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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 236]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 236]
Send date: 2010-08-13 13:40:53
Issue #: 52
Content:
Bulletin CTA
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

Main events in the week
  1. Financing Agriculture
  2. Land access, land acquisitions and rural development
  3. Cameroonian Trade Minister assesses the current EU-ACP banana issues
  4. Special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid
  5. Special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid
  6. EU cooperation with the African Union: Problems and potential
  7. Cameroon can be the leading ACP banana producer
  8. Commission releases €14.9 million for food security to Niger
  9. More controls over third-party vessels
  10. Milk from cloned cow offspring exposes gap in EU food law
  11. EU Delegation commends the Wood Tracking System in Ghana
  12. Pacific Islands – EU relations
  13. Last obstacles for EPA signing removed
  14. A call for swifter action to remove unnecessary control on banana imports
  15. Dominican banana exports to Europe jump 25%
  16. EU helps Malawi to improve 1,500 km of rural feeder roads
  17. EU Commission Plants 5000 Trees
  18. Boost Cross-Border Trade for Food Security
  19. Guyana and Norway Establish Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund
  20. EC allocates an additional €10 M package in humanitarian aid for Liberia
  21. High Level Meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership


  1. Financing Agriculture
    2010-08-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    The 20th Brussels Development Briefing will be on ‘Financing agriculture and will take place on the 15th of  September 2010. As an input to the UN Summit on MDGs to be held in New York on 22-26 September 2010, we will discuss issues related  to financing development in the context of agriculture and rural development. This will include issue such as Aid and ODA, taxation (Domestic tax revenues), private investment (new donors), revenue generation. Speakers include: Centre for Environmental Policy at  Imperial College in London, the  Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa in the US, CONCORD, OECD, African Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, YARA, African regional framers organizations.


    For more information please contact: lopes@cta.int or boto@cta.int


    Link Brussels Development Briefings
    Link  Videos of the last Briefing
    Link Past Briefings
    Link Programme_2.pdf

  2. Land access, land acquisitions and rural development
    2010-08-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security

    Land is an asset of enormous importance for billions of rural dwellers in the developing world, and especially in ACP countries. The nature of property rights and their degree of security vary greatly, depending on competition for land, the degree of market penetration and the broader institutional and political context. Although there are specificities according to countries and regions, some general trends and common challenges can be identified and the pressure on land is set to increase over future decades, given the impacts of population growth, urbanisation, globalisation of markets, international investment flows, trade negotiations and climate change.

    The Rural Development Briefing in Central Africa on “Land access, land acquisitions and rural development: New challenges, new opportunities”  to be held in Yaoundé, Cameroun on 27-28th September 2010 will discuss the links between property rights, investment and economic opportunities in rural areas: Policy and Governance on Land and Forests Resources; the Land acquisition and its contribution to development and the Promotion of responsible agricultural transnational investments. The target group is more than 130 policy makers from Central Africa and other African countries.


    For further information, please contact: boto@cta.int  or verginelli@cta.int


    Link Programme


  3. Cameroonian Trade Minister assesses the current EU-ACP banana issues
    2010-08-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    To offset the consequences of the loss of the preferential arrangements for ACP banana-producing countries decided in Geneva in December 2009, the European Union is considering support measures in favour of ten countries. On Friday, 23 July, three of the ten countries met in Yaoundé to claim the lion’s share of the proposed funds. Does this represent a split from the seven other countries or is it a question of denouncing the European Union’s preconceptions?
    It is important to recall that the European banana market is supplied by three main groups of suppliers, namely the countries of South and Central America (3,555,000 tonnes in 2009), the ACP countries (957,000 tonnes in 2009) and European Union Member States (608,000 tonnes in 2009). However, only South and Central American suppliers pay customs duties (176 euros per tonne) when their products enter the European market, as the ACP and EU countries are exempt from such duties. It is precisely this difference in treatment, at least as regards the ACP countries, which dollar zone suppliers have contested for twenty years before the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement body, based on article 1 of the GATT, better known in technical jargon as the most favoured nation (MFN) clause. This long-running dispute resulted, on 15 December 2009, in the Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas, whereby the European Union agreed to reduce the customs duties levied on dollar zone bananas from 176 euros per tonne to 114 euros per tonne by 2017, thereby eroding the preferential treatment guaranteed to ACP bananas and threatening their survival. This explains the countervailing measures which our countries managed to extract, after tough negotiations, from the European Union, for an initial amount of 190 million euros for the period 2010/2013, in favour of ten eligible ACP countries (for Africa: Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Ghana and for the Caribbean: Belize, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Jamaica, Saint-Vincent, Saint Lucia and Surinam). The fact is that the three African countries alone represent, based on the statistics for the period 1999–2008, 67.7% of ACP banana imports into the European Union. Therefore, it is not a question for us of claiming the lion’s share of the funds, to use your expression, or of dissociating ourselves from the other ACP countries concerned. We simply want our importance in this trade to be taken fully into account when the funds are allocated. We do not want a repetition of what we perceived as a form of injustice in the implementation of the 1998/2008 programme when, despite a market share of 67.7% of total ACP imports, the African countries received only 27.4 of the technical and financial assistance budget allocated by the European Union. It is therefore a question of equity.

    Before the Geneva Agreement reducing the rate of customs duties on banana dollars from 176 euros to 114 euros by 2017, the exports of the ACP countries represented more than 90% of exportations. Is there not a risk, with this reduction, that ACP bananas will disappear from the European market?
    With a volume of 957,000 tonnes in 2009, ACP imports represented not 90%, but 18.69% of bananas sold on the European market. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the erosion of the preferential arrangements is bound to reduce the competiveness of ACP bananas, unless the additional support measures requested by us in order to continue the restructuring and competitive upgrading of the African banana sector are implemented promptly. As regards African bananas, we can meet the challenge of competitiveness and thus ensure our survival. That is in any event the goal of the Cameroonian public authorities. Moreover, that ambition is also shared by the economic operators in our country’s banana sector. Cameroon’s bananas still have a bright future ahead.

    Cameroon, 270,000 tonnes in 2009, has opted to export 400,000 tonnes to the European Union whereas the Ivory Coast, another banana producer, has opted for the West and Sahel sub-regions market. Is the West the best bet? Moreover, what are the prospects regarding local processing?
    The policy of the public authorities in Cameroon as regards basic goods, in particular agricultural products, is well known: it involves not only diversifying outlets, but is also intended to create local added value for our products and stimulate domestic consumption. It is in any event clear, for the government and economic operators in the sector, that although the European market has been our main outlet to date, the future lies in the development of the regional and sub-regional market and in conquering important niche markets such as the Maghreb countries, the Middle and Near East, as well as Southern Africa, even Turkey. We have the necessary products for that in terms of not only intrinsic quality but also taste. Our challenge is to minimise our production costs in order to increase our competitiveness.

    And as regards production, when it comes to bananas Cameroon is to a large extent in French hands. Are your efforts to boost the sector justified, when these structures are accused of underpaying their employees and not being in order with the tax authorities?
    I imagine that you are referring to our production partners. If that is the case, I will say that our country, like all other banana-exporting countries throughout the world, relies on multifaceted, diversified partnerships which enable it to benefit not only from the contribution of banana production technologies that have proved their worth in benchmark countries, but also from know-how and efficient export distribution networks. In my opinion, this is part of the integration of our economy into the now inescapable globalisation process. The time when economies operated in isolation is now well and truly in the past. For the rest, Cameroon is a country where the rule of law prevails and investors operating in our country must comply strictly with the country’s tax and social security laws.

    The European Union was reported to have used bananas as a means of exerting pressure on Cameroon and the Ivory Coast to convince them to sign Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA). After the Geneva Agreement, should we talk of a fool’s bargain?
    Unless I am mistaken, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) are regional and not bilateral agreements. In the case of the Central African sub-region, this agreement is still being negotiated. Moreover, except for those choosing to live in isolation, tariff dismantling is now part of the rules and constraints of multilateral trade. On what grounds should such and such a product be exempted from them? In any event, as regards bananas, the dismantling is partial and is being implemented in stages.
     
    Your MAB demands were 500 million, but in the end you obtained only 190 million. Do you think that the demands of the Yaoundé Declaration will be applied by the European Union? If not, what do you intend to do?
    I must point out that at the time of the mini-ministerial meeting of July 2008, in Geneva, there was no question of the European Union granting even a single euro in support of ACP bananas, otherwise it would have run the risk of being attacked and criticised once again by the dollar zone countries. However, after intense negotiations led by Cameroon in its role as ministerial spokesperson for the ACP group, we fought for and succeeded in obtaining an initial budget of 190 million euros, which covers the period 2010/2013, as well as a review clause for the post-2013 period, during which additional amounts may be allocated to us, according to needs. With such a result, I think I accomplished creditably my mandate as chief negotiator on behalf of the ACP group. Finally, as regards the Yaoundé Declaration, it is necessary to analyse it as a statement of position of African banana-producing countries, with a view to the forthcoming negotiations with our European Union partner.

    Source: La Nouvelle Expréssion


    Link Read more
    Link Bananas
    Link Banana Market


  4. Special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid
    2010-08-12

    A special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid reveals a high level of solidarity among EU citizens with victims of conflict and natural disasters outside the Union. Eight out of ten citizens (79%) think it is important that the EU funds humanitarian aid outside its borders. However, the financial and economic crisis has taken its toll as the approval rate dropped 9% from 88% in 2006 when the last survey was carried out. There is a clear link between this decrease and the individual financial situation of citizens; those who have problems paying their bills expressed less support. At the same time, there is a strong endorsement of the Commission's mandate to provide relief aid, undertaken through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO). An overall majority of EU citizens (58%), and a relative majority in all Member States, think that humanitarian aid is more efficient when provided by the EU through the European Commission. Around one quarter (24%) would prefer that relief funds be channelled through Member States.
    The Special Eurobarometer 343 on Humanitarian Aid looked at four major issues:
    (1) Importance of EU humanitarian aid activities for EU citizens
    (2) Awareness of humanitarian aid and the actors in this domain
    (3) Knowledge and information on EU humanitarian aid activities
    (4) Common or national approach to humanitarian aid

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Download of the report
    Link EU Humanitarian Aid


  5. Special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid
    2010-08-12

    A special Eurobarometer survey on humanitarian aid reveals a high level of solidarity among EU citizens with victims of conflict and natural disasters outside the Union. Eight out of ten citizens (79%) think it is important that the EU funds humanitarian aid outside its borders. However, the financial and economic crisis has taken its toll as the approval rate dropped 9% from 88% in 2006 when the last survey was carried out. There is a clear link between this decrease and the individual financial situation of citizens; those who have problems paying their bills expressed less support. At the same time, there is a strong endorsement of the Commission's mandate to provide relief aid, undertaken through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO). An overall majority of EU citizens (58%), and a relative majority in all Member States, think that humanitarian aid is more efficient when provided by the EU through the European Commission. Around one quarter (24%) would prefer that relief funds be channelled through Member States.
    The Special Eurobarometer 343 on Humanitarian Aid looked at four major issues:
    (1) Importance of EU humanitarian aid activities for EU citizens
    (2) Awareness of humanitarian aid and the actors in this domain
    (3) Knowledge and information on EU humanitarian aid activities
    (4) Common or national approach to humanitarian aid

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Download of the report
    Link EU Humanitarian Aid


  6. EU cooperation with the African Union: Problems and potential
    2010-08-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The European Union is considering a privileged partnership with the African Union as a way to overcome the dated framework of ACP relations and to improve the Joint Africa-European Union Strategy. This partnership has potential, but it is not unproblematic: is the AU sufficiently relevant as an international organisation, and can it solve its functional shortcomings? This Policy Brief argues that security and the promotion of good governance are the areas with better potential for EU-AU cooperation, while economic development could be enhanced in the realm of the Regional Economic Communities

    Source: FRIDE


    Link Read more
    Link Europafrica
    Link EU-AU Partnership


  7. Cameroon can be the leading ACP banana producer
    2010-08-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Jean-Yves Brethes: Cameroon can be the leading ACP banana producer
    The CEO of Spm announces his company’s objectives after obtaining financing from the African Export Import Bank.
    Your company has recently obtained financing of almost 2.5 billion FCFA from the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank). What do you intend to do with this money?
    We are very pleased that this bank, which is important in the development of import-export trade, has demonstrated its confidence in us. As an operator in the banana sector, and in relation to the international challenges, we are in the process of trying to boost our competitiveness, while consolidating and restructuring our company, the Société des Plantations de Mbanga (Spm), which was buffeted for several years, in particular between 2002 and 2005, by very heavy taxes on banana exports to Europe. We have implemented not only a financial restructuring programme, but also a development programme.

    How important is Spm in the banana sector in Cameroon in terms of its production and the number of people it employees, and how do you view the future after the Afreximbank financing?
    We produce almost 40,000 tonnes of bananas a year. We are the third largest operator in the sector after Cdc and the fruit company Php. We want to grow our company by improving its quality and profitability and by increasing production to 60,000 tonnes a year. We have a total workforce of 2,000 staff and our aim, as part of the company’s growth, is to increase that number to 3,000. We have also developed, in partnership with two other operators, our activities in the area of consultancy and management services for the development of new projects or project extensions. We have a technical assistance contract with the Cdc to develop 1,750 hectares of bananas, as part of a large-scale operation on behalf of the Cdc and the national sector.
    We are also involved in another operation with private Cameroonian companies that want to develop 1,500 hectares of bananas. Broadly speaking, Spm, which as a company is restructuring its finances and production, is also participating in the development of the national strategy for the banana sector. The target of the national strategy is to increase production to 500,000 tonnes. Such a level of production, which would be close to those of certain Central American countries, would make Cameroon by far the biggest ACP banana producer.

    This leads to the question of the competition between ACP bananas and the so-called dollar bananas on the European market. How are you succeeding in withstanding this competition?
    We are fully focused on this at the current time. Our aim today is to reduce our production costs in absolute terms, improve production and modernise our facilities. Leverage in the banana sector is based on tonnage. If the national sector’s tonnage increases from 280,000 to 500,000 tonnes, production costs will fall. Moreover, freight charges account for 35 to 40% of banana production costs on the European market. We can reduce these freight charges by pooling operations. This will enable Cameroon to consolidate its presence on the European market. Cameroon has considerable wealth and a huge production potential. All that is needed is additional financing. To this end, the European Union is supporting us and has launched a support programme for the banana sector, namely the BAM (Banana Accompanying Measures).
    Cameroon expects to receive a substantial amount of money under this programme. Moreover, Trade Ministers from Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Cameroon met on Monday 26 July to discuss this question. The African countries have been forthright in their declarations on the question of ACP bananas versus American bananas and the European Union has in fact promised adjustment and support assistance to enable us to be competitive in the future on the European market. With this support, the Cameroonian banana sector could, within 5 years, be the country’s leading agricultural export sector.

    Source: Quotidienmutations


    Link Read more
    Link Banana Market
    Link EU Relations with Cameroon


  8. Commission releases €14.9 million for food security to Niger
    2010-08-11

    Given the worsening food crisis in the Sahel, the Commission today agreed to disburse €14.9 million for food security in Niger, the worst affected country in the area. This follows the Commission's recent proposal to resume aid to Niger for €458 million between 2008 and 2013. The aid provided is in addition to the humanitarian assistance of € 25 million, which has been allocated so far in 2010 via the Commission's Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO). Today's funds will be complementary to the Commission's latest efforts to mobilise extra € 30 million for the Sahel region, mainly for Niger, in order to avoid another food crisis. European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs stated: "This food assistance comes at a critical time for Niger and could free up to 700,000 families from the risk of hunger and famine. But a longer term solution is needed. Last month I proposed the resumption of the European Commission's development aid programme in Niger. It is essential that this lead is followed by other donors as part of a coordinated, long term strategy and that the government of Niger is fully on board in the fight against poverty ".

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Niger
    Link The food situation in Niger


  9. More controls over third-party vessels
    2010-08-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Spain's Ministry for the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) has established controls over vessels from third-party countries to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). According to the Ministerial Order 2077/2010, published on Saturday (2th AUgust 2010) in the Official State Bulletin (BOE), the government aims to control:
    * Access to Spanish ports for fishing vessels from third-party countries, as well as any unloading and transfer operations that they perform;
    * The entrering of fishery products caught by fishing vessels from third-party countries, and re-export from Spanish territories;
    * The exporting of fish caught by fishing vessels from Spain, when required due to agreements made with third-party countries.
    The new legislation includes any ship, regardless of size, used or intended for the commercial exploitation of fish.
    Vessels from third-parties only have access to port services and make landings or transhipments at ports designated by the central government.
    Also, fishery products covered by the Ministerial Order "can only be landed or introduced into Spanish territory through places approved by the government."
    To access port, vessels must be approved by competent port authorities, informs the report made by the General Secretariat of the Sea, under MARM.
    In the report, verification of requested documentation and proof that the vessel is not part of any IUU fishing vessel wanted list will be considered.
    In addition, vessels will require a license to capture, in order to ensure the traceability of fishery products and to prove that it respects the laws, regulations and international management and conservation measures.

    Source: FIS.com


    Link Read more
    Link DG Maritime Affairs


  10. Milk from cloned cow offspring exposes gap in EU food law
    2010-08-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Claims that a British farmer has been selling milk from a cloned animal has exposed a loophole in an EU law dealing with putting new foods on the market. Following the original article in the International Herald Tribune last week, British newspapers are reporting that a dairy farmer in the UK has been selling milk from a cow bred from a clone. The matter is currently being investigated by the country's Food Standards Agency. However, even if the report is verified, the farmer in question has not broken EU rules. Under the EU's 'novel food' rules, governing foods made using new techniques, anyone wishing to sell food from a cloned animal would have to first register with the authorities. To date there have been no authorisations.
    Produce from the offspring of cloned animals is not covered by the rules.

    Source: EU Observer


    Link Read more
    Link EU Food Safety


  11. EU Delegation commends the Wood Tracking System in Ghana
    2010-08-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Ghana, Ambassador Claude Maerten, has commended the Ghana Forestry Commission (FC) on the progress made in recent months in the development of an innovative Wood Tracking System (WTS). Ambassador Maerten’s comments were made following a trip to review pilot work of the WTS at Asenanyo Forest Reserve in Ashanti region. The FC is conducting the pilot work in partnership with Helveta in a logging compartment belonging to Messrs Kumi and Co. The WTS is being developed in the context of the EU-Ghana Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), a trade agreement which relates to export and imports of legal timber products. The VPA was signed in Brussels in November, 2009. Latest developments in the European Union and the United States of America, two key markets for high value Ghanaian timber products, is putting significant pressure on timber exporting countries to provide credible assurances of the legality of their timber exports. In anticipation of these market changes Ghana commenced negotiations with the European Union (EU) in early 2007 on a ‘Voluntary Partnership Agreement’ (VPA). The VPA is part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan, which supports countries committed to tackling challenges in their forest sector in order to reduce illegal logging and move towards sustainable forest management. At the core of the VPA has been agreement by the Government of Ghana in consultation with civil society and private sector on a definition of "legal timber" based on Ghana’s existing laws.

    Source: accra-mail.com


    Link Read more
    Link FLEGT
    Link EU Relations with Ghana


  12. Pacific Islands – EU relations
    2010-08-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    From 3 – 6 August, Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, will host the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). Founded in 1971, it is the region's major political and economic policy institution with a mission to strengthen regional cooperation and integration. The PIF comprises of 16 member states – fourteen Pacific Island countries plus Australia and New Zealand. The Forum Leaders meet annually and give political guidance to the region. The 41st Annual Forum meeting is structured in a series of five meetings: Smaller Island States Leaders meeting, Pacific - ACP leaders meeting, Pacific Islands Forum Formal Session, Forum Leaders Retreat and Post-Forum Dialogue Partners Meeting. The European Commission is in a privileged position and is the only partner invited to deliver a speech at the Pacific - ACP leaders' meeting. Participation at the Annual Forum is a great opportunity for the Commission to meet with leaders of the PIF Member States and key regional partners. The Commission will continue discussions with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat on a possible Memorandum of Understanding for a Joint Pacific-EU initiative on climate change. The objective is to facilitate implementation of the Joint Declaration adopted in November 2008 and also to attract international climate change funding to the Pacific.

    Source: Commission européenne


    Link Read mre
    Link Read the Declaration
    Link EU-Pacific relations


  13. Last obstacles for EPA signing removed
    2010-08-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The three-year tussle between some southern African countries, including Namibia, and the European Union (EU) to finalise trade negotiations for the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) will be concluded by the end of this year.“The EU endorsed the request by countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to conclude a full EPA agreement by year-end,” EU Ambassador to Namibia Elisabeth Pape said yesterday (31st July 2010).“There was a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, this week with trade ministers to discuss the proposal for the EPA with SADC and there will be three more such meetings in due course before the signing,” Pape added.“It will be a full [and final] agreement and not an interim EPA,” she told reporters. She spoke at the start of a meeting with Prime Minister Nahas Angula and all EU ambassadors resident in Namibia at Europe House yesterday. The meeting was to discuss the status of the EPA talks, millennium development goals (MDGs), development in Namibia and the third EU-Africa summit in Libya later this year. The EPAs will allow free access of most Namibian goods to the EU and will replace the Cotonou trade regime which ended in December 2007 and the WTO (World Trade Organisation) waiver.

    Source: The Namibian


    Link Rad more
    Link EU Relations with Namibia
    Link ACP-EU Trade


  14. A call for swifter action to remove unnecessary control on banana imports
    2010-08-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) is calling on the Food Standards Agency and the European Commission to lift with immediate effect the unnecessary checks on imports of bananas from the Dominican Republic.  The European Commission recently reviewed Annex I listing of products under EC Regulation 669/2009 and agreed to de-list bananas from 1 October 2010. “After extensive lobbying by FPC we are delighted that the Commission has seen sense to remove the ridiculous controls on bananas from the Dominican Republic which has cost five UK importers around £50,000 since January 2010.  However, the controls must be removed now to avoid these same companies facing a further £30,000 in costs over the next four months,” said Nigel Jenney, Chief Executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium.  “The Commission has agreed with what we have been telling them all along, that pesticide residues, if any, in bananas are not posing a risk to UK consumers. It’s unacceptable that the industry has to incur even more costs and delays when the Commission already confirms that these products are safe to eat.”

    Source: Freshplaza


    Link Read more
    Link The Banana Market
    Link FPC


  15. Dominican banana exports to Europe jump 25%
    2010-08-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The country’s leading banana producers announced a 25% jump in exports to Europe to more than 58 million dollars in the first half and expect to top US$160 million in 2010. Last year producers exported to Europe 280,000 metric tons of bananas and expect to reach more than 300,000 by year end.During a meeting with Agriculture minister Salvador Jiménez, banana farmers said the sector has become the “free zone” of the Northwest Line with more than 15,000 jobs in the productive process and is now the country’s leading currency producer among agribusinesses. Luis Bonilla, a Northwest Valverde province banana producer for almost 20 years, said the country will make more than 160 million dollars from banana exports by year end. He said every week growers are exporting more than 350 boxes of bananas to the European market, which he affirms are the main buyers.  “The banana sector’s perspective is very good, very encouraging; we’re going through one on the best moments regarding banana exports and production.”

    Souce: Dominican Today


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Dominican Republic
    Link The market of Banana


  16. EU helps Malawi to improve 1,500 km of rural feeder roads
    2010-08-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Union (EU) Delegation to Malawi has agreed to finance contracts worth €13.15 million (approximately MWK 2.7 billion) to improve rural feeder roads in the southern African country. In a press release made available to Nyasa Times o, the EU-says the funding will help upgrade 1,500 km of feeder roads to ensure year-round access. “It will contribute to increasing the roads’ capacity to carry more and heavier traffic, which will promote agricultural production in the rural areas concerned. Six contracts have been signed with small and medium size Malawian companies,” reads the statement.The Rural Feeder Road Programme of €15 million falls under the 9th European Development Fund. Its overall objective is to improve food security and increase small-holder farmers’ incomes by better linking growth areas to the main road network.

    Source: Nyasa Times


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Malawi
    Link EU Delegation to Malawi


  17. EU Commission Plants 5000 Trees
    2010-08-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission in Tanzania last week launched the first ever tree planting programme at a tea research institute in Iringa in southern Tanzania to 'offset the carbon emissions caused by its European offices, Umoja House, in Dar es Salaam. The tree planting ceremony was held at the Igoda Tea Research Institute of Tanzania (TRIT) at Mufindi in Iringa region as the European office's carbon footprint in Tanzania. It has pledged to plant 5000 seedling annually to help reduce carbon emissions. In a joint tree planting launching ceremony by the Head of the Delegation of European Union in Tanzania, Ambassador Tim Clarke and Professor Bruno Ndunguru, Executive Director at TRIT's Igoda demonstration farm in Mufindi, they launched the first ever tree planting programme that aims at offsetting the carbon emissions from the jointly owned (EU) diplomatic block of 'Umoja House' in Dar es Salaam. Umoja House, home to five diplomatic offices, is undertaking this project after an energy audit revealed that the diplomatic block's 300 staff were creating about 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year from air conditioning and incineration of waste. It would take the equivalent of 5,145 trees every year to offset these emissions, Ambassador Clarke said.

    Source: Allafrica


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Tanzania
    Link EU Delegation to Tanzania


  18. Boost Cross-Border Trade for Food Security
    2010-08-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    Small-scale traders on either side of the Mwami Border Post between Zambia and Malawi are key to meeting local demands that larger importers do not. The kind and quantity of food available on one side of the border is often quite different from just 20 or 50 kilometers away. The STR dovetails neatly with trade programmes such as the 10 million euro Regional Food Security and Risk Management programme (REFORM) of the European Union, which aims to help small traders increase the supply of locally-produced food crossing borders. "(REFORM) specifically aims at improving regional and national trade, social protection and disaster risk management," Alexander Baum, head of the European Union Delegation in Malawi said. "And one component of this programme is to enhance Cross Border Trade in agricultural commodities and is implemented by COMESA. Indeed, areas of surplus food production should have ready access to markets, especially those close to borders. A stable and uninterrupted demand for food from neighbours will result in farmers in surplus regions investing more to ensure long-term supply." Simplified tariffs will also benefit a different class of small-scale traders. In Lusaka's "COMESA Market" - named for and situated behind the headquarters of the actual headquarters of the regional trade body - much of the merchandise is cheaper than equivalents in formal retail outlets like the multinational-chain store Shoprite. This is mainly because they are brought into the country in small amounts by small traders who evade official border posts.

    Source: Interpress News Service Agency


    Link Read more
    Link COMESA-EU relations
    Link EU Relations with Zambia


  19. Guyana and Norway Establish Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund
    2010-08-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The President of Guyana and Prime Minister of Norway announced the establishment of the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, including conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+). Norway will contribute US$30 million upon establishment of the fund, and will contribute up to US$250 million between 2010 and 2015, based on Guyana's performance. Guyana is expected to use the funds to implement a low-carbon development strategy, which includes protecting national forests, moving towards clean energy, and creating low-carbon employment and economic opportunities for forest-dependent communities. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg commended Guyana on its plans "to invest heavily to move its economy onto a long-term low carbon trajectory," noting that "this is good for Guyana and good for the world." The two countries have invited the World Bank to act as the fund manager.

    Source: Office of the President of Guyana


    Link Read more
    Link EU Relations with Guyana


  20. EC allocates an additional €10 M package in humanitarian aid for Liberia
    2010-08-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, Food Security

    The European Commission is allocating an extra €10 million in humanitarian aid for Liberia. This assistance will directly or indirectly benefit around 500,000 vulnerable people across Liberia, by improving access to healthcare, nutrition, water and sanitation as well as bridging a funding gap during the shift from humanitarian to development funding.Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response stated: "After years of trying to disengage from merely allocating humanitarian aid to Liberia when the country was ravaged by a terrible civil war, substantial progress has been made in the past years to accompany the country's rebirth and recovery. I'm glad to say that Liberia is a success story with respect to effective linking between Relief Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD).We work closely with our Development colleagues to ensure the continuity of the Commission's funding. It is paramount that we are certain that there are no gaps in the working of our relief operation that could be detrimental for the Liberian population."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EC humanitarian aid
    Link EU relations with Liberia


  21. High Level Meeting of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership
    2010-08-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    Nearly 600 million people in Africa lack access to modern energy services. Africa and Europe have joined forces to meet that challenge in a partnership of equals. The Africa-EU Energy Partnership now convenes it s  first Ministerial Meeting to shape the way forward, agree on joint political targets for implementation until 2020 and launch a Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme.  Energy Ministers from South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Cabo Verde and Togo have already committed to come to Vienna.


     Source: Africa-EU Partnership


    Link Read more
    Link The Conference
    Link Programme of the Conference



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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