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Cities Eating into World's Farmlands

NEW DELHI - By 2030, the world could lose millions of fertile agricultural lands to expanding cities with Asia and Africa accounting for 80 per cent of the total farm losses, a study finds.
Analysing satellite data on croplands and their productivity using year 2000 as the reference point and comparing it with urban area projections for 2030, international researchers found that 30 million hectares of crop lands will be lost to growing cities – an area equivalent to the Philippines. Of this, Asia and Africa will lose 24 million hectares of prime agricultural land. 
“Whether we have food security issues in cities depends on how dependent the city is on locally produced versus imported foods.”

South Africa and EU Spar Over Chicken Meat Imports

By Zipporah Nyambura
S. African poultry industry workers on Wednesday marched to the European Union's headquarters in Pretoria, accusing the EU of dumping cheap chicken in the country. The EU says it is not the cause of the industry's woes.
About 500 workers, former workers and company managers from the South African poultry sector took part in the protest, warning that the local poultry sector was on the brink of collapse due to the dumping of cheap chicken. The message on the banners was clear: "Organize or starve," one read while another proclaimed "Dumping destroys SA jobs."

Chinese Firm to Invest $1 Billion to Boost Cassava in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania has signed a $1 billion partnership agreement with a Chinese firm to commercialise cassava farming and processing, raising hopes to growers who have been grappling with the challenge of accessing reliable markets.
Tanzania Agricultural Export Processing Zone Limited and Epoch Agriculture (TAEPZ) from China said they created an out-grower scheme that will ensure sufficient production of cassava for processing.

The New Chair of the African Union Commission

Addis Ababa. Ethiopia. 30 January 2017- Chadian Foreign Minister Hon. Moussa Faki Mahamat has been elected incoming Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission by AU heads of State and Government, who form the Assembly of the African Union.
Ghana’s Ambassador Thomas Kwesi Quartey was elected Deputy Chairperson.
Elections for the eight Commissioner posts are ongoing.
More details to follow.

African Voices Must Speak Up for Infrastructure Financing, Support

By Asmita Parshotam
Lesotho is facing challenges in financing its Queen Mamohato Hospital, which costs U.S. $67 million a year to run, representing half of the country's meagre health budget. The project, which the World Bank's International Finance Corporation helped design, is a result of a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement between the Lesotho government and a South African private healthcare provider.

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