Tag Archive: Investment


IUU 2To what extent could the control of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing curb food insecurity, promote global environmental governance and economic development?
On 25 September 2015, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) formally adopted the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This agenda encapsulated a set of 17 new global goals that are universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world. The goals include: ending poverty in all its forms everywhere; ending hunger to achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture; promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all; conserve and sustainably use the oceans, Seas and marine resources for sustainable development
To achieve these goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing averred that public finance and aid would be central to support their implementation; and also money generated from the private sector, through tax reforms, and through a crackdown on illicit financial flows and corruption. A major conference on financing of the SDGs, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015, failed to ease concerns over the lack of sufficient funds to meet the aspirational nature of the goals (the summit failed to produce new ways of acquiring finances to fund the goals or offer ways to transform the international finance system).
Could the control of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing help in achieving these goals? In many parts of the world, marine fisheries have been the desired source of protein and play a crucial role in maintaining food and economic security. With the speeding up of globalization process, the rapid population growth, increase in demand for fish, development of urban markets and introduction of new technologies, there is an expansion of fishing operations. The rapid growth and globalization of the fisheries sector has also transformed fishing patterns. Current trends in the production of global marine fisheries resources have presented an alarming concern for food security and sustainable development. For instance, some of the fishery resources that were previously regarded as inexhaustible have either been depleted or over exploited. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations states that, of the major marine fish stocks or species groups, 52% are fully exploited, 17% are over exploited, 25% are underexploited or moderately exploited, and the remaining 6% are becoming depleted.
The decline in global fisheries resources has been attributed to a number of interrelated factors; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Fish piracy continues to thrive worldwide despite national and international efforts. Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which involves all types of fishing vessels, regardless of their registration, size or state of repair affects both territorial and international waters. Illegal fishing is conducted by national or foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of a state, without the permission of the owning State, or in contravention of its laws and regulations. Unreported fishing is when fishing activities have not been reported or have been misreported to the relevant national authority, in contravention with national laws and regulations. Unregulated fishing refers to fishing activities conducted by vessels without nationality, or by those flying the flag of a state not party to that organization. IUU fishing has depleted global fish stokes and undermined efforts towards achieving the principle of intergenerational and intra-generational equity. As IUU fishing is done illegally, the social and economic welfare of those involved in fishing legally is affected negatively.
IUU fishing causes economic, social and environmental problems. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, IUU fishing accounts for up to 30% of the total catches in some important fisheries and that catches of particular species could be up to three times the permitted amount. The data suggests that high seas IUU fishing is concentrated on a few high value species, such as Patagonian toothfish and tuna. Unregulated catch has threatened the sustainability of world fish stocks and undermined efforts to manage resources. In terms of social and economic impacts, IUU fishers operate at lower costs thereby gaining an unjust economic advantage over legitimate fishers who also depend on fish to sustain their livelihoods. According to OECD, high seas IUU operators usually exploit fishers from developing countries as many of the crew on IUU vessels come from poor parts of the world. Given that they have few other employment options, they work on IUU vessels for low wages and in extremely poor working and living conditions.
If controlled, legal fishing presents various opportunities: countries that depend on fisheries will be food secure. Availability of adequate and nutritious food presents various advantages-it translates to good health; access to food by household translates to children being well nourished. This increases basic learning capacities of children. Food increases the capacity to concentrate and perform well in school; a food secure household is likely to have higher incomes. This is because food security translates to high performance at places of work and trade in surplus agricultural products and thus higher incomes. Higher incomes provide resources that ensure sustained growth in human development. Households with higher income spend on various sectors such as education and improvement in health which are among the components of human development.
Why does IUU fishing continue to thrive even though it is illegal and presents various disadvantages? Factors that create incentives for IUU fishing include: Insufficient or inefficient enforcement of national and international regulations including low monitoring, control and surveillance capacities and low level of sanction which reduces the cost of risk faced by IUU operators; ineffective flag state control over vessels which allow operators engaged in IUU fishing activities to face reduced operating and risk costs; prevalence of poor economic and social conditions in some countries which reduces the cost of fraud, crew costs, the cost of risk and the costs associated with maintaining appropriate safety and working standards; and incomplete international legal frameworks.
Various international and regional agreements have been adopted to curb IUU. Globally, the International Plan of Action on IUU fishing is mandated for this. Regionally, considering the serious economic, social and environmental problems caused by IUU fishing activities, the OECD’s committee for fisheries, in the Programme of work for 2002-2005 launched a study; “which will provide policy makers with environmental, economic and social arguments in support of measures in relation to IUU fishing activities, Including the FAO International Plan of Action on IUU fishing… ” (FAO fisheries report No.666, 2000). The drawback of these is that there is Insufficient and inefficient enforcement of at both national and international levels.
To resolve this problem, world leaders could do the following; while laws regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing exist, there is Insufficient and inefficient enforcement of at both national and international. This is because these laws and especially the International Plan of Action on IUU fishing are non-binding. In this regard, to improve the effectiveness of these laws, an online network database on fishing should be created. This will be a forum of information exchange allowing for communications and questions between countries and experts on key issues of relevance. This means that the platform will be one stop for national laws, International laws, best practices and information sharing.  With information sharing on the issues of fishing, IUU fishing may significantly reduce.

Esther and Agnes selling farm products

Esther and Agnes selling farm products

As youths, our main impediment towards becoming farmers has been our lack of access to land. I have held onto this thinking until recently when I realized I can actually make a living from agriculture without being a land owner. I see people trade in agricultural products – vegetables, cereals, fruits and many others. With this, they would easily pass for your typical farmer selling his or her produce but as I discovered, that’s not true. They are what I would like to call second class farmers.
Esther and Agnes from Kibera slums belong to this class of “second-class” farmers. But I heard one Swahili speaker call them “Mama Mboga” which loosely translates to mother of vegetables. How can you be the mother of vegetable when you are not a farmer? To them, they believe that their work is to link consumers to the farm; they go to the farms and get to their customers whatever they need from there. They have opened up small shops – christened as “Kibanda”. It is in these shops that they conduct their trade – here, they sell eggs, tomatoes, onions, kales, pepper, cabbages, fruits and all that you can get from the farm.

Asking them how they obtain these products, some of them are farmers and so they get them from their farms but others have farmers who do the supplying. The farmers sell these products to them at slightly lower prices compared to their selling prices on the market. Probing further, I learnt a crate of tomatoes is delivered to them at Ksh4000, and it can fetch up to Ksh 10,000. Its paying to be second class farmers for them.

In their "Kibanda",all types of farm products can be found.

In their “Kibanda”,all types of farm products can be found.

“Farmers are the ones who keep us a live,” says Esther, “If they stop farming then we will be finished,” Adds Agnes. If you ate today, you should therefore thank a farmer. This strengthens the assertion that agriculture is the most important sector with the potential to create jobs and change people’s lives. According to these two ladies, this business is what feeds their families and educates their children. “We don’t have land but still benefit from the fruits of farming” says Agnes.
These women are playing an important role in linking farmers to the markets but still benefiting from the same. You don’t have to be a farmer to play a role in agriculture. Hence the importance of understanding agricultural value chains.

Happy women’s day!!

It is indeed a women’s day and on this very special occasion, I would like to share a story of one woman who has really made it in the circles of agriculture. For Alice, usual routine of reporting to work every morning and sitting in the office from 8am to 5pm used to give her headaches. She couldn’t understand why she had to work under somebody while she could actually become her own employer and even employ others.

After only six months of working, Alice decided to retire and pursue her own dreams. “I did not like the aspect of reporting to work every day as I desired so much to be my own boss, I had to set up my own business and that was poultry farming.” she said, adding, “every person aspires to have a life that is comfortable,”

To raise capital for her venture, she started by selling second hand clothes and making ice-cream for selling to school children. Like this, she managed to raise enough capital and six months later, she was a proud poultry farmer.

She started by an initial capital of Sh30, 000. She bought 150 one-day-old chicks for Sh100 each and converted one of her bedrooms to house these birds. After five weeks, the broilers were ready for the market, while layers took between four to five months to start laying eggs. She soon moved the chicken from her bedroom to a structure that could accommodate 600 birds and more.

Counting her profits every day, she is now the envy of many people in her estate. She has a total of 1,000birds, 300 of them being layers. The 34-year-old says she does not regret quitting her job. “I am my own boss, and I work at my own pace. I am happy with myself,” she says. “Making the first move is always the beginning of everything,” she adds, “had I clung onto my job, I wouldn’t have made this impressive move.”

Alice says that she makes at least Sh100,000 every five weeks from selling broilers which go for Sh400 each and eggs at Sh330 per tray. “I collect close to 10 trays of eggs everyday and can sell between 50 to 60 birds daily when the demand is low,” she says. After subtracting all the expenses, she is able to bank close Sh35, 000 per month. When business is at the peak, she receives orders to supply up to 150 birds per day.

Is this not credible? Happy women’s day and yes, we can do it.

I usually peruse through the dailies to keep myself braced with the current tidings in the political, social and environmental fronts as reported. Today, my attention was caught by this particular article by Lilian Achieng which appeared in the Sunday Nation, Jan 12 pg 32. The article read… “African Union moves to promote Diaspora investment” In her article, Lilian talks about the African Union’s summit which is scheduled for January the 24th this year in Addis Ababa.

It is said that the discussion that will dominate this summit is how to increase Diaspora investments on the continent with biasness to food security and development issues. At a meeting in Kenya’s Diaspora alliance, the African Union Commission, Erastus Mwencha has identified the Africans abroad as a sixth region with the capacity to contribute significantly to the continent’s economy. For me, this is good news. I believe we can build our own continent through our home-made initiatives without depending on others to do it for us. The best solutions are those homemade.

The article further states that the resolution by the AU is to support all efforts that will enable Africans living abroad to aggressively invest on the continent. The union has spelt out the policy that spells out measures to be taken to attract Africans living abroad to invest in Africa which will be the centre of discussion in the oncoming summit scheduled to open in January 24. This’ not only good news for my country but for the entire continent – I hope these investments create opportunities for the youths.

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