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Report on Remittances
Migrant workers are crucial for many countries’ agricultural sectors, and especially in high-income countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused problems in agricultural labor for months, and a new report details the economic consequences of these disruptions. Remittances from expatriate workers make up, on average, 60 percent of recipients’ family income. As of 2018, remittance flows into low-income and fragile states surpassed foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and foreign aid as the most important source of income. With nations taking action to protect migrant workers, the disruptions in remittances will likely continue.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Frogs are seen in a net at a market in Bankok. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)
Resilient Food Systems: The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare weak links in the global food supply chain. Food gets wasted even as supermarket shelves are empty, and food waste is predicted to increase due to limited trade, unavailability of labor, and border restrictions. Join Bayer Crop Science Division President Liam Condon, Managing Director of Food and Nature at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development Diane Holdorf, Ruramiso Mashumba, Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, and Ertharin Cousin in our June 22nd conversation on short and long-term solutions to strengthen the global food system.
UPCOMING COUNCIL EVENTS
LIVE STREAM: Building Better, More Resilient Food Systems
Date: June 22
Time: 10 am CDT
LIVE STREAM: Global Issues We Can't Ignore
Date: July 7
Time: 9 am CDT
LIVE STREAM: How to Understand our Globalized World
Date: July 14
Time: 1 pm CDT
Did you miss one of our previous livestreams? Don't worry! They are all available on our website to watch at any time.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ISSUES
Cotton Subsidies: In order to maintain their position as one of the top cotton producers in Africa, Mali cotton farmers receive state subsidies to cultivate crops such as corn and millet. However, as coronavirus has slashed cotton prices, farmers are unable to afford inputs used in food production. Some 3.5 million farmers will be affected.
Swine Fever Spreads in Nigeria: Farmers are estimating that almost one million pigs have been culled in Nigeria due to Africa Swine Fever. There is no centralized system for recording animal disease outbreaks in the country, which makes the spread of this virus difficult to track. The government has taken steps to mitigate the effects of ASF, but farmers state that more and bigger actions are necessary.
Frog Trade: The global demand for frogs is huge—it is estimated that 100 million to 400 million frogs are traded globally as food each year, with 41 percent of traded species classified as threatened. A new report shows how harvest could be more sustainable for both frogs’ populations and the local economies that depend on them.
Leaping into the World of Frogs: The US, France, and Belgium together make up more than three quarters of global frog imports. After India and Bangladesh banned the export of frogs in the late 1980s, Indonesia took over the mantle of top world exporter of frogs. Although most frogs exported from Indonesia are classified as Rana macrodon, misidentification is rampant in the industry.
An App for Access: The African agri-tech market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion. DigiFarm, a farming app directed to smallholder farmers, bypasses middlemen and provides direct access to seeds, fertilizers, credit providers and bulk purchasers. The app registered 1 million users in a 2-year pilot and is projected to expand further.
Tracking Trees: About 70 percent of Myanmar’s rural population rely on the nation’s approximately 29 million hectares of forests. Yet the nation has the world’s third-highest deforestation rate. A new UN project will measure and monitor Myanmar’s forests, as well as develop global guidelines for protecting forests in conflict zones.
Seawater Farming: Arable farmland is dramatically declining—the past four decades has lost one-third of global arable land. Agrisea, a Canadian startup that’s developing salt-tolerant crops to grow in seawater, may be one alternative to arable land scarcity.
“Chlorinated Chicken” Chronicles: US refusal to compromise fair access for its agricultural products abroad may present major stumbling blocks in trade negotiations with the UK. The UK’s larger trading relationship with the EU indicates that potential trade negotiations will be heavily influenced by the EU’s more stringent food and agricultural sanitary standards. These standards are a key disagreement between the US and UK, exemplified by the “chlorinated chicken” debate, and would require revisions to either countries’ stances on food safety in order to strike a trade deal.
Dirty Dairy: A new report from The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has found that the thirteen largest dairy operations in the world, combined, produce as many greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the United Kingdom as a whole. The report further asserts that industry emissions have risen in recent years. Defenders of the dairy industry claim that the rise in emissions is not represented correctly by this study, and that mergers, rather than increased emissions, explain the companies’ collective footprint.
TRADE & COMMODITIES
State Action Provokes Anxiety: The government of Argentina is taking steps to expropriate one of the nation’s leading agricultural companies. Vicentin, Argentina’s top exporter of soy meal and soy cooking oil, filed for bankruptcy in late 2019. The move from the government to take over Vicentin has caused concern among farmers.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS
Reimagining Food Systems: Driving Action for a Post-COVID World
Date: June 24
Time: 9 am EDT
A New Era for Food and Climate: Driving Transformative Actions
Date: June 25
Time: 8:30 am GMT
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