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EDITO
Sunday, 30 August 2015

At the East African Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), experts asked farmers to use fertilizers and improved seeds in order to engage in climate change friendly practices to improve production. Martin Ameu, a programme associate at UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said, “We have to find alternative ways to maximize production (…) We need to devise better crop management practices and apply irrigation and fertilizers to increase efficiency.” Caroline Kirungu, who presented a paper on CSA initiatives in Eastern Africa said, “We need to practice irrigation, plant drought resistant varieties and commercialize our agriculture.” Agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi explained that the government was distributing tea, coffee, and cotton seedlings to increase production of perennial crops.

In recent years, Aflatoxin contamination in food grain and feed in Kenya has become a major health concern. However, Kenya recently approved the use of Aflasafe - a product that combats aflatoxin poisoning - by farmers. This decision is expected to have a major impact in the agricultural, public health and trade sectors. This builds on ongoing work by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, which already dedicated Ksh1.5 billion ($15 million) for aflatoxin mitigation in the country. The Pest Control Board approved the registration of Aflasafe, which was developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock research Organisation.

New EU data shows that 10 product categories account for 48% of EU agri-food exports in 2014, new figures from the EU show.  4 out of the 10 most important export categories belong to the product group ‘agricultural food and feed products’ (i.e. farm production) and 6 originate from the group ‘food preparations and beverages’ (i.e. food and drink industry). The top 10 product categories are: Spirits 8% (wines & liqueurs); Wine 8% (cider & vinegar);  Wheat 8%;   Infant formula 5%; Food preparations 4%; Milk powders and whey 4%; Chocolate and ice-cream 4%; Pasta and pastries and breads 4%; Vegetables 3%; Pork meat 3%.

Fisheries and aquaculture ministers from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) called on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank and other bodies to provide adequate financial resources for the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture adopted in Fiji in 2012. The ACP ministers urged the international community to agree to concrete actions to reduce the effects of climate change at the COP21 and to cooperate more closely with African, Caribbean and Pacific nations on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and piracy. The group also called on the EU for support on dealing with the erosion of preferential tariffs for exports to EU markets from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

agriculture extravaganza in the Western Hemisphere, took place with 200 exhibitors and visitors from within and outside the region. On the subject of drought, Senator Norman Grant, president of the Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS) said, "I've been asked whether or not the drought is going to affect the show, and the verdict is out, but I expect to have quality produce. There is no doubt that the drought itself could certainly reduce the amount of produce that one normally has for trade, but in terms of display, I expect to see very, very impressive displays coming from the parishes."