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With vast untapped potential in Agriculture, Africa seeks Agricultural Transformation with India’s Help

Africa is estimated to have 65 percent of world's uncultivated land but only about 10 percent of global food output

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An agricultural land in Vietnam. Image. Wikimedia
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– by Prashant Sood

Gandhinagar, May 28, 2017: With a vast untapped potential in agriculture, African countries are keen to gain from India’s experiences, including the “green revolution”, to bring about a transformation and enable their 420 million poor people to come out of poverty.

Africa is estimated to have 65 percent of world’s uncultivated land but only about 10 percent of global food output.

African Development Bank (AfDB) officials said after their annual meeting here last week that its focus on “transforming agriculture to create wealth” has sparked interest among a vast section, including youth, researchers and the private sector to treat agriculture as a business.

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The meeting boosted Africa’s partnership with India in agriculture as also in several other areas, including infrastructure, electricity generation, skill development and healthcare.

Officials said that AfDB will invest $24 billion in African agriculture in the next 10 years and the sector is estimated to generate $1 trillion in business by 2030.

Chiji Ojukwu, Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, AfDB, said that India experienced a “green revolution” using improved seed varieties and best agronomic practices, and was able to lift large sections of its population out of poverty — and Africa has a lot to learn from India in order to achieve similar success.

“We can leapfrog, taking advantage of the successes of India, to borrow their technologies and to bring Indian experts to assist Africa,” Ojukwu told IANS.

He said India has made advances in irrigation solutions, milk production, cooling and processing, in solar for generating power for agriculture and Information and Communication Technology.

“African companies and governments can collaborate with Indian agricultural systems and companies to bring these experiences to Africa, to help Africa achieve its agricultural transformation, and lift its 420 million that live on less than $1.25 a day out of poverty,” he said.

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Indian officials said that AfDB’s five key priority areas — Light Up and Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialise Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve quality of life for the people of Africa — had similarity to some of the thrust areas of the Narendra Modi government.

They said that Industrialise Africa is similar to the Make in India initiative and Light Up and Power Africa to the government’s goal of electricity for all and its efforts to boost renewable energy.

They said that Africa and India had several commonalities in terms of a shared history, challenges as also demographics, with youth comprising over 60 percent of the population.

Indian companies have been investing in Africa in areas such as telecommunications, hydrocarbon exploration, IT, education, water treatment, petroleum refining, retail, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, coal, automobiles, floriculture and engineering.

India is also pursuing long-term arrangements for supply of agricultural products, specially pulses. Its cooperation with Africa is demand-driven and free of conditions.

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Former Foreign Secretary Shashank said India should move much more strongly in Africa.

“India is seen as an alternative to Chinese investment and the kind of conditionalities being imposed on African countries either by the international institutions or Western countries,” Shashank, who was at the conference, told IANS.

He said India can increase its exports to African countries.

“In many cases, we find that our exports are not that competitive but in Africa we can try to make our exports more competitive. Already our bilateral rade has gone fairly high,” he said.

Africa-India trade was estimated at $56 billion in 2015-16, accounting for about 10 percent of India’s total trade.

Shahank said it was “very significant” that the AfDB meeting was held in India for the first time. The five-day annual meeting of AfDB was attended by 54 African members and 27 non-regional member-countries of the organisation. It came almost 18 months after India hosted the third India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi which was attended by all 54 African countries.

He said it will also help neutralise any negative perception about isolated incidents that had cropped up between the African students in India and the local community.

He also welcomed the Asia-Africa corridor supported by India and Japan, saying the two countries can do quite well in Africa by going together.

“India has that political acceptability, goodwill is there. India goes there, people are happy. Japan’s technology, its finances, Indian fiances and technology and its technical expertise, if they go together, they can do quite well in Africa,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his inaugural address, had said that Africa was a top priority for his government’s foreign and economic policy. (IANS)

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Benefits of Taking Vitamin E

Vitamin E due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young

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Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
  • Vitamin E is a very important vitamin for our body
  • Humans don’t generally experience a deficiency of Vitamin E
  • There are many sources of Vitamin E and also, it has many health benefits

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential vitamin, and an antioxidant, our body needs. It prevents the process of lipid peroxidation, whereby the free radicals that are generated destroy the cellular structures of the body. This oxidative damage of the cells has been found in several pathological disorders like Liver cirrhosis and Diabetes, by several studies.

There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Same Condition
There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Credit: www.SameCondition.com

Overt deficiency of this vitamin is very rarely seen. It occurs in those who are unable to absorb the vitamin into their systems and those with inherited disorders that prevent the maintenance of normal blood concentrations of vitamin E.

Vitamin E-Discovery

Vitamin E was first discovered in the year 1922, at the University of California in Berkeley by Dr. Herbert M. Evans, a research physician, and his assistant Katherine S. Bishop. Immediately after the discovery, the researchers set out to find the benefits as well the impact of its deficiency

Alpha-Tocopherol Vitamin-E

There are about eight naturally occurring forms of Vitamin E.  Alpha-tocopherol is the form which is essentially absorbed and stored in the human body. The synthetic forms of alpha-tocopherol are found in the fortified foods and vitamin supplements.

Also Read: Vitamin D can helpful in Recovery from Burn Injuries

Recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E

The Recommended daily allowance for both men and women is 15 mg (35 µ mol)/day (of α -tocopherol). Due to the harmful effects of overdose, like increased risk of bleeding,  the upper limit of consumption for adults is 1,500 IU/day for supplements made from the natural form of the Vitamin and 1,100 IU/day for supplements made from synthetic vitamin-E. The upper limit is lower in children when compared to the adults.

Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E Function

Unlike most nutrients, a specific role for the vitamin has not been found in any of the bodily metabolic functions. The major function so far identified is nonspecific chain-breaking antioxidant in the circumstances mentioned earlier.

Vitamin E rich foods.

Vitamin E is abundantly found in a normal and balanced diet.

The food sources include

Vegetable oils

  • wheat germ oils
  • sunflower oils
  • safflower oils
  • Corn oils
  • soybean oils

 Nuts

  • peanuts
  • hazelnuts
  • almonds

Seeds like sunflower seeds.

Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.

Cereals, Egg Yolk, and

Milk.

Also Read: Vitamin C helps in treating Tuberculosis

Vitamin E Deficiency

Clinically, its deficiency presents as peripheral neuropathy characterized by the degeneration of the large-calibre axons in the sensory neurons. In this condition, the damaged nerves cause weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. In some cases, the condition can also affect other parts of the body.

In patients who are left untreated, chronic cholestatic hepatobiliary disease, spinocerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, and ophthalmoplegia may occur These terminologies might sound too complex, complicated, and confusing to the reader, but this is the true picture which results from negligence.

Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Vitamin E Benefits

Some studies have tried to show the benefits of the Vitamin in preventing the incidence of Heart disease but the actual correlation between the two is not completely understood yet.

The common eye disorders in the older people like cataracts and loss of central vision have shown inconsistent results in terms of lesser incidence, due to the consumption of this Vitamin. Researchers are still working on to prove the connection between these. It has been shown to improve the mental functions, especially in the senior citizens affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin E in combination with Selenium has also been used as a treatment for infertility.

This Vitamin due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young. It is also a treatment modality to treat scars and stretch marks. It acts as one of the potent moisturizers for the skin.

The article originally appeared at Same Condition- a patient to patient network. The link can be accessed here: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/vitamin-e-benefits-vitamin-e-foods/