- Africa Risks Importing $110b Food in 2025
The Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Dr. Nteranya Sanginga has warned that the neglect of agriculture would cost Africa continent $110b in terms of food imports in 2025, up from the current $35billion.
Sanginga, who stated this while addressing members of the Board of Trustees of IITA and researchers during the 2016 Partnership for Development Week (P4D Week) in Ibadan, Oyo State, said there are negative consequences if Africa continued to pay lip service to agriculture and fails to invest in the sector.
Besides, he said failure to invest in agriculture would deprive the continent of necessary jobs and further fuel the spiralling rate of unemployment among the youths.
The DG acknowledged that though some African governments have come to the realisation that agriculture was one of the ways to save the continent from the situation, most countries were not investing enough in the sector.
“Take for instance, the commitment to invest at least 10 per cent of national budgets to agriculture. Not many countries are meeting this goal,” he said.
He commended the African Development Bank for the new initiative–Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) – to transform agriculture in the continent. He explained that the TAAT program is a new initiative of the AfDB in collaboration with the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR), under the Feed Africa Initiative to drive agriculture development on the continent.
Through the TAAT program, the Bank aims to invest more than $800m in the agriculture sector. The funds would be channelled into upscaling of proven innovations that will improve the fortunes of farmers and address the twin problem of food insecurity and unemployment.
Sanginga also reiterated IITA’s commitment to supporting African smallholder farmers in the context of agribusiness such that agriculture transcends food for the fork to money in the pocket.
According to him, IITA will continue to respond to the needs of Africa by developing innovations that will provide answers to Africa’s food insecurity. To this end, IITA will be demonstrating its scientific leadership not only in terms of qualitative research in the lab, but also impact in farmers’ fields.
The DG, who began his second tenure earlier this year said IITA’s priority for the future would focus on research, capacity development, partnerships, impact at scale, and delivery.
He said IITA’s internal reorganisation had put the institute in a better position to address the challenges confronting Africa, calling on researchers to redouble their efforts and commitment to the ideas, mission and vision of the institute, which includes lifting out of poverty 11 million Africans, and the reclamation of 7.5 million hectares of degraded land and putting them into sustainable use.
Chair of IITA Board of Trustees, Prof. Bruce Coulman commended Sanginga for efforts at repositioning IITA for the challenges ahead, stressing that the Board was convinced that “IITA is in safe hands.”
He emphasised that IITA would continue to support Africa in achieving the goal of eradicating hunger and poverty in Africa.
The P4D Week is an annual event that brings together more than 200 international researchers working for IITA across the world to review, share experiences and plan for the way forward.
Deputy Director General, Partnership for Delivery, Dr Kenton Dashiell said the P4D week’s emphasis for the year was not just on research, but also on delivery at scale.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
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