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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 293]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 293]
Send date: 2011-10-07 18:29:13
Issue #: 109
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. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 10/10 to 16/10/2011
  2. Our video guest: Joseph Alcamo, UNEP
  3. European Parliament conference : Action needed on global food security
  4. Climate change will impede north-south trade
  5. Eastern Africa: EU wants EPAs signed this year
  6. MEPs: EU should take lead at Rio+20
  7. UNFCCC publishes EU submission on support to developing countries
  8. OECD urges EU to reform farm support
  9. Green light for including aviation in emission scheme
  10. Fiji Official: EU not only about sugar
  11. EU and Central African negotiators continue the negotiations on EPAs
  12. Caribbean joins with EU, ACP to better manage migration
  13. Swaziland: EU to discuss politics, South Africa’s 2.4 billion EUR loan
  14. Aid effectiveness: Commission puts Europe in tough situation for Busan
  15. Access to EU markets for exporters from ACP countries
  16. Farm policy: Socialist Euro MP to steer CAP reform through
  17. Close the Gap opens first recycling centre for hazardous waste in Africa
  18. Recovery of undue payments made under the Common Agricultural Policy
  19. EU leads the world on financial transactions tax
  20. European Development Days in Warsaw on 15-16th December 2011
  21. EU subsidies fuel Spain’s ravenous fleet
  22. Analysis: Improving the international governance of food security and trade


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 10/10 to 16/10/2011
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -10-13 October: Committee Meetings in the European Parliament
    -12/13 October: Plenary Session of the European Parliament in Brussels
    Council of Ministers
    -10/11 October: Foreign Affairs Council
    -11 October : General Affairs Council
    European Commission
    -12 October: Weekly meeting of the college

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.


    Link European Parliament
    Link Council of Ministers
    Link European Commission


  2. Our video guest: Joseph Alcamo, UNEP
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Joseph Alcamo is the Chief Scientist at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). During our interview at a food security conference organised by the European Commission Joint Research Centre, Alcamo talks about the untapped potential of fisheries and the possibilities of achieving food security and environmental protection. At the same conference, we also had the opportunity to speak to Monty P. Jones from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and Co-winner of the 2004 World Food Prize, as well as Paulo Gouveia, director of the General Affairs Department at Copa-Cogeca, the European farmers' representation in Brussels.


    Link Watch the video
    Link UNEP
    Link JRC: Food security conference


  3. European Parliament conference : Action needed on global food security
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    “We have the means to tackle food insecurity, let us start putting them into action” – that was the general message coming from a conference on food security which the European Parliament’s development committee organised in Brussels on 4 October.

    In four different panel sessions, Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos and Development Commissioner Piebalgs, but also speakers from the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, but also farmers’ representatives from Western Africa shed light on the problems related to availability of nutritious food, access to land and water, food speculation and the impact of climate change on food production.

    Hans Herren, co-chair of the IAASTD which produced the influential IAASTD report on agriculture in 2008, highlighted that it is time to act upon the information that is known today. “Instead of spending money on conferences, we should spend this money on national assessments. The states have to know which particular policies they can put in place, targeted towards their market structure.”

    Herren also stressed that science needed to be strengthened further: “We have to catch up with 50 years of agricultural research to produce better,” he said, pointing for example to research on soil conservation.

    The conference came one week after the European Parliament had passed a report by Gabriele Zimmer on EU support for developing countries in food security. Zimmer announced further initiatives of the development committee in the area of nutrition security as well as access to water and energy. The committee is also in favour of making agriculture an individual item at the Rio+20 conference in June 2012.

    Source: CTA


    Link Read more
    Link Africa’s potential role in global food security
    Link Delivering global food and nutrition security


  4. Climate change will impede north-south trade
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    Climate change is increasingly playing a role in North-South trade, as carbon emissions are being used as an excuse to protect markets, with poorer countries likely to lose out. A few months before the 17th COP to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, there is little hope of a binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.

    It is unlikely that the Kyoto Protocol, whose binding emission cuts for developed nations are set to lapse in 2012, will be extended. The absence of a legally binding agreement and especially a proper enforcement mechanism for such an agreement will lead to a surge in trade disputes and heightened protectionism, predicted experts at a Sept. 27 trade meeting in Windhoek.

    Source: IPS News


    Link Read more
    Link Rich & poor nations clash over climate finance
    Link Kyoto at heart of brewing climate change storm


  5. Eastern Africa: EU wants EPAs signed this year
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The European Union anticipates that the Economic Partnership Agreements could be inked before the end of this year if the EAC states are focused and maintain active engagement throughout the remaining time.

    Mr Harvey Rouse, the head of trade section at the European Union delegation to Uganda said, “We are hopeful that if EAC takes active engagement in the remaining few months, we will deliver the required results before the end of the year as the European Commission mandate to negotiate EPAs runs out at the end of this year.”

    The singing of the comprehensive EPAs hit a snag in November last year due to a number of contentious issues including the most favoured nations, export taxes, rules of origin, trade in services and sustainable development. Mr Rouse said failure for EAC to sign the EPAs has left businesses working in unpredictable and uncertain environment despite EU being Uganda’s largest trade partner outside the Comesa region.

    “The current situation is not good for Uganda’s largest export market outside Comesa,” he said at a joint Tourism, Trade and Industry sector performance review conference in Kampala recently. However, during the EU and EAC senior and technical level negotiators’ meeting in Zanzibar last month, it was agreed that progress should be done with negotiations regarding economic and development cooperation, rules of origin and agriculture to pave way for the signing of the final agreement.

    Source: Daily Monitor


    Link Read more
    Link EPAs are bad for Africa
    Link Government urged to pass anti-counterfeit bill


  6. MEPs: EU should take lead at Rio+20
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The EU must take the lead and push for global measures to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency when heads of state and government meet in June for the UN "Rio+20" summit on sustainable development and a green economy, MEPs said 29 September. The EP called on EU governments to come up with a common position by November.

    The meeting takes place 20 years after the first "Earth Summit", which was also in Rio de Janeiro and was a milestone in raising environmental and climate awareness around the world.

    The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, will focus on:

    • the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
    • an institutional framework for sustainable development.

    The gist of the EP's resolution is that the EU should take the lead in the Conference on Sustainability and speak with one voice, said German Christian Democrat Karl-Heinz Florenz, who helped guide the proposals through parliament.

    MEPs want the summit to set concrete global green economy targets. They are also calling for an end to environmentally-harmful subsidies by 2020.

    The EP is calling for raw materials, energy efficiency and forestry to be put on the conference agenda.

    MEPs also want the international tax on financial transactions, proposed by last week by the European Commission, to support climate and biodiversity protection in developing countries.

    Source: European Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link EU pressed to lead Rio+20 Earth Summit
    Link Rio+20: Objective is to put agriculture centre stage


  7. UNFCCC publishes EU submission on support to developing countries
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The UNFCCC Secretariat has published an addendum containing the EU’s submission on the support provided to developing country parties and on activities undertaken to strengthen existing, and to establish, national and regional systematic observation and monitoring networks.

    At its 34th session, the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) invited parties to submit to the Secretariat additional information on their efforts. The submissions received will be considered by SBI 35. The submission contains examples of support provided by EU member States and the European Commission to strengthen systematic observation in developing countries.

    Source: UNFCCC


    Link Read more
    Link UNFCCC
    Link Commission: DG Climate


  8. OECD urges EU to reform farm support
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    High commodity prices have made European farmers much less dependent on farm subsidies, offering debt-laden countries a unique opportunity to reform the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a new report published yesterday (5 October) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has concluded. “Expected growth in demand and higher real commodity prices offer tremendous opportunities for farmers and government alike,” said Ken Ash, OECD director of Trade and Agriculture, during the report’s launch in Brussels.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Support to agriculture at historic lows
    Link Europe: reform of farm support?


  9. Green light for including aviation in emission scheme
    2011-10-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The advocate general of the European Court of Justice gave her opinion that the inclusion of the aviation sector in the EU's emissions trading scheme is legally sound, clearing the way for the planned inclusion from the beginning of next year. The Greens welcomed the announcement, which confirms the EU's approach to tackling the growing greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector, which threaten to undermine emissions reductions from other sectors.

    Source: The Greens/EFA


    Link Read more
    Link Read the opinion of the advocate general
    Link Reaction of the climate commissioner


  10. Fiji Official: EU not only about sugar
    2011-10-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Pacific island countries and the European Union (EU) does not focus on sugar and fisheries alone.

    Fiji’s Ministry of Industry and Trade acting permanent secretary, Shaheen Ali says the agreement provides room for the trade of other products.

    “This is what the Interim EPA is about; it’s to look at non-traditional exports so we can build on exporting non-traditional products to EU,” Ali said.

    “There is a huge potential in products from the private sector. There are potentials in frozen vegetables market, garment, kava, coconut oil products and noni products. These are non – traditional products that we could develop that could benefit local industries and people.”


    Link Read more
    Link EU wants EPAs signed this year
    Link Europe Puts Foot Down on EPAs


  11. EU and Central African negotiators continue the negotiations on EPAs
    2011-10-06
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    European and Central African negotiators met in Bangui (République centrafricaine) from 26th to 30th September in order to continue negotiations at technical level. Negotiating groups discussed market access, services, cultural cooperation and accompanying measures. Progress was also made on the text of the agreement. The next negotiation round will take place in November in Brussels.

    A goods-only interim EPA was initialled in December 2007 and then signed on 15 January 2009 between the EU and Cameroon, the only Central African country which decided to negotiate an interim agreement.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EPA Negotiations: The Honeymoon is Over…
    Link EPA negotiations on track


  12. Caribbean joins with EU, ACP to better manage migration
    2011-10-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    Stelios Christopoulos, the charge d' affairs at the European Union delegation in Trinidad and Tobago, noted this week that the Caribbean has "continued to attract large numbers" of undocumented migrants from poorer countries. "Today, everybody understands the need for managed migration, which is reflected in the growing number of meetings as well as increasing time allocation in international and intra-regional meetings to discuss strategies to respond to the challenges of migration," Christopoulos said.

    The EU official acknowledged that analysis of Caribbean migration patterns is hampered by the lack of reliable data, and welcomed a pilot project involving 12 countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping that is aimed helping national and regional institutions in the collection, management and analysis of migration data for the development of appropriate policies.

    Source: IPSNews


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Observatory on Migration
    Link ACP-EU: Stronger cooperation on migration


  13. Swaziland: EU to discuss politics, South Africa’s 2.4 billion EUR loan
    2011-10-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness, ACP-EU Policy

    The 2.4 billion EUR loan from the Republic of South Africa to Swaziland will form part of discussions during a political dialogue between the Swazi government and the European Union (EU). This is contained in a memorandum inviting various principal secretaries to a meeting in preparation for the dialogue. These are the PSs in the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs, economic planning and development, public works and transport, labour and social security and the ministry of commerce, industry and trade. […]

    The EU delegation’s task was to implement the Cotonou Partnership Agreement linking the EU member states to the African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP-EU) including Swaziland. The central objective of this partnership was to reduce and eradicate poverty through sustainable development, the progressive integration into the world economy and the promotion of the rule of law, democracy and human rights. The EU delegation helped organise twice a year, with the government, the political dialogue provided for by Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement to review all specific political issues of mutual concern including developments concerning the respect for human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law and good governance.

    Source: observer.org.sz


    Link Read more
    Link EU Delegation to Swaziland
    Link Cotonou Agreement


  14. Aid effectiveness: Commission puts Europe in tough situation for Busan
    2011-10-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    Last week, the European Commission released the proposal for a joint EU position for the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) which will take place in Busan (Korea) end of November this year. The Communication contains few concrete commitments and lacks the ambition to put Europe at the forefront of the political negotiations ahead of the HLF4. This is in stark contrast with the role that the Commission played ahead of the HLF3, 2008 in Accra, where the EU positioned itself as a progressive and driving force, willing to make unilateral commitments that went beyond what the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD was prepared to concede. Civil society organisations are deeply disappointed with the lack of ambition shown by the Commission and are hopeful that Member States will substantially improve the joint European position before the international negotiations in Busan begin.

    The Communication builds on the findings of the recent OECD report  “Aid Effectiveness 2005-2010: Progress in Implementing the Paris Declaration.” This report shows that only one of the 13 reform targets of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness was met by 2010, as agreed in the Paris Declaration. It recommends that HLF4 reaffirms the principles of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action and provides more time to achieve full implementation of existing commitments.

    Source: Eurodad


    Link Read more
    Link NGO position on Busan
    Link CTA interview with Laura Sullivan, ActionAid


  15. Access to EU markets for exporters from ACP countries
    2011-10-05
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    On 30th September the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the Market Access Regulation, governing the trade conditions for certain developing countries that have negotiated Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU. […]

    The Regulation was conceived as a temporary solution and not a permanent facility. Four years of application has provided enough breathing space for ratification or further negotiation. It is therefore time to bring the process to a close, by amending the Regulation and concluding Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. Therefore, the Commission is proposing to withdraw the Market Access Regulation for the countries that have not taken the necessary steps towards ratifying the Economic Partnership Agreements signed with the EU.

    Eighteen countries (14 countries in the Caribbean, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Papua New Guinea) have taken the necessary steps towards ratification of initialled agreements, and will continue to use the facility. But the other 18 countries have not even signed their agreement or are still not applying it. […]

    The 18 countries which would be withdrawn from the Market Access Regulation have a choice: whether to go ahead and establish a partnership with the EU or not. To maintain free access to the EU, these countries can take the necessary steps towards ratification of existing Economic Partnership Agreements or conclude new regional Agreements with the EU.

    Recent dynamism in various EPA negotiations suggests that the beneficiaries of the Market Access Regulation, and other ACP countries for that matter, can conclude ongoing regional negotiations in time. In doing so, they can create a sustainable long-term partnership with the EU in which free market access is maintained, but which also supports regional integration, strengthens economic governance and helps attract investment.

    Source: Bilaterals


    Link Read more
    Link ECDPM: More information
    Link DG Trade: Market Access [PDF]


  16. Farm policy: Socialist Euro MP to steer CAP reform through
    2011-10-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    S&D spokesperson on farm policy, Luis Capoulas Santos MEP, was appointed European rapporteur on the post-2013 reform of EU rural policy and subsidies for farmers. A former Portuguese minister for agriculture, Capoulas Santos will lead the European Parliament's negotiating team in upcoming talks on the post-2013 reform of the EU farm policy.  This is one of the EU's most divisive issues, accounting for almost half of Union's budget.

    Congratulating Capoulas Santos on his new job, S&D Group leader Martin Schulz said:

    "Luis Capoulas Santos is an experienced politician and negotiator with an in-depth knowledge of EU farm policy. This year he played a key role in getting the European Parliament to endorse many of our Group's reform proposals, in particular rewarding farmers for creating new jobs and greening their production systems, and measures to achieve a fairer redistribution of EU subsidies to farmers. He will have a tough job during the months to come, but I am sure he is the right person to steer this reform through".

    Luis Capoulas Santos said: "This is a historic opportunity to put agriculture in focus. This window of opportunity cannot be missed. We need an agricultural policy that is able to respond to the current challenges and contributes to overcoming the economic crisis. The European Parliament has been consistently advocating an adequate budget for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that should be at least the same level as the 2013 budget. Unfortunately, the current European Commission draft proposal is still below this level".


    Link Read more
    Link EU public opinion in favor of CAP reform
    Link EU farm policy reform seen affecting land prices


  17. Close the Gap opens first recycling centre for hazardous waste in Africa
    2011-10-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    On 27 September 2011 European Vice-president Neelie Kroes opened Close the Gap’s first recycling centre for hazardous electronic waste in Africa. “This centre in Nairobi represents an important step towards reducing health and environmental consequences of dumping hazardous electronic trash in the region,” said Neelie Kroes.

    Close the Gap already finances a network of regional manual recycling centres for electronic waste in the East African Community, operated by its local partner Digital Pipeline Africa (Kenya). The Nairobi centre now takes e-waste treatment to a much more environmental friendly level.

    “In addition to damaging public health and the environment, untreated e-waste hinders the development of ICT projects which are so vital for developing countries,” said Mr. Olivier Vanden Eynde, Founder and Managing Director of Close the Gap, at the opening ceremony.

    In 2010, with the support of the Belgian Development Agency BTC, Close the Gap co-financed and coordinated a study on an integrated sustainable e-waste management solution for the East-African community. The study aimed to provide a framework and recurrent funding system for the collection, dismantling and recycling of e-waste. This study also produced a realistic business plan.

    Source: BTC


    Link Read more
    Link Britain's e-waste illegally leaking into West Africa
    Link Hazardous waste surging in Africa


  18. Recovery of undue payments made under the Common Agricultural Policy
    2011-10-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Union spends around € 55 billion per year on agriculture and rural development, some of which is wrongly paid due to irregular or incorrect claims or other errors. This special report examines the procedures for recovery of undue payments. In particular, it focuses on recoveries by Member State authorities and the monitoring role of the Commission.

    This European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) performance audit assessed the effectiveness of the systems established and operated by Member States to recover identified debts, together with the Commission's supervision of the process. The audit addressed the following questions: Do Member States process and record debts correctly? Are Member States successful in recovering identified undue payments? Do Member States write off irrecoverable debts appropriately? Does the Commission supervise and monitor recoveries effectively?


    Link Read more
    Link Meeting the needs of farmers and consumers
    Link European Court of Auditors


  19. EU leads the world on financial transactions tax
    2011-10-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    S&D Euro MPs welcomed the European Commission's proposal to create a financial transaction tax in the EU for which they have been campaigning for months.

    Said S&D spokesman for economic and monetary affairs, Udo Bullmann and Anni Podimata, author of the European Parliament's report on this issue: "The introduction of a financial transaction tax has been a long standing demand of our group. We have never given up the battle despite the Commission's clear reluctance until now to act. We welcome its decision to respond to our call and present a legislative proposal. It is time that the speculators who caused the crisis bear their share of the burden. We are pleased that the tax will specifically target the most speculative financial products including transactions carried out off-exchange.

    "The news that they will speed up the introduction of the tax so that it takes effect in 2014 instead of 2018 is particularly welcomed. By its action, the EU is giving much needed leadership to the rest of the world on this question. We are confident that concerns about the tax impact on competitiveness will prove to be unfounded - and we are convinced that other countries around the world will quickly follow the example given to day by the EU. We urge the European Commission to stand firm and ensure full implementation of a financial transaction tax on which our full support is guaranteed."


    Link Read more
    Link Victory for financial stability and basis for growth
    Link FAQ on economic governance


  20. European Development Days in Warsaw on 15-16th December 2011
    2011-10-04
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The annual European Development days (EDDs) – have been launched today by the Polish Presidency, Under-Secretary of State, Krzysztof Stanowski and EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. This year, the EDDs will focus on democracy and development in the wake of the recent Arab Spring events and the proposals of the European Commission for a new EU development policy.

    Speaking on a visit to Warsaw, Commissioner Piebalgs confirmed that the conference would take place in Warsaw from the 15th – 16th December. Now in their sixth year, the EDDs have become a key event on the international development calendar and a major political discussion forum which bring together current and former Heads of State and Government from Europe and many other parts of the world, especially from Africa, as well as academics, media and civil society.

    Speaking at the launch Commissioner Piebalgs said: "The events across North Africa this year have confirmed that economic and social development has to go hand in hand with democratic development. The European Development Days will be a key opportunity to bring together leading voices on development from across the world to feed the EU development agenda and improve our impact. This year Warsaw will host the event and I am looking forward to discuss Polish experiences in transition from authoritarian regime to democratic, free-market society. These lessons can be very fruitful elsewhere in the world. " […]

    Polish President, Bronisław Komorowski, and Commission President, Jose-Manuel Barroso, will deliver a keynote speech at the opening of the two-day conference. They are expected to be joined by Radosław Sikorski, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland, and Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament. More high-profile speakers will be announced ahead of the event.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link European Development Days
    Link Polish Presidency


  21. EU subsidies fuel Spain’s ravenous fleet
    2011-10-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Decades of overfishing have left Europe’s fish stocks in peril and its fishermen in poverty. It’s an impasse paid for by EU taxpayers. Yet a proposed revision of the EU’s fishing law, hailed as sweeping reform, is rapidly losing momentum.

    Source: EUObserver


    Link Read more
    Link Commission closes bluefin tuna fishery for Spain
    Link CFP Reformwatch


  22. Analysis: Improving the international governance of food security and trade
    2011-10-03
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy

    A new paper by Manzoor Ahmad from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) critically examines the recent global initiatives to improve various elements of the international governance of food security and the institutional context of policymaking on trade and food security. Suggestions are provided to help policymaking bodies more effectively address food security concerns. To download this paper, click here.

    Source: ICTSD


    Link Read more
    Link Download the paper
    Link An interview about food security



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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Editor: André Feldhof (feldhof@cta.int)

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Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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