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PHOTO STORY: An organic farm creating opportunities in the CAR1 minute read

Pascal Bida Koyagbele started an organic farm in 2018. It is giving a livelihood to many.

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Last year, Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele started an organic farm on which he grows fruits and vegetables and where he trains farmer students in collaboration with a municipality and an association in Luxembourg.

He also created an organic fertiliser made from a mix of chicken droppings and plants with special properties which, according to him, is more effective than chemical fertiliser.

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  • An employee works on a mound of compost at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui, on February 22, 2019. - Last year, Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele started an organic farm on which he grows fruits and vegetables and where he trains farmer students in collaboration with a municipality and an association in Luxembourg. He also created an organic fertiliser made from a mix of chicken droppings and plants with special properties which, according to him, is more effective than chemical fertiliser. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A laboratory worker tests plants from western Central Africa region in the school's laboratory of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele looks at soil samples in Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui.(Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Bida Koyagbele examines the branch of a plant at the laboratory of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A laboratory worker pours plant oil into a test tube at the laboratory of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele examines with a microscope a sample of plant oil at the laboratory of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Republic Pascal Bida Koyagbele (C-L), surrounded by workers, makes fertiliser analysis in a field of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui, (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • This picture taken on February 22, 2019 shows the sign of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui, on the banks of the Oubangi river. - Last year, Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele started an organic farm on which he grows fruits and vegetables and where he trains farmer students in collaboration with a municipality and an association in Luxembourg. He also created an organic fertiliser made from a mix of chicken droppings and plants with special properties which, according to him, is more effective than chemical fertiliser. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A Konga, a traditional pygmy agricultural tool from the Lobaye prefecture, as it lays on the ground at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A worker carries a Konga, a traditional pygmy agricultural tool from the Lobaye prefecture, at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui, on February 22, 2019. - Last year, Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele started an organic farm on which he grows fruits and vegetables and where he trains farmer students in collaboration with a municipality and an association in Luxembourg. He also created an organic fertiliser made from a mix of chicken droppings and plants with special properties which, according to him, is more effective than chemical fertiliser. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • An employee works on a mound of compost at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • Employees work on a mound of compost at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui

  • Farmer and President of the Association of Central African Farmers Pascal Bida Koyagbele prepares samples of soil using a Konga, a traditional pygmy agricultural tool from the Lobaye prefecture, in his organic farm near Bangui.

  • The fields of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui, on the banks of the Oubangi river.(Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A worker walks in the fields of Pascal Bida Koyagbele organic farm near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A traditional scale in the laboratory of Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near near Bangui.(Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • Employees work on a mound of compost at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

  • A worker carries a Konga, a traditional pygmy agricultural tool from the Lobaye prefecture, at Yaka ti Bida organic farm and training center near Bangui. (Photo by FLORENT VERGNES / AFP)

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South Africa Unions Reject Government Plan to Review Pay

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The South African labour unions have rejected a government proposal to review planned increases for civil servants days before they were due to be implemented.


The Public Servants Association, which represents 230,000 government workers, says the state has asked to review the last leg of a three-year pay agreement because it couldn’t afford it.


The Public Servants Association says the timing of the proposal, a few days before the adjustments were due to be implemented, speaks of a government that regards public servants as an easy target to resolve its financial woes.


The Central Executive Committee of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the country’s biggest labor federation, says if the proposal made its way into the budget speech it will be seen as a declaration of war.

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South Africa Raises $1.1 Billion Bailout for Ailing Airways

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South Africa has almost doubled its funding for the national airline to 16.4 billion rand ($1.1 billion), cash which will go towards supporting a restructuring plan for the almost insolvent carrier.


The bailout will be used to service and pay debt previously guaranteed by the state over the “medium term,” according to the country’s Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni.


This amount compares with 9.2 billion rand earmarked for South African Airways in October.


SAA has been a drain on the National Treasury for several years racking up losses of more than R32 billion over the past decade.
Late last year, the government placed the airline on a local form of bankruptcy protection, and administrators have set about reducing costs by closing routes and considering asset sale.
However, the Finance Minister has often stated his reluctance to support SAA while faced with bigger problems such as the $30 billion of debt owed by state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings.


In addition to Treasury funds, SAA was last month, given access to R3.5 billion from the state-owned Development Bank of Southern Africa.

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South Africa to Establish $2 Billion Sovereign Wealth Fund

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South Africa has announced that it will use money from the sale of broadband spectrum and mining royalties to establish a 30 billion-rand ($2 billion) sovereign wealth fund, according to the country’s Finance Minister,Tito Mboweni.


Its establishment was first mooted at least 10 years ago.
The proposed fund comes at a time when Africa’s most industrialised economy is struggling to contain rising debt amid sluggish economic growth and a budget deficit projected to widen to a near three-decade high of 6.8% in the coming fiscal year.


Mboweni says the legislative framework for the fund will be submitted to the parliament.


Funding will come from the government’s plans to sell broadband spectrum this year, along with royalties from petroleum, gas and mineral rights, as well as the sale of non-core assets, future surpluses and savings.


The government is also pressing ahead with plans to form a state bank that will operate as a retail financial institution premised on commercial principles, he said.


However, the Reserve Bank is yet to grant the proposed lender an operating license.

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