Soil is “everything”, says ForAfrika ahead of World Soil Day
In farming, soil is everything, says agroecologist Tarirai Mpofu, adviser to ForAfrika, the continent’s largest indigenous nongovernmental organisation. ForAfrika’s main strategy is to work with 20-million Africans so as to ensure that by 2032, they have the skills and tools they need to provide for themselves.Continue reading View more
EduPlant wins coveted Strategic CSI award
EduPlant, one of Food & Trees for Africa’s (FTFA) most impactful food security programmes, implemented in partnership with Tiger Brands, has won the Trialogue’s 2022 Strategic CSI Award. The award recognises projects that exemplify best practice within the South African development landscape and specifically encourages interventions and partners to think about strategic business integration as the pinnacle of impact and sustainability.Continue reading View more
Terragrn to regenerate up to 200,000 ha of unused land into job-friendly agroforest ecosystem in Mpumalanga in ground-breaking $2.6 billion impact investment
- Measurable community impact includes 50,000 jobs and skills for locals by year 10.
- As much as 200,000 ha to be planted by 2032.
Practice kindness with SA Harvest and your Myschool card
What does kindness mean to you? For food rescue and hunger relief organisation SA Harvest, kindness is rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste and delivering it to hungry South Africans all over the country. It means being kind to the earth by ensuring that food that would have ended up in landfill causing damage to the environment through harmful methane gas emissions ends up in hungry tummies instead.Continue reading View more
Minister Enoch Godongwana: 9th Southern Africa/Europe CEO dialogue
10 Nov 2022
It is my privilege to welcome all of you to the 9th Southern Africa/Europe CEO Dialogue. In February this year, leaders from Africa and Europe met in Brussels for the 6th European Union – African Union Summit.
A key outcome of that Summit was the adoption of a joint vision for a renewed partnership between Africa and Europe. This, we said, will be a partnership based on solidarity and shared values towards a prosperous, sustainable and shared future. We committed to work together to build more diversified and inclusive economies. We also agreed on strengthening investment, supporting industrialisation and the development of sustainable and resilient value and supply chains.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is in this context that this 9th Southern Africa/Europe CEO Dialogue is taking place. We are also meeting against a backdrop of two major global crises: the lingering Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
This Dialogue, therefore, is not only a platform to advance the vision we articulated in Brussels, but also to respond to the challenges of our time. It is also a platform to strengthen trade and economic relations between Europe and South Africa.
Due to a significant slowdown in the world’s largest economies including the Euro Area, the IMF projects global growth of 3.2 percent, from a forecast of 4.4 percent in 2022. The 2023 outlook has also been revised downward to 2.7 percent.
Global headline inflation is projected at 8.8 percent in 2022, before slowing to 6.5 percent in 2023 and 4.1 percent in 2024. In the short-term, global monetary policy will continue to tighten as central banks intensify the fight against inflation.
Global trade volumes will slow significantly from 10.1 percent in 2021 to 4.3 percent in 2022, and 2.5 percent in 2023. Disruptions to global trade, supply and value chains have tilted the balance of risks to Africa’s economic growth outlook to the downside.
Africa’s real GDP growth is now projected at 4.1 percent in 2022; significantly lower than the near 7 percent recorded in 2021. Growth is likely to come in at around 4 percent in 2023. In South Africa, real GDP contracted by 0.7% quarter on quarter in the second quarter of 2022, compared to a downwardly revised expansion of 1.7 percent quarter on quarter in the first quarter.
We expect domestic monetary policy to tighten further in the near term. Persistently high inflation, rising interest rates, slowing global growth, increased volatility and uncertainty all point to a challenging outlook in the near to medium term for South Africa’s economy. Domestic GDP growth for 2022 has been revised downward to 1.9 percent from a projected 2.1 percent, and to 1.4 percent in 2023 from 1.6 percent.
Our response to the challenging economic environment
In response to the challenges of the moment, our focus has been on the implementation of structural reforms to improve competitiveness, industrial policy to boost manufacturing and measures to strengthen the capacity of the state. We are doing this within a clear and stable macroeconomic framework, including a stable and flexible exchange rate, low and stable inflation, and sustainable fiscal policy.
On structural reforms, we are creating a competitive energy market, dealing with inefficiencies in our ports and rail network, addressing our visa regime to attract skills and investments and are reforming our water and telecommunications sectors. Work continues to build a capable and developmental state which is a necessary precondition for inclusive growth.
We are also intervening to reverse the decline in fixed investment, including through ensuring policy certainty and addressing the cost and ease of doing business. The capacity of our state-owned enterprises to invest in the economy, to unlock growth and job creation is being enhanced.
Infrastructure budgets across government are being increased while capacity for project planning, preparation and execution is being enhanced. Spending on capital assets is the fastest growing expenditure item on our budget. Action is being taken to modernise procurement and improve contract management.
Our investment in fighting crime and corruption is being strengthened as part of removing impediments to investment and growth. The African continent is devastated the most by the worsening effects of climate change, which poses an existential threat to humanity. We are committed to the goal of a just transition.
Our approach envisions accelerating investment in new generation capacity, while preserving the livelihoods of communities adversely affected by the transition from coal and other fossil fuels.
We reiterate President Ramaphosa’s call at COP 27 that Africa needs to build adaptive capacity, foster resilience and address the loss and damage due to climate change. For this to happen, our continent needs a predictable, appropriate and at-scale funding stream and technological support.
This places a responsibility on developed nations to honour their commitments to those countries with the greatest need and that confront the greatest environmental, social and economic effects of climate change.
Programme Director, in the words of Andrew Steer, the CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, this is a sobering moment not only for Africa, but also for the world. It is a time of a slowing growth globally, geopolitical tensions, and the lingering impact of Covid-19. It is also a time of the perfect storm of rising food prices, rising energy prices, rising interest rates, as well as increases in the impact of climate change and vulnerability.
All of this is happening when the fiscal space has narrowed considerably in many countries and access to global capital even more constrained.
Faced with this stark reality, the need for ongoing dialogue among key decision makers has never been greater.
We need a deeper conversation on accelerating sustainable and inclusive growth on our continents.
We need to find ways of strengthening trade among ourselves in this new environment.
Together we must navigate through the global crises and disruptions shaping our national and regional economies.
We must strive for prosperity and sustainability for our people and continents.
I have no doubt that this will be the platform where all of these issues will be thoroughly deliberated upon.
I wish you a successful Summit.
Thank you!View more
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development gives climate advisory for 2022/23 summer
The majority of the country is currently reporting poor to reasonable veld and livestock conditions. Summer rainfall areas began receiving some rain, mostly later in October and farmers are preparing land for planting. Parts of the Western Cape, extreme western areas of the Northern Cape and the Sarah Baartman District of the Eastern Cape continue to experience dry conditions. The average level of major dams remains high in most provinces.
According to the Seasonal Climate Watch issued by the South African Weather Service, dated 1 November 2022, above-normal rainfall is expected for most parts of the country for the summer season. Minimum temperatures are expected to be above-normal countrywide, however, maximum temperatures are expected to be below-normal over large parts of the country during the entire summer.
The October Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported that Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to become more widespread in areas of southern Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique, as well as areas of Angola and much of Zimbabwe due to compounding impacts of poor 2021/22 rainfall, tropical cyclones, and domestic economic declines that started in October.
Food security outcomes are expected to be most severe in southwestern Madagascar, where Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes also started in October. The population in need is likely to steadily increase through early 2023. Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and northern Mozambique remains the primary driver of acute food insecurity with the disruption to livelihood activities. In Mozambique, the Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces experienced an escalation of militia attacks in September.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 15 400 people were displaced between late August and late September. In the DRC, the security situation in the eastern provinces continues to deteriorate, especially in Ituri. Households in conflict-affected areas continue experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes and face difficulty engaging in the upcoming agricultural season.
FEWS NET further reported that across the region, poor households are engaging in off-season income-earning activities. While opportunities are currently limited, they were expected to improve to near-normal levels in October as land preparation started in most areas. November through December will likely see further improvements in agricultural activities, including planting. Predicted La Niña conditions are typically associated with average to above-average rainfall in Southern Africa. They will likely improve the availability of agricultural labour opportunities in most of the region.
However, in areas like southern Madagascar, income from agricultural labour opportunities will remain lower than normal as better-off households have lower liquidity following consecutive droughts. Food prices are increasing as more households rely on markets for food, especially in areas where production deficits were observed in 2022.
This year, price increases have been accelerated by high fuel prices linked to high global prices, according to FEWS NET. Prices of maize grain are 70% to 180% above the five-year average in Malawi and up to 42% higher than the average in Mozambique. In the DRC and Zimbabwe, food prices are expected to remain above the five-year average throughout the lean season.
In Madagascar’s southern drought-affected areas, dried cassava prices are 67% higher than average. In most countries, inflation has also been increasing, likely triggering more price increases for food. Poor households in the most deficit areas will continue struggling to access food commodities on the market due to weak purchasing power.[The IPC is a set of standardised tools that aims at providing a “common currency” for classifying the severity and magnitude of food insecurity.]
With the current conditions in mind, as well as the seasonal forecast, dryland farmers are advised to wait for sufficient moisture before planting and remain within the planting window. Farmers in areas that have been constantly experiencing dry conditions should prioritise drought-tolerant cultivars. In regions that are in reasonable condition, farmers are advised to prepare in line with the expected conditions, i.e., in line with the seasonal forecast.
However, they should not expand planting land unnecessarily. In addition, farmers should note that rainfall distribution remains a challenge, therefore not all areas might receive the anticipated above-normal rainfall that is well distributed.
Farmers are also advised to put measures in place for pests and diseases associated with wet and hot conditions as above-normal rainfall is anticipated. Moreover, it is important for farmers to follow the weather forecast regularly so as to make informed decisions. Farmers using irrigation should comply with water restrictions in their areas. Farmers must continually conserve resources in accordance with the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act No. 43 of 1983).
Farmers are advised to keep livestock in balance with carrying capacity of the veld, and provide additional feed such as relevant licks. Livestock should be provided with enough water points on the farm as well as shelter during bad weather conditions. Winter rainfall areas are becoming drier, increasing favourable conditions for veld fires. Therefore, the creation and maintenance of fire belts through mechanical means should be prioritised along with adherence to veld fire warnings.
Episodes of flooding resulting from rain bearing weather systems have occurred and will continue; precautionary measures should be in place. Heat waves have been reported and will occur during summer and therefore measures to combat these should be prepared. Farmers are encouraged to implement strategies provided in the early warning information issued.
The department will partner with all relevant stakeholders to continue raising awareness in the sector and capacitation of farmers on understanding, interpretation and utilisation of early-warning information for disaster risk mitigation and response.View more