August 7, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
The International Food Policy Research Institute says US drought could pinch the world's poor people.
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma builds relations with Jamaica.
And, the Department of State Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats says South African is not a ‘stigma’ as it weighs the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.
Drought in the US farm belt may result in higher food prices for poor people around the world, according to the head of an agricultural think tank, who on Monday also recommended a halt to ethanol production from corn.
Shenggen Fan, director-general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (or IFPRI) said the global spike in food prices in 2008 showed how poor crops and tight supplies have a wide impact. The IFPRI is the analytical arm of a coalition of agricultural research facilities.
Fan suggested six steps to rein in prices and head off out-of-control prices caused by this year's drought.
More than 60% of the continental United States, including prime grain territory, is under moderate to exceptional drought. However, the Agriculture Department has scheduled to make its first estimate of the fall harvest on Friday. Private analysts say the corn crop could be the smallest in a decade.
President Jacob Zuma said on an official visit to Jamaica, that South Africa would like to see increased volumes of trade and investment with Jamaica.
Zuma was speaking after a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson Miller. He said both the countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.
The governments of the two countries have already waived visa requirements for all South African and Jamaican passport holders. However, they are still negotiating several other agreements.
This is Zuma's first working visit to the island. He will join in the year-long celebrations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence.
A senior US government official said on Monday, that South Africa’s membership of the Brazil, Russia, India and China bloc should not prejudice its future inclusion as a beneficiary of the market-access benefits that would flow from any extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (or Agoa).
Department of State Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats said Agoa had been extremely valuable. He said that that he was strongly in favour of extending the benefits beyond 2015 and that the extension should be for longer than a period of three years.
South Africa is keen for Agoa to be extended intact for a period of up to ten additional years.
Also making headlines:
Sudan says it will resume talks with South Sudan on August 26 this year.
The King of Swaziland Mswati III chides the West for 'regime change' hopes.
And, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says that there won’t be more loss of lives in service delivery protests.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.