05 July 2012 - Private sector-led agribusiness brings with it opportunities but also dangers.
The G8 summit last May ended with a pledge to end hunger in Africa and a plan to inject $3 billion into African agriculture with the aim of “catalysing private sector investment in African agriculture”. This record investment, derived entirely from the private sector, appears to stem from a realisation that previous aid commitments have failed, as well as perhaps an assessment of government priorities in an environment of Western austerity.
The G8’s position represents a significant leap of faith in market-friendly agriculture four years after the 2008 global food crisis when increasing food prices led to unrest in a number of developing countries. For its alleged ability to promote business opportunities in low income markets, offer inputs and links to markets for small-scale producers, agribusiness was recently elevated by the International Fund for Agriculture and Development as a key driver of hunger reduction. The primary objective of the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is a shared commitment to increase investment into African agriculture, luring investors to Africa’s food markets on the premise of favourable returns and low tax rates. It will initially be launched in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania.
For the complete article, please see ThinkAfricaPress.
75 years ago, the UN was born. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN looks back at several important achievements, but much work on persisting challenges still lies ahead. Increased UN engagement in three areas can make the region more resilient to future challenges.
Insecurity is plaguing north-western Nigeria, due to persistent herder-farmer tensions, rising crime and infiltration by Islamist militants. Federal and state authorities should focus on resolving conflict between agrarian and pastoralist communities, through dialogue and resource-sharing agreements, while also stepping up law enforcement.
The scope of national security is expanding beyond violent threats to encompass a broader array of dangers. In an article for World Politics Review, CFR's Stewart M. Patrick assesses the implications of COVID-19 and climate change for the theory and practice of national security.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous parallels have been drawn between this health crisis and the climate crisis. Science plays an important role in advising decision makers on how to ensure sustainable crisis management and a precautionary approach to avoid harmful repercussions, particularly where we do not yet know all the consequences of our actions. [...]