Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 25 March 2017

This stems from an agreement with the Finance Ministry, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said on February 22, after the cabinet okayed the annual plan for bilateral development assistance for 2017. “Based on the government's approval of the document today, we may launch calls for proposals now,” the minister said, as cited by the TASR newswire. “Neither our priorities nor the countries [receiving aid] have changed. It's a total of 10 countries, or nine plus one, where our primary focus is on development assistance.” Special attention is being paid to Southern Sudan, which is grappling with specific humanitarian and social concerns. For humanitarian and development assistance to evolve into economic cooperation and a dialogue, Slovakia would need to have a diplomatic presence there.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Topteam of the Topsector Horticulture and Starting Materials (Topsector T&U) visited Rwanda from 27 February - 1 March for a fact finding mission on possibilities for cooperation. The delegation was received and accompanied by the DG Crops of MINAGRI, the advisor of the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, the director research of RAB, the director of RAB North and the deputy CEO and director horticulture of NAEB. The delegation visited Rwandan companies and government institutes and had wide ranging discussions on (further) development of the horticulture sector in Rwanda with a specific emphasis on production for export and for the domestic market.

The government has engaged some France companies to supply combine harvesters, grain driers and shelling equipment as efforts to boost Command Agriculture continue to gather momentum. Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made told ZBC News on his return from France that several French companies will enter into partnerships with Zimbabwe to supply combine harvesters. The country will start receiving the combines harvesters and grain driers to boost Command Agriculture Programme starting next year if all goes as per plan. Turning to the current maize crop, Dr Made says a technical sub-committee team for Command Agriculture has already identified combine harvesters which are functional and those which require quick fix ahead of the anticipated bumper harvest.

Kofi Vinyo and Company Limited (KVCL), a Kwatire-based agribusiness firm in the Sunyani West District of Brong-Ahafo region would from next year export and supply four international food processing companies with farm produce in commercial quantities. The firm has signed agreement with the companies - Deon food ingredients and Stel and Van Koot in the Netherlands, Swastik enterprise in India as well as Agribio in Italy. It is expected to export thousands of tons of tiger nuts, maize, ginger, chilli pepper, raw cashew nuts and other vegetables annually. Mr Kofi Vinyo, the Managing Director of KVCL disclosing this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Kwatire said the contracts between his company and the foreign partners were sealed to operate within five years.

When race riots sparked by the shooting of two African migrant workers forced Suleiman Diara to abandon life as a fruit picker in southern Italy he decided to turn his hand to making yoghurt. With 30 euro ($32) borrowed from an Italian charity worker, he and a friend bought 15 litres of milk and tried their luck. Six years on, the two friends and five other migrants are running a small organic farming business that U.N. experts say is an example of sustainable agricultural development, which if replicated could help feed the growing global population. "We named it Barikama, which means 'resilience' as we went through many difficulties to open this company but we never gave up," he said referring to a term used in Bambara, a language spoken in his native Mali. Born in a rural area of southwestern Mali, Diara arrived in Italy on a migrant boat from Libya in 2008 hoping to make enough money to buy his family a cow and a plough.