sugar cane plantation in Mauritius
With the sharp rise and fall of global grain prices, many affluent countries with limited arable land have begun looking to Africa for food security.
Countries like Angola, Tanzania and Ethiopia have already shown interest in foreign investments and have restructured their land allocation laws to allow for this. The horticulture industry is one of the fastest growing non-traditional export sectors of many African countries, including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi.
South Korean firm Daewoo has unveiled plans to plant corn on one million acres of land in Madagascar, to sharply cut its reliance on US imports.
Daewoo is leasing the vast tract of land – half the size of Belgium – for 99 years and hopes to produce 5 million tonnes of corn a year by 2023.
It will use South African expertise and local labour on the plantations.
Large Investments in Ethiopia and Kenya have been very profitable and now with countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait looking to invest, the African Agricultural sector seems like a great bet.
“It makes their work less tedious and increases productivity up to 50 times,” says Brandis. “One machine will work for an entire village, so when we’re talking about 100 machines, we’re not talking about 100 families — we’re talking about 100 villages.”
– Jock Brandis, Full Belly Project
Jock Brandis is the inventor of the Sustainable Peanut Sheller. Jock was on a trip to Mali to fix a small village’s water treatment system where he witnessed the women’s bleeding hands from shelling peanuts all day. He made a mental note and set out to search for a sustainable peanut sheller that would not only mechanize this process but improve the efficiency of the women. Coffee and peanuts out of the husk are 6 times more valuable than in the husk making a significant difference in the revenues the farmers can earn. Brandis’ simple machine can be build by local craftsmen for $28 of locally available material. Brandis refuses to patent the machine and calls it his gift to the world.
CNN did a great portrait on Jock and is available here @ CNN Heroes: Peanut farmers get a big hand from simple device