Research institution develops new drought-tolerant seed cultivars to boost food security in Ghana

GHANA – The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) has unveiled new drought-tolerant seed varieties with an aim of improving food security in Ghana. The research institution has developed new maize, rice, soybean, sorghum and groundnut drought-tolerant seed varieties which SARI says their performance has been proven to be 20% higher. According to a report by Ghana News Agency SARI revealed that the cultivars have been produced in sufficient quantities and distributed to certified seed input dealers to be made available to farmers for…

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South Africa’s sorghum output to drop 9% to 100,000T in 2018/19

SOUTH AFRICA – Sorghum production in South Africa is on the decline and according to Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this will drop by 9% in 2018-19 to 100,000 tonnes from 109,855 tonnes in 2017-18. The drop was attributed to a 32%decrease in area planted as many producers substituted sorghum for more profitable crops like soybeans. Average area planted declined to 60,000 hectares and reached an all-time low of 29,000 hectares in the 2017/18 MY. Substitutions are based on productivity as yield levels have…

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China’s grain imports fall on rising prices and impact of US tariffs

ASIA – China’s sorghum imports in July declined by 62.5% to 220,000 tonnes from 588,364 tonnes a year ago, impacted by heavy tariffs imposed on shipments from the United States and rising international prices, reports Reuters. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, the imports were also below June’s 450,000 tonnes when buyers rushed to buy the commodity amidst easing US-China tariff war. The data also showed that China imported 330,000 tonnes of corn in July, down 63.7% from last year while wheat imports were down 43.03% from…

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Chinese sorghum importers to visit US amid trade tension

USA – Top importers of sorghum from China are set to visit the United States for a training on sorghum production, trade and also build relationships even as trade tension between the two nations intensify. The training hosted by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) in collaboration with the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and the Texas Grain Sorghum Association seeks to deliberate on market and trade opportunities in the sector. The visit also aims at building relationships between China and US after they slapped each other…

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KBL pledges to source 100% of raw materials locally for its new Kisumu plant

KENYA – Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), a subsidiary of Diageo Plc has announced that it will source 100% of its raw materials at its new Kisumu pant locally by 2020, reported the Nation. According to the KBL Supply Chain Director Patrick Kamugi, the move was part of EABL’s Western and Nyanza raw material sourcing plan. The company has rolled out the ‘West to West’ backward integration programme aimed at having majority of the raw materials and the Kisumu brewery sourced from the Western part of the country, that is Nyanza…

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Botswana turns to South Africa and Zambia for maize imports

BOTSWANA – Botswana continues to import 170,000 metric tonnes of maize annually as it has always run out of corn due to insufficient local production, according to an article by AllAfrica. Speaking in an interview, Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board (BAMB) chief executive officer, Mr Leonard Morakaladi noted that on annual basis the country needed 190 000 metric tonnes of maize. According to him, local production stood at 20 000 tonnes in a good year making the country rely on maize importation from especially South Africa and Zambia. Given the government’s…

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Trade tension soothing as China drops sanctions against US sorghum

CHINA – China through the Ministry of Commerce announced on May 18 that it was dropping sanctions on US sorghum after the two sides said they were engaging in talks to ease trade tension. China’s commerce ministry said it terminated the anti-dumping probe and duty investigations terming calling those measures that did not serve the public interest and affected consumers. After imposing a hefty anti-dumping move against US sorghum imports in April, China said it is returning in full the anti-dumping deposit collected on the imports. With the sanctions, US…

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New flour blending law to utilize other local grains to curb food shortage

KENYA – The Kenyan government is seeking to enact a regulation that will require millers to include other local, under-consumed grains such as cassava, millet, and sorghum in flour blends to ensure sufficient production of food. The government is making commitment to enhance food security by including the subsistence-produced crops into the national food chain, something that aims to tackle food deficit resulting from prolonged drought conditions. According to People Daily, the law will mandate millers to develop formulations based on sorghum, millet, cassava and maize flour blends to improve…

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EABL reaches out to sorghum farmers ahead of new plant opening

KENYA – East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has intensified its outreach to farmers ahead of a grant opening of a new brewing facility in Kisumu in a bid to achieve a steady supply of the grain. In addition, the East Africa’s largest alcohol beverage company seeks to deepen socio-economic benefits, at the same time play a vital role in improving the living standards of the local community. EABL secured US$123.5 million long-term loan for the facility, expected to complete by July 2019. The brewer, 50.02% owned by multinational brewer Diageo,…

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US Grains Council, sorghum industry respond to China anti-dumping rules

CHINA – The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and sorghum industry led by the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) have acted in response to new anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations launched against imported U.S. sorghum by China. The response came a week after the sorghum markets reacted as farmers and the trade became concerned about market access in China. NSP CEO Tim Lust and USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight noted in media interviews that the market in China is not shut down and, to the industry’s knowledge, sales contracts continue to be…

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