boasting of having 60% of the world’s arable land and diverse agro- ecological zones, it is a sceptical paradox that is genuinely disturbing, that nearly three-quarters of Africans cannot afford a healthy diet of fruits, vegetable and animal proteins. This is according to the latest Africa Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition launched by FAO, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), further indicating that, over half of all Africans (51%), cannot afford a nutrient-adequate diet which provides a…

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FAO adopts new strategic framework to drive transformation of agri-food systems

GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has adopted a new Strategic Framework aimed at driving the Organization’s efforts to transform agri-food systems and address hunger, poverty, and inequality over the next decade.  FAO will now embark on implementing the strategic framework after FAO Conference, the supreme decision-making body that brings together all FAO Members – 194 countries plus the European Union endorsed it on the last day of the 42nd Session.  According to the FAO, the Strategic Framework 2022-2031 seeks to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by…

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