On Africa's Farms
On Africa’s Farms, is an eBook that compiles articles published in the Mail & Guardian Africa. They are a result of Trust Africa’s partnership with the Nairobi-based news organization which seeks to enhance coverage of development issues. Tendai Murisa wrote that transforming African agriculture is of pressing concern from the highest levels of government to the thousands of farmers who tend their fields. The aim is to help smallholder farmers reach their potential and to spur economic growth that is widely shared. On page 1 the article’s title : Malawi’s smallholder farmer experience shows us that the middle-income farmer has nowhere to go. The country gets so much right, but so much wrong at the same time. This article talks about how the stagnant way in which agriculture in Africa was practiced is changing. In parts of the continent, youth are back in force on the farming agenda. On page 8 -You wouldn't think it, but seeds are the new big challenge for Africa’s female farmers. Rosemary Kadzitche, a female farmer in Malawi, also a former teacher turned farmer joined the National Association for Smallholder Farmers (NASFAM) in Malawi and was given a position of authority that gave her a voice. Rosemary alleges that they even actively try to force women out of decision-making roles, which is made easier by the fact that literacy levels among women is low, at 67.3% in comparison to 76.5% for men. On page 11 - Long walk to food freedom: African countries grapple to meet Maputo targets, but all is not lost. This article discusses the non-prioritization of agriculture, poor planning and low political will which conspire to leave the region off-balance, but smallholder farmers may hold the key. On page 16--Putting more food on Africa's table -- with a little help from science and other clever things Africa is rising, what about its food? -Last year Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, invested $1 billion into rice production in Nigeria. This new investment is in support of the Nigerian Government’s plan to attain food sufficiency and become a net-exporter of rice by 2015. Rice is crucial to Nigeria's food security - 84% of Nigerian households consume rice yet the country has a rice import bill currently exceeding $2 billion, which has the potential to deplete the country’s foreign currency reserves. Today the country is not too far behind its 2015 target and Dangote's investment will serve to bolster these efforts.