February 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Tuesday, 09 February 2016

The African Development Bank has approved two substantial loans to support agriculture in Uganda and Cameroon. A total of €89.291m will be directed at Cameroon’s oil palm, plantain and pineapple sectors to enhance the competitiveness of the three plants’ value chains by developing infrastructure such as roads and warehouses and training young entrepreneurs. The project will “also create jobs and sustainably improve stakeholders’ incomes in targeted crop sectors” and is expected to “boost inclusive growth” by creating jobs for young people and enhancing food and nutritional security. The project will see the development of rural roads, warehouses, markets, electricity networks and drinking water supply systems and provide support for the establishment institution-building farmer organisations, technical guidance and training.

xperts have called on Africa's three trade blocs of COMESA, EAC and SADC to expedite the harmonisation of rules of origin to boost industrialisation and intra-regional trade on the continent. According to the experts, harmonising rules of origin will encourage competitiveness for the African private sector, and accelerate regional integration. Rules of origin are the criteria needed to determine the national source of a product. The importance is derived from the fact that duties and restrictions in several cases depend on the source of imports.

Tanzanian farmer Zulfikar Mituro now can "comfortably support his family, and managed a somewhat luxury life" thanks to the rice farming technology he gained from a China-aided center. "Production has dramatically shot up here. It's a miracle," said Mituro, a paddy rice farmer based at Ikwiriri in Rufiji district of Tanzania's Coast region. "Before getting Chinese technology and training support, I used to get between 15 and 20 bags of rice per hectare, but now I can get up 44 bags using hybrid Chinese rice variety," he said, adding that his life has improved for the better as the production has increased both in quality and quantity.

A conference to examine the strategic business links between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, Cuba and the State of Florida is set to take place on Wednesday, February 10 at the Miramar Cultural Center. The conference will place specific emphasis on examining trade and investment opportunities in agriculture, agribusiness, green energy and related sectors. The Trinidad and Tobago headquartered Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) will spearhead a special session that will address investment opportunities and incentives designed to reduce the Caribbean’s food import bill while identifying strategic links with Florida that could expand market access and trade.

South Africa and Liberia on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that seeks to create a legal framework to improve trade and economic relations between the two countries. The South African government said the agreement also seeks to foster mutually beneficial relations and stimulate private sector interest and other forms of economic activity in the respective countries. The Liberian delegation, led by Andrew G. Paygar-Flangiah (Deputy Minister of Commerce and Trade, responsible for small business and administration), was hosted by Deputy Minister of Small Business Development Elizabeth Thabethe in Pretoria on Wednesday.

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