The Government of India has contributed almost USD one million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Zimbabwe to help affected populations tackle climate shocks.
The contribution, provided through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, will be used to assist more than 5200 smallholder farmers in Chiredzi and Mangwe districts. Working alongside partners, WFP Zimbabwe will provide expertise through its Smallholder Agricultural Market Support (SAMS) programme, to strengthen the resilience and capacity of selected smallholder farmers. The project will promote the cultivation of drought-tolerant small grains and legumes – reducing the negative effects of recurring droughts in Zimbabwe.
India played a key role in promoting the adoption of 2023 as the year of millet by the United Nations. This funding highlights India’s growing contributions to the Global South on efforts towards strengthening resilience to climate change.
Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, Mr Adel Abdellatif, said the contribution will ensure the social protection and resilience of smallholder farmers.
“Smallholders and family farmers are emblematic of the Global South, and of the challenge to ensure the Agenda 2030 benefits all, including the developing world’s rural and underprivileged communities. Innovations to ensure the social protection and resilience of smallholder farmers abound, with India being a distinct leader developing new and context-appropriate practices to mitigate rural poverty,” he said.
“This project is focused on increasing small grains production and market access. It will provide a good opportunity for successful Southern practices to be tested and scaled, improving the lives of rural Zimbabweans,” Mr Abdellatif further added.
This is a sound investment in Zimbabwe which relies heavily on agriculture – accounting for approximately 70 percent of the populations’ livelihood activity. It is also critical timing for the country, struggling with consecutive years of drought, cyclones, and unpredictable weather patterns.
Ambassador of India to Zimbabwe, Mr. Vijay Khanduja also believes the 2030 Agenda adopted at the UN, forms the basis for global action to achieve sustainable development.
“In 2017, the Government of India, in collaboration with UN Office of South-South Cooperation, set up an India-UN Development Partnership Fund, to help countries in the South to achieve their sustainable development goals. India and Zimbabwe have friendly relations and I wish this project of climate change mitigation to be an example of successful triangular cooperation,” said Mr. Khanduja.
WFP will build on existing collaboration with partners to combine relevant expertise, alongside the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement, and the Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (Agritex). Partners will procure small grain seeds and fertilizers from in-country producers and deliver these inputs to selected smallholder farmers in identified districts – along with providing technical support and training to enhance production.
WFP Zimbabwe Country Director and Representative Francesca Erdelmann said taking action in anticipation of climatic shocks is an effective way to deal with the root causes of hunger.
“This contribution will help WFP and partners on the ground to plan more effectively. Farmers will be trained on the advantages of growing drought-tolerant crops such as sorghum or millet, including techniques on how to reduce post-harvest losses. This contribution will go a long way in empowering farmers with the skills needed for sustainable climate-smart agriculture,” she added.
Between 2020-2021, WFP and partners have supported 60,000 smallholder farmers – 70 percent being female-headed households, across 30 rural districts through small grain production activities in Zimbabwe.
Remittances To Africa Projected to Drop By 5.4% in 2021: UNECA
According to a new report from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), remittances to Africa are projected to drop by 5.4 percent to $41 billion in 2021 from $44 billion last year.
The report notes that the bleak situation has been compounded by the high cost of sending money to Africa from abroad, as the cost of remittances to Africa remains the highest in the world at 8.9 percent.
Remittances are an essential part of economic activity in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), including Africa. Due to the economic crisis induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, global remittances are projected to decline sharply by about 20 percent in 2020. For Africa, remittances are projected to drop by 5.4 percent to $41 billion in 2021 from $44 billion last year, according to a new report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) projects remittances.
The report, titled “African regional review of the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration”, notes that the projected fall is mainly due to a fall in the wages and employment of migrant workers, who tend to be more vulnerable to loss of employment and wages amid the pandemic.
The report adds that the bleak situation has been compounded by the high cost of sending money to Africa from abroad as the cost of remittances to Africa remains the highest in the world at 8.9 percent.
“A migrant sending $200 to his/her family in Africa pays an estimated nine percent of the value of the transaction, indicating that the continent is still far from achieving the three percent target set out in Sustainable Development Goal 10,” the report stated.
This signals huge deficits in millions of African households depending on their friends and relatives abroad for a financial lifeline, thus threatening a perpetuation of macroeconomic imbalances on the continent.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and Sustainable Development Goal indicator 10(c) provides that countries should, by 2030, reduce to less than three percent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than five percent.
In response, some African countries have taken action to lower the costs of remittance transfers by offering diaspora bonds to investors and relaxing foreign exchange controls to allow for electronic and mobile money transfers at reduced costs.
“It should be noted, in that regard, that the use of digital money transfer platforms reduces transfer fees in Africa by an average of 7 percent,” says the report.
“Private financial institutions also offer incentives to encourage members of diaspora communities to use their services, including low transaction fees for remittances, and facilitate diaspora-initiated projects, especially in the real estate sector. These measures all promote the financial inclusion of migrants and their families.”
The report recommends that member States support migrants and their families through adopting laws and regulations to facilitate the sending and receiving of remittances, including by fostering competition among banks and other remittance handling agencies to establish low-cost transfer mechanisms.
In addition, the report recommends that African countries make every effort to reduce the transfer costs associated with remittance payments by making more extensive use of digital transfer solutions, such as MPESA, and by streamlining the regulatory constraints associated with international money transfers.
Finally, the report concludes that the African States should also engage with destination countries to identify ways to enhance the provision of basic services to migrants in those countries as remittances are a primary source of national income for at least 25 African countries, all of which have large diaspora populations.
Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Declines to 17.01 Percent in August 2021
Prices moderated further in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, in the month of August despite rising costs and growing economic uncertainties.
Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation rate, grew by 17.01 percent year-on-year in August 2021, representing a 0.37 percent decrease when compared to the 17.38 percent recorded in the month of July 2021.
On a monthly basis, inflation rate increased by 1.02 percent in August 2021, slightly higher by 0.09 percent than the 0.93 percent filed in July, the National Buruea of Statistics (NBS) stated in its latest report.
Prices of goods and services continued to drop on paper in recent months even as costs are hitting record highs across most sectors in Nigeria.
Naira has plunged to a record-low against the United States Dollar and other global currencies following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to halt sale of forex to Bureau De Change Operators in an effort to curb illicit financial flows and forex supplies to the black market.
Naira plunged to N560 per United States Dollar at the black on Wednesday to set a new record low against the greenback and subsequently dragged on cost of import goods and profit of import dependent businesses.
Food Index also rose at a slower pace in August 2021 even with Nigerians complaining of over 50 percent increase in the price of food items. Food composite index rose by 20.30 percent in August, at a slower pace when compared to 21.03 percent recorded in the month of July 2021.
The rise in food index were caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Milk, cheese and egg, Oils and fats, Potatoes, yam and other tuber, Food product n.e.c, Meat and Coffee, tea and cocoa, according to the NBS report.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.06 percent in August 2021, representing an increase of 0.20 percent from 0.86 percent filed in the month of July 2021.
Looking at a more stable food index guage, the twelve-month period ending August 2021 over the previous twelve-month average, food index increased by 0.34 percent from 20.16 percent achieved in July 2021 to 20.50 percent in August 2021.
Glo to Reconstruct 64km Ota-Idiroko Road Using Tax Credit Scheme – Fashola
Mobile telecommunications giant, Globacom, has offered to reconstruct the 64 km Ota-Idiroko road in 2022, using Federal Government’s Tax Credit Scheme.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, announced this on Wednesday during an inspection tour of the ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“From Ota to Idiroko, we don’t have a contract there, but Chief Mike Adenuga of Globacom has offered to construct that road using the tax credit system.
“So, that has also started, they are doing the design, and hopefully, by sometime early next year, they should mobilize to site. The real reconstruction is going to happen if we have a deal with Glo,” Fashola said.
He said that FERMA would carry out rehabilitation works on the Ota-Idiroko road between October and December.
“But between now and December, FERMA has gone to take measurements there and they will move there from the end of September if the Ogun State Government does two things.
“Clear all the squatters, traders, and the settlers on the road and help us manage traffic and the governor as at last night has committed to doing that for us,” the minister said.
He said efforts were on to bring in Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc and Unilever to reconstruct the Badagry link to the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road under the Tax Credit Scheme of the Federal Government.
The minister said that the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road had become a problematic road due to years of neglect by previous administrations, as such the highway required a huge investment.
He commended Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his passion for fixing roads in Ogun State, adding that the reconstruction of the failed portions of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road would be completed by December at the cost of N13. 4 billion.
The minister added that the project would be handled by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
He called on federal lawmakers representing Lagos and Ogun States to ensure increased budgetary allocation for the roads to ensure their speedy completion to ease the hardship on road users.
“When people say Fashola is looking away, I am not looking away, I just can’t find the money,” he said.
He also called for support of citizens for parliamentarians to ensure more borrowing for infrastructure upgrades because the future depends on development strides today.
Also speaking during the inspection tour, Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun said that the project became necessary because Ogun is the industrial hub of the nation that needed good roads for interconnectivity to boost commerce.
He said: “We have given the commitment that we will relocate traders, we will control and manage traffic, whatever that it is we need to do, we will ensure that we begin to bring succor and needed relief to our people.
“The state of that road today is pitiable. I went on that road myself and I felt bad for our citizens.”
Abiodun said the state government was ready to borrow to reconstruct the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road should there be a delay in the Sukuk funding for the highway.
“If this Sukuk bond would not happen immediately, the state government is willing to go and borrow against that promise so that we can mobilize the contractor,” he said.
He thanked Fashola for the efforts to reconstruct roads in the state and pledged the support of the state government in fixing the highways.
ECOWAS Imposes Sanctions on Guinea Junta Over Coups
Lagos Free Zone Company Issues N10.5B Series 1, 20-year Corporate Infrastructure Fixed Rate Bond in Nigerian Capital Market
NGX Returns to Red Zone Following Two Days of Consecutive Gains
Government4 weeks ago
Buhari Approves Review of 368 Grazing Reserves in 25 States
Naira2 weeks ago
Naira Plunges Further, Exchanges at N530 to U.S Dollar
News2 weeks ago
Buhari Terminates Appointment of Power and Agriculture Ministers
Government4 weeks ago
Hakainde Hichilema Sworn In As Zambia President
Economy3 weeks ago
Nigeria Economy Grows 5% In Second Quarter, Its Third Consecutive Growth
Energy3 weeks ago
NNPC Made A Net Profit of N287B in 2020 – Buhari
Banking Sector3 weeks ago
Zenith Bank Launches Intelligent Chatbot, ZiVA
Appointments2 weeks ago
CBN Appoints Six New Directors, Confirms Nwanisobi Spokesman