MinBane

I write what I like.

Archive for the category “Agriculture”

Opinion: CS Mwangi Kiunjuri axed today

Well, Mr. Take a Photo of Locust and post on it Social Media, then the professionals at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation statement the other in the media. This is the man who was reshuffled away or axed from the Kenyatta Cabinet on the 14th January 2020. Not that its deserving to sack CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.

But, his a long-term ally of Deputy President William Ruto. A man who help to intimidate witnesses for the ICC case of the ones in power. CS Kiunjuri was first the CS for Devolution and Planning for two years, until he was appointed on the 26th January 2018 as the CS for Agriculture and Irrigation. So, he got close to two years there too, but this time his out and no new deployment.

That is why his axed. The man of the Maize, Sugar, Rice, Tea and Coffee Cartels. As his helped them and been a cushion for them. Ensured their enrichment over the farmers, while they use the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to give favourable deals between traders over farmers. Therefore, the cartels and inside trading benefits the traders, not the farmers.

That is why the golfer, the long time MP and CS didn’t do his work properly. He surely has enrichen himself as an MP. As he got over 700 million shillings over the years in Parliament. While, he has gotten connections with Ruto and others. His been part of dam scandals and others, where he surely gotten something sweet.

With the two years as CS of Agriculture, he most likely found some ways to his pockets too. That is why he will miss the bargain of being there. As he could ensure the rotting cereals, while importing UNGA, Sugar and whatnot else for the benefit of the cartels. Since, the pricing of the state would maybe not be beneficial of the ones there.

Now, the man has fallen, but not expect changes in the Ministry. That’s a fools hope at this point. There was no big change in Bett and will be little or nothing with the next. Only a new face and soon new scandals involving farming goods. Just await a sugar, tea, coffee or such scandal in a few months time. It is inevitable.

Kiunjuri might be a useless minister, but he knew how to keep the cartels mobilized and secure them funds. So, that they could oil the political machinery in parliament and the patrons of the industries. That is what it does and will continue. There are two many big-men eating of this plate to stop it. It is too much at stake, that is why the DCI and whatnot else doesn’t investigate it. They just let it go.

Now, Kiunjuri is let go. It is not a sad day, maybe for the Cartels, but they will get a new puppet under a new name and flag. This revolution will not be televised, but experienced in homes across the Republic. As the Maize, Sugar, Coffee, Tea and Rice will be used as a tool by the cartels, as there is no interest stopping them.

Not under Kiunjuri, not under Bett and whatever the new CS is. It will not happen, only go skin-deep if only so. Peace.

Malawi: Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development – Armyworm Outbreak Alert (04.01.2020)

Zimbabwe: ED wants the citizen’s to go vegetarian…

You should eat vegetables, they are recommended by doctors. Doctors want you to eat vegetables so that you stay healthy. Meat is not good at all. We have differed there; I listen to doctors, so I eat vegetables. They said vitamins are found in vegetables and potatoes. You see. I was advised that there are seven basic commodities which should not be scarce. We are going to make sure that these are found at affordable prices for our people. We are working on that, be patient. These things are being rolled out, we have the money to do that” – President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa on the 3rd January 2020

There are usually signs that your running a successful enterprise, when you have the options to choose and can even save something for a rainy day. However, that is not the case in Zimbabwe. Where the authorities are acting like everything is dandy, as they got the hand on the steering-wheel, while it looks it is rolling off a cliff.

The economic desperation comes hard with this one. That a President tells the crowds around him, as the citizen cannot afford meat. That they should continue to just eat vegetables. It is a reason why the state got subsidize Maize Roller Meals and other initiatives to try to get things to the public. As the citizens cannot afford the basics nor the needed consumer products. Food gets to costly and their options getting smaller.

That is why suddenly the President wants to sound like a Public Health Advisor or an Nutrition Worker. He is the man, who explains the values of roots, greens and whatever that grows from the soil. That these plants and vegetables are having nutritions values, which the body needs. This isn’t the sounds and whispering words of a President, but of someone who tells someone who has a deficiency or visiting the doctor because of fatigue.

So, Mr. President: “what’s up doc?”

What is the cure is it veganism and become vegetarian, leave all meat behind and also try to get fish. However, shouldn’t you ensure that people get protein and such too? There isn’t an substitute for that, not even with beans and lentils. So, when he says eat vegetables, his knowingly giving the public some deficiency and lack of other vital nutritions supplements in the diet, which meat has.

Nevertheless, ED and ZANU-PF will never say this, because they know they are loosing. The President should know how embarrassing this is and the sign it sets. This is not a sign of development or control. What it is signifying is a failing economy, a fragile agricultural output and lack of currency to export needed things. That is why meat becomes to expensive for the public. Plus the inflation and lack of rising salaries, make all commodities to expensive to the public too. Therefore, it is bad governing and the public is paying the price, as they cannot afford it any-more.

Mnangagwa, who are you to say these things? Veganism and vegetarians is that the new sloganeering of the government? Is that the thing of ZANU-PF for 2020?

If so, your failing and is abysmal at your job. If you don’t know that, now you know. Please, do quit your day job, Mr. President, your bad at it. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Statement by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Dr. S.L. Nzenza, on the Maize Roller Meal Subsidy Programme (02.01.2020)

Zimbabwe: International community must step up support to millions of desperately hungry Zimbabweans (30.12.2019)

HARARE – Millions of Zimbabweans pushed into hunger by prolonged drought and economic crisis face an increasingly desperate situation unless adequate funding for a major relief operation materialises quickly, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.

With nearly eight million people – half the population – now food insecure, WFP plans to double the number of people it assists – up to 4.1 million – but needs over US$200 million for its emergency response in the first half of 2020 alone.

“As things stand, we will run out of food by end of February, coinciding with the peak of the hunger season – when needs are at their highest,” said Niels Balzer, WFP’s Deputy Country Director in Zimbabwe. “Firm pledges are urgently needed as it can take up to three months for funding commitments to become food on people’s tables,” Balzer added.

Years of drought have slashed food production in Zimbabwe, once an African breadbasket. This year’s maize harvest was down 50 percent on 2018, with overall cereal output less than half the national requirement. By August of 2019, WFP was forced to launch an emergency lean season assistance programme to meet rising needs, months earlier than anticipated.

Since then, food shortages have become ever more pronounced. This month, maize, was only available in half of the markets WFP monitors countrywide.

Worryingly, runaway inflation – a symptom of the wide-ranging economic crisis Zimbabwe is experiencing – has propelled the prices of basic commodities beyond the reach of all but the most privileged. Amid dire shortage of foreign exchange and of local currency, Zimbabwe has seen drastic price increases – bread now costs 20 times what it cost six months ago, while the price of maize has nearly tripled over the same period.

The deepening hardship is forcing families to eat less, skip meals, take children out of school, sell off livestock and fall into a vicious cycle of debt. There is little respite expected for the most vulnerable, including subsistence farmers who grow most of Zimbabwe’s food and depend on a single, increasingly erratic rainy season.

This season’s rains are again late and inadequate, with planted seeds having failed to germinate in many areas. Forecasts of continuing hot and dry weather in the weeks ahead signal another poor harvest in April, putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

WFP’s operational scale-up is challenging in many respects. Owing to the acute shortages of local currency and rapid inflation, it entails a large-scale switch from cash-based assistance to food distributions. WFP is uniquely positioned to make this switch in times of crisis but can only do so with sustained donor support.

Because drought and flooding have tightened the availability of food across much of Southern Africa, much of the nearly 200,000 metric tons of food required to deliver assistance to the 4.1 million people targeted by WFP must be sourced beyond the continent, shipped to neighbouring South Africa or Mozambique and moved by road into land-locked Zimbabwe.

“While WFP now has the staff, partners, trucking and logistics capacity in place for a major surge in Zimbabwe, it is essential that we receive the funding to be able to fully deliver,” Balzer said. “The lives of so many depend on this.”

Cattle keepers in Wau benefit from free veterinary camp provided by UNMISS peacekeepers (28.12.2019)

In South Sudan, the death of a cow or a goat is a big loss, as cattle are important assets.

JUBA, South Sudan, December 28, 2019 – Since her childhood days in Majok, Martha Agew’s life has relied heavily on rearing livestock. Ms. Agew was one of may beneficiaries as Bangladeshi peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan provided cattle keepers in her area with free veterinary services.

“I am a 65-year-old cattle keeper who has been owning more than 500 cows in Achol-Majok in Wau town, but due to an acute shortage of medications I have lost about 30 cows and two goats in recent years, she says, adding that she was aware of plenty of over livestock in frail health.

 “If one of our animals was sick, it was either slaughtered or left to die because there was no availability of veterinary services around here. This led to a decline in our livestock production and limited marketing opportunities. But now, thanks to the peacekeepers who offered us free veterinary services we can become more self-sufficient.”

During the veterinary campaign, Joseph Richard Ambuka, Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Health in Wau, appealed to the peacekeeping mission to extend its services to other areas outside Wau town.

In South Sudan, the death of a cow or a goat is a big loss, as cattle are important assets. They are not only used as a source of food and to generate income, but also as dowry for marriages and as signs of wealth and power.

Zimbabwe: Press Statement on Rice Donations to Rural Communities by His Excellency the President of Republic of Zimbabwe CDE E.D. Mnangagwa – December 2019 (27.12.2019)

South Sudan hunger deepens due to drought, floods and uncertain political future (12.12.2019)

ROME/JUBA The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is in a race against time to mobilize vital funds to feed millions of people in South Sudan as hunger advances on a population in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Catastrophic flooding over recent months is pushing the country and its people towards a precipice as the year ends amid intense political instability.

Up to 5.5 million South Sudanese are projected to be going hungry in early 2020 – according to forecasts from the last food security data prepared by Government and United Nations experts [1]. The number of people in need is likely to increase because of the catastrophic level of destruction caused by floods since October following a drought that hammered parts of the country earlier in the year.

“With all the catastrophes around the world, the last thing we need is another,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “We know the problems that we’ve been having in South Sudan, but the rains and the floods have led to a national disaster and are much worse than anyone could have anticipated.”

“In fact, if we don’t get funding in the next few weeks and months, we are literally talking about famine. We need support, we need help and we need it now,” he added

Close to 1 million people have been directly affected by flooding that destroyed 73,000 metric tons of potential harvests and wiped out tens of thousands of cattle and goats on which people depend for survival.

Humanitarian assistance provides a lifeline in most areas of South Sudan. In 2019, WFP ramped up its assistance to reach 4.6 million with life-saving support but now needs US$270 million for the first half of 2020. Of this, WFP needs US$100 million in the next month to buy and pre-position food ahead of the rainy season in May 2020.

The Government declared a state of emergency in late October in Bahr El Ghazal, Greater Upper Nile and Greater Equatoria because of the floods, calling for international assistance to be stepped up.

Famine in South Sudan was defeated after four months in 2017 by a concerted large-scale humanitarian response. Experts now say the country’s food security outlook has never been so dire.

Ghana: Rawlings Congratulates Farmers (06.12.2019)

Once the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe now on brink of man-made starvation, UN rights expert warns (28.11.2019)

GENEVA / HARARE (28 November 2019) – Despite the constitutional protection of the right to food and a sophisticated set of human-rights based national laws and policies, man-made starvation is slowly making its way in Zimbabwe, said the UN expert of the right to food after visiting the country from 18 to 28 November 2019.

“More than 60% of the population of a country once seen as the breadbasket of Africa is now considered food-insecure, with most households unable to obtain enough food to meet basic needs due to hyperinflation,” said Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, presenting a preliminary statement at the end of an 11-day visit.

“In rural areas, a staggering 5.5 million people are currently facing food insecurity, as poor rains and erratic weather patterns are impacting harvests and livelihoods. In urban areas, an estimated 2.2 million people are food-insecure and lack access to minimum public services, including health and safe water.

“These are shocking figures and the crisis continues to worsen due to poverty and high unemployment, widespread corruption, severe price instabilities, lack of purchasing power, poor agricultural productivity, natural disasters, recurrent droughts and unilateral economic sanctions.”

Elver said women and children were bearing the brunt of the crisis.

“The majority of the children I met were stunted and underweight,” she said. “Child deaths from severe malnutrition have been rising in the past few months. 90 % of Zimbabwean children aged six months to two years are not consuming the minimum acceptable diet.

“I saw the ravaging effects of malnutrition on infants deprived of breast feeding because of their own mothers’ lack of access to adequate food.

“In a desperate effort to find alternative means of livelihood, some women and children are resorting to coping mechanisms that violate their most fundamental human rights and freedoms. As a result, school drop-outs, early marriage, domestic violence, prostitution and sexual exploitation are on the rise throughout Zimbabwe.”

Elver said people she met in the drought-affected areas of Masvingo and Mwenezi, located in the driest regions of the country, told her they ate only one portion of cooked maize a day. Women, the elderly and children are barely able to meet their minimum food needs and are largely dependent on food assistance, while most of the men are abroad seeking work, she added.

“Without access to a diversified and nutritious diet, rural Zimbabweans, particularly younger children, barely survive,” she said, adding that the agricultural and food system needs immediate reform.

“I strongly urge the Government to take the necessary measures to reduce the country’s dependence on imported food, particularly maize, and to support alternative wheats to diversify the diet. The Government should create the conditions for the production of traditional seeds to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency and preparedness for the climate shocks that hit the country.”

The Special Rapporteur said the crisis in Zimbabwe’s cities was no less severe than in rural areas.

“I witnessed some of the devastating consequences of the acute economic crisis in the streets of Harare, with people waiting for hours on long lines in front of gas stations, banks, and water dispensaries,” she said.

“The Zimbabweans I spoke to in Harare and its suburbs explained that even if food was widely available in markets, the erosion of their incomes combined with an inflation skyrocketing to over 490%, made them suffer from food insecurity, also impacting the middle-class.

Elver also said that she received “disturbing” information that public hospitals have been reaching out to humanitarian organizations after their own medicine and food stocks were exhausted.

Elver also received indication that the distribution of lands or food had been manipulated for political ends throughout the last two decades, favoring those who support the ruling political party.

“I call on the Government of Zimbabwe to live up to its zero hunger commitment without any discrimination,” Elver said.

Zimbabwe counts amongst the four highest food insecure States, alongside conflict ravaged countries, the expert noted.

“A Government official I met in Harare told me that ‘Food security is national security’. Never has this been truer than in today’s Zimbabwe.

“As food insecurity and land mismanagement increase the risks of civil unrest, I urgently call on the Government, all political parties and the international community to come together to put an end to this spiraling crisis before it morphs into a full-blown conflict.

“Steps could be taken at the national level to respect, protect and fulfill the Government’s human rights obligations, and internationally, by putting an end to all economic sanctions. The extraordinarily resilient people of Zimbabwe deserve no less.”

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: