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African Cassava Agronomy Initiative Strengthens Partnership to Boost Yield

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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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Energy

Unlocking Investments into Africa’s Renewable Energy Market

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green energy - Investors King

The African Energy Guarantee Facility (AEGF) is launching a virtual roadshow of free webinars allowing a deeper understanding of risk issues for renewable energy projects on the continent, and conversations around risk mitigation solutions. The first webinar will take place on Thursday, 23 September from 14:30-16:00 hrs. EAT. 

The session will be oriented on how to get more energy projects from the drawing board to the grid. While the energy demand in African economies is expected to nearly double by 2040, and although the potential for renewable energy is 1,000 times larger than the demand, only 2GW out of almost 180GW of this new renewable power were added on the African continent.

Clearly not good enough! To improve the situation within the next two decades, new solutions need to be implemented urgently. De-risking and promoting private sector investments will play a crucial part of it.

In this 90-min interactive session, AEGF partners: the European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW Development Bank, Munich Re and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) will share their experience and provide valuable insights on how they were able to come together and design practical solutions for investors and financiers of green energy projects in Africa aligned with SDG7 objectives.

Across Africa, the complexity of renewable energy projects and their long tenors hold back crucial energy investment. Tailored to the specific needs and risk profiles of sustain­able energy projects, AEGF will tackle the investment challenge by providing underwriting expertise and capacity tailored to market needs.

The AEGF will significantly boost private investment in sustainable energy projects, both expanding access to clean energy and contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals. The scheme supports new private sector investment in eligible renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Energy

Shell Signs Agreement To Sell Permian Interest For $9.5B to ConocoPhillips

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Shell profit drops 44 percent

Shell Enterprises LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has reached an agreement for the sale of its Permian business to ConocoPhillips, a leading shales developer in the basin, for $9.5 billion in cash. The transaction will transfer all of Shell’s interest in the Permian to ConocoPhillips, subject to regulatory approvals.

“After reviewing multiple strategies and portfolio options for our Permian assets, this transaction with ConocoPhillips emerged as a very compelling value proposition,” said Wael Sawan, Upstream Director. “This decision once again reflects our focus on value over volumes as well as disciplined stewardship of capital. This transaction, made possible by the Permian team’s outstanding operational performance, provides excellent value to our shareholders through accelerating cash delivery and additional distributions.”

Shell’s Upstream business plays a critical role in the Powering Progress strategy through a more focused, competitive and resilient portfolio that provides the energy the world needs today whilst funding shareholder distributions as well as the energy transition.

The cash proceeds from this transaction will be used to fund $7 billion in additional shareholder distributions after closing, with the remainder used for further strengthening of the balance sheet. These distributions will be in addition to our shareholder distributions in the range of 20-30 percent of cash flow from operations. The effective date of the transaction is July 1, 2021 with closing expected in Q4 2021.

Shell has been providing energy to U.S. customers for more than 100 years and plans to remain an energy leader in the country for decades to come.

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Crude Oil

Oil Gains 1 Percent on Possible Tight Supply 

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Oil prices - Investors King

Oil prices rose on Tuesday as analysts pointed to signs of U.S. supply tightness, ending days of losses as global markets remain haunted by the potential impact on China’s economy of a crisis at heavily indebted property group China Evergrande.

Brent crude gained 95 cents or 1.3% to $74.87 a barrel by 0645 GMT, having fallen by almost 2% on Monday. The contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) , which expires later on Tuesday, was up 91 cents or 1.3% at $71.20 after dropping 2.3% in the previous session.

Global utilities are switching to fuel oil due to rising gas and coal prices, and lingering outages from the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ada that imply less supply is available, ANZ analysts said.

“While slowing Chinese economic growth and uncertainty around the (U.S.) Fed’s tapering timetable weighed on market sentiment, other developments still point to higher oil prices,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Still, investors across financial assets have been rocked by the fallout from heavily indebted Evergrande (3333.HK) and the threat of a wider market shakeout in the longer term.

“Evergrande’s woes are threatening the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy and making some investors question China’s growth outlook and whether it is safe to invest there,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

While that view of the state of China’s economy is weighing on markets, the U.S. Federal Reserve is also expected to start tightening monetary policy – likely to make investors warier of riskier assets such as oil.

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