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Agriculture

AT A TIME when failing harvests are once again threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions across Africa, 300 agriculture scientists, entrepreneurs, farmers’ organisations and governments from across the continent have gathered to accelerate a massive effort to develop and deploy higher-yield, disease and drought resistant crop varieties of Africa’s most important food crops.

ZAMBIA HAS STARTED developing farm blocks in order to diversify the economy away from mining. The now subsiding global economic crisis has exposed Zambia’s overdependence on mining sector which suffers from external shocks.

THE CUMMINS QSK19 ENGINE will power the largest self-propelled forage harvester ever built by John Deere. The new 7950 SPFH utilises the 597kW (800-hp) rated output of the 19-litre engine to significantly increase harvesting productivity with a wider working width and reduced working time.

SOUTH AFRICAN FARMERS are considering concessions in the DR Congo, the Chinese have expressed interest in the biofuel potential of Angola’s run-down eucalyptus plantations, and the sovereign wealth funds of the Middle East are snapping up large parcels of high-potential land wherever they can find it, Sudan being a prime target.

ACOMMON TRAIT in many African countries seems to involve a reduced emphasis on agricultural training when the country achieves independence. In Nigeria an excellent system of teaching farming and gardening in primary schools was abandoned soon after an independent state was created in 1960.

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