The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project has stepped up efforts in cultivating and fostering the right partnerships in its cardinal aim of reducing the cassava yield gap in Africa.
The ACAI project team from inception realised the importance of partnerships, and is sparing no effort in ensuring effective collaboration among partners from the experimental phase to the development, and use of the tools that will support appropriate management of cassava to realise the crop’s fullest potential on farmers’ fields.
The project has engaged key actors in Nigeria and Tanzania ranging from farmers, researchers, extension services, development workers, processors as well as input dealers notably fertilizer manufacturing companies.
The main aim is to establish contact among relevant actors for considerations for learning and information sharing that will benefit the participating partners associated with ACAI, according to Dr. Abdulai Jalloh, ACAI Project Coordinator on Friday.
The Africa Soil Health Consortium in collaboration with the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) (partners under ACAI) is leading the engagement of key stakeholders in target countries as the project establishes cassava clusters.
Jalloh noted that even though the entry point of ACAI is to address yield gap, it is imperative for strategic considerations of the cassava value chain and inclusiveness of all concerned.
According to him, ACAI is conscious of the mistakes of past interventions where bottlenecks were considered in isolation irrespective of other existing ones and even those that could occur as a result of concentrating on only one aspect.
He emphasised that ACAI would direct efforts towards reducing the yield gap, which would eventually increase cassava production while ensuring impacts along the value chain with a view to having a sustainable improvement in cassava production, processing, and utilisation, and impact on overall economic development of individuals, communities, and countries.
Mr James Watiti of CABI who is leading the establishment of cassava value chain clusters emphasised that it was very crucial to bring all stakeholders together and hold a meaningful conversation in an open manner.
He stressed that as long as there is candid conversation among partners, issues and challenges can be addressed and synergies capitalised on.
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project is a five-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project is led by IITA and it seeks to increase the availability of appropriate and affordable technologies to sustainably improve short- and long-term agricultural productivity of cassava.
Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd
The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.
The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.
The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.
The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.
Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.
The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.
Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins
Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.
This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.
Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.
On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.
“Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.
“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”
The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.
“There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.
“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”
Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020
Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020
The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.
EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.
“If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.
The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.
It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.
It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.
“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”
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