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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-05-28 17:13:38
Issue #: 179
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 : [28/05/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 28/05/2013 – 02/06/2013
  2. Video Guest: Mr. Dieye, AGHRYMET (Niger)
  3. Europe must adapt to stay ahead of a changing climate
  4. Weak EU support to private sector development
  5. EU should forge closer trade ties with Africa
  6. Ghana : 7.2m EUR banana support package
  7. Research: Future of EU aid in middle-income countries
  8. EU: Council agrees on fishing policy overhaul
  9. Dominica: 15,4m EUR banana support package
  10. EU : new climate change response-strategy
  11. Angola's Fisheries Minister : Poland, a true partner
  12. EPAs: “return to zero and start again”
  13. Germany to play role in integration of African economies
  14. Fiji’s first sustainable tuna gets into EU
  15. Cases of trade defence against EU
  16. NGOs concerned over CFP negotiations
  17. Value of global aid overstated


  1. Main Events for the Week 28/05/2013 – 02/06/2013
    2013-05-28

    Council of the EU:
    27-28 May: Foreign Affairs Council
    27 May: Informal Meeting of Ministers for Agriculture

    European Parliament:
    28-29 May: Committee on International Trade
    Committee on Development; Subcommittee on Human Rights
    29-30 May: Committee on Foreign Affairs
    29-30 May: Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
    29-30 May: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    29-30 May: Committee on Fisheries

    ACP:
    28 May: Steering Committee on Sustainable Development
    29 May: ARIAL Steering Committee

    Other:

    28 May: Launch of the Montpellier Report on Sustainable Intensification

    You can also follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  2. Video Guest: Mr. Dieye, AGHRYMET (Niger)
    2013-05-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security

    In the context of the cooperation between CILSS and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the expert on communication and information from AGRHYMET, Papa Oumar Dieye, is working at the CTA Brussels for two weeks.
    AGHRYMET (agrhymet.ne) is a specialized institute of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), composed of 13 member States: Bénin, Burkina Faso, Cap Vert, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambie, Guinée, Guinée Bissau, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Sénégal, Tchad et Togo. The AGRHYMET Regional Centre aims to contribute to achieving food security and increase agricultural production in the CILSS member States, as well as to improve natural resource management by providing training and information to development stakeholders and agro-ecology partners. The centre has an international status and is based in Niamey, Niger.

    Mr Dieye is the Head of Communication, Information, and Documentation Unit at AGHRYMET. He is an Agricultural Engineer by profession, with a MSc in Communication and Marketing, obtained in Senegal. His work placement at CTA Brussels is part of a partnership between AGHRYMET and the CTA which aims to enhance the exchange of knowledge and information in the field of agriculture and rural development. The placement is financed by the African Development Bank (ADB), through a support programme aimed at African climate institutions - programme d’appui aux institutions africains du climat (ISACIP).


    Link Watch the Video
    Link More on CILSS
    Link More on AGRHYMET


  3. Europe must adapt to stay ahead of a changing climate
    2013-05-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Climate change , Environment

    Wine producers in Europe may need to change the type of grapes they cultivate or the location of vineyards, even moving production to other areas in some cases. This is just one example of how Europe’s economy and society need to adapt to climate change, as examined in a new report ‘Adaptation in Europe’  from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
    While global mitigation efforts should continue to aim to limit global temperature increases to 2 °C, the report states that it is necessary to prepare for a greater range of temperature increases and other climate changes. This is needed to properly account for the many uncertainties in climatic and socio-economic projections.
    The report recommends a combination of different measures – ‘grey’ measures such as technological and engineering projects, ‘green’ ecosystem-based approaches using nature, and so-called ‘soft’ measures such as policies to change governance approaches. The most effective adaptation projects often combine two or more different approaches, the report says.
    At the end of April, the European Commission launched a strategy to help the 27 EU member states to “better prepare” for the impact of climate changes. The adopted documents aim to provide a coherent and improved coordination of the response to the impacts of climate change at local, regional, national and EU levels.

    Source: European Environment Agency


    Link Read more
    Link EU : new climate change response-strategy
    Link Trade-off in agriculture: Food production vs. pollution


  4. Weak EU support to private sector development
    2013-05-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    An April seminar on the “Evaluation of the European Union’s support to private sector development in third countries” showed that much more needs to be done to maximise the impact of EU money on the ground, since linkages between EU support to private sector development and poverty reduction and job creation remain very distant.  
    The evaluation included a survey with representatives of EU delegations and country visits, and covers all the support given during the 2004-2010 period in all regions where the EU provided direct funds, which amounted to €2.4 billion. Most of the funding was focused on the areas of facilitation of investment and access to finance (23%); sector budget support (20%); and investment and inter-enterprise cooperation (19%). In contrast, there was minimal support for micro-enterprises (2%).
    Especially, the evaluation report indicates that “Commission representatives did not have a clear and shared conception of what the Commission’s value added was or should have been with respect to PSD [private sector development] support.” It further states that, even if there is a broad consensus on the importance of the private sector for job creation, “linkages between the EU support for PSD and employment generation remained very distant”. Moreover, other findings highlight that “the lack of available information leads to a series of questions regarding the mechanisms and procedures for participation, monitoring and selection, and the prioritisation of energy efficiency over other financing needs of the SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises].”

    Source: European Network on Debt and Development


    Link Read more
    Link Read the evaluation report
    Link European Community Co-operation with Third Countries


  5. EU should forge closer trade ties with Africa
    2013-05-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Pascal Lamy, the World Trade Organisation’s chief said in Nairobi on 22 May that leading European economies should look at developing and low income countries as the new globe’s economic growth engine.
    The former European Union trade commission who is currently director-general of the WTO, has urged Europe to forge closer economic ties with its southern neighbours.
    “Africa has also made remarkable progress in the area of political stability and governance, all of which are fundamental in enabling growth. Moreover, the peacefully conducted general elections in Kenya and a number of other African countries are a sign of maturity in political democracy in Africa,” he said.
    Lamy said Africa was a natural economic partner, “on the European Union’s doorstep.”
    The EU already is Africa’s biggest trading partner, accounting for about 35% of imports and exports, with China and the United States competing for second. The EU absorbs about 40% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural exports.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EPAs: “return to zero and start again”
    Link AU and EU to Strengthen Trade and Economic Links


  6. Ghana : 7.2m EUR banana support package
    2013-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A new 7.2 million euro package was launched at the beginning of May in the West African Ghana for strengthening the bananas' production and export sectors. The package is part of the European Commission’s Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme.
    Under the BAM programme, ten ACP countries are to benefit from a total of 190 million EUR of accompanying measures in the banana sector between 2010 and 2013.
    The programme aims to help the ACP member states to cope with the new EU banana regime after December 2009, when the EU agreed to cut the EU's banana tariff for Latin American countries - its so-called Most Favoured Nation or MFN tariff - which lead to a decrease in the preferential margin which ACP countries enjoyed.  However, in the last period the ACP countries complained that the programme is not advancing at an appropriate rhythm.  
    Out of Ghana’s 65,000 metric tons of annual banana production, about 50,000 tons are exported to the European Union, the EU Ambassador in the country revealed. This is a considerable increase from the 5,000 metric tons that the EU market received from Ghana in 2005.

    Source: business.myjoyonline.com: spyghana.com


    Link Read more
    Link ACP seeks EU clarification on outstanding BAM
    Link Dominica: 15,4m EUR banana support package


  7. Research: Future of EU aid in middle-income countries
    2013-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    EU’s proposed approach of ‘differentiation’ will lead to cuts in grant-based bilateral aid to 17 upper-middle-income countries (UMICs) and two lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) from 2014. These countries will only still be eligible for funds from thematic and regional programmes.
    This policy is expected to fundamentally change the nature of the international development and cooperation dynamics by altering the volume of funds, modalities, and sectors.
    South Africa is a key country in this change. The European Commission initially proposed that the country should be exempted from the policy of differentiation. However, a majority of member states, through the Council of Ministers, are pushing for South Africa to be included in the policy and thereby to lose its grant-based bilateral aid budget. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has kept South Africa on the list of eligible countries.
    The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) - an UK think tank on international development and humanitarian issues – has recently published a paper that aims to focus the discussion on these points at the case study level through a specific analysis of South Africa. The methodology includes 37 interviews and two private roundtable discussions with key stakeholders in the Government of South Africa, the EU, other Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors in the country, non-state actors and academics conducted in South Africa and Brussels between November 2012 and March 2013.

    Source: ODI


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the research
    Link Trade deal between EU and Southern Africa expected


  8. EU: Council agrees on fishing policy overhaul
    2013-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    On May 15th, after 36 hours of negotiations, the 27 fisheries ministers of the European Union agreed on a new mandate for the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which stipulates a 5% ban on discards.  
    The 5% ban target is smaller than what they have previously agreed on. It would apply to mackerel and herring species by 2015, and for other species from 2016. However, some other fish species will be exempted.
    The new agreement now needs approval of the European Parliament. MEPs stand for a full discard ban on all fish stocks by 2015.
    According to the European Commission, around two thirds of European fish stocks are currently fished beyond sustainable levels.
    NGOs are not satisfied with the Council votes: Greenpeace sees it as disappointing, while Oceana believes that the ministers mad progress, but fell short of CFP reform ambitious. 

    Source: Deutsche Welle; Greenpeace; Oceana


    Link Read more
    Link Solution needed for EU’s Fisheries Policy reform
    Link EU: Talks on the reform of the Fisheries Policy


  9. Dominica: 15,4m EUR banana support package
    2013-05-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    A new 15,4 (EC$54) million EUR banana support programme was launched in the Carribean state, Dominica. The package is part of the European Commission’s Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme.
    Under the BAM programme, ten ACP countries are to benefit from a total of 190 million EUR of accompanying measures in the banana sector between 2010 and 2013.
    The programme aims to help the ACP member states to cope with the new EU banana regime after December 2009, when the EU agreed to cut the EU's banana tariff for Latin American countries - its so-called Most Favoured Nation or MFN tariff - (which lead to a decrease in the preferential margin which ACP countries enjoyed). However, in the last period the ACP countries have complained that the programme is not advancing at an appropriate rhythm. The country has not more than 72,000 people.


    Source: Whatsupcaribbean.com; European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Dominica gets helping hand from the BAM
    Link ACP seeks EU clarification on outstanding BAM


  10. EU : new climate change response-strategy
    2013-05-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Commission launched on April 27 in Brussels a strategy to help the 27 EU member states to “better prepare” for the impact of climate changes.
    The adopted documents aim to provide a coherent and improved coordination of the response to the impacts of climate change at local, regional, national and EU levels.
    Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "Cutting the world's greenhouse gas emissions must remain our top priority in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and avert dangerous climate change.But the adverse impacts of the changing climate are increasingly evident today in Europe. Adapting to these changes is one of the most fundamental challenges for territorial development in Europe."
    Thus, according to the presented strategy, EU will focuse on three key objectives:
    1.    Promote action by Member States; The Commission is supposed to  provide funding to the states to build up their adaptation capacities and take action.
    2.    Undergo 'Climate-proofing' actions at EU level by further promoting adaptation in key vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and cohesion policy
    3.    Ensure a better informed decision-making by addressing gaps in knowledge about adaptation and further developing the European climate adaptation platform (Climate-ADAPT) as the 'one-stop shop' for adaptation information in Europe.

    Approximately half of the member countries have already plans for adaptation, and some have started to take action, although all countries still have a lot of work to do, according to the data provided by the European Environment Agency.

    Source: European Commission, The Parliament


    Link Read more
    Link More on the EU Adaptation Strategy


  11. Angola's Fisheries Minister : Poland, a true partner
    2013-05-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Trade

    The EU member state Poland is an ideal partner in the development of the fisheries sector in Angola, Angola's Minister of Fisheries, Victória de Barros Netob declared on May 7, after a three day official visit of Poland's under Secretary State for foreign affairs, Beata Stelmach.
    Poland could help the local fisheries sector in matters of marine research, training of cadres and creation of capacities in issues of shipyards, given the country’s technical capacity and experience.
    Poland has been funding the fishing academy under construction in Namibe province, whose construction and equipping are already in their second phase.

    Source: Angola Press (http://www.portalangop.co.ao)


    Link Read more
    Link Fisheries: Negotiation of amendments to ICCAT convention
    Link Cooperation with EU attracts little resources says Angola Minister


  12. EPAs: “return to zero and start again”
    2013-05-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    It would be "rather unwise" for Africa to grant preferential market access to Europe, and, instead of continuing to threaten with deadlines over the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs), the EU should rethink its strategy, Economist Paul Collier, Co-Director, Centre for the Study of African Economies said.
    Europe should open up for Africa, while African countries open their markets for each other. Among the continent’s 55 countries, there are high trade barriers, he claims. If all of Africa were to become a free trade zone, that would also have advantages for Europe. Africa would become wealthier and provide a large market where Europe could operate more easily, he belives.
    The European Parliament has set a deadline of early 2014 for countries in southern Africa to open up their markets: all the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) countries that have not yet signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) must now sign the pact by 1 October 2014. Failure to comply could mean they woulld no longer be able to export duty-free to the EU zone.

    Background on ACP-EU trade agreements:
    For decades Europe’s former colonies have enjoyed preferential access to European markets, thanks to various trade agreements. For example, in 1975, 79 countries from the ACP countries), signed a trade agreement in Lome, which offered one-sided market access. However, in 2000, the World Trade Organization (WTO) declared it unlawful. Thus, the Cotonou Agreement followed. The agreement brings however  a new scheme: the EPAs, which provide for reciprocal trade agreements, which implies that not only the EU has duty-free access for ACP exports, but ACP countries also provide duty-free access to their markets. The negotiation of EPAs started in 2008.
    Yet, the World Trade Organization does allow for unilateral market access in exceptional cases. This applies to the world’s least developed countries, 34 of which are in Africa. Thus, the ACP least developed countries (LDCs) are covered by the "Everything But Arms" regulation, under which they face no consequences if they do not sign the free trade agreement with the EU, but can continue to export all products except arms duty-free into the EU. But, non- LDCs countries see themselves obliged to sign the EPAs now by 2014. More developed countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Cameroon and Botswana would lose otherwise their privileged access to EU markets.

    Nevertheless, Collier believes the EU’s interpretation of the WTO rules, based on which the EPAs idea is founded, is too strict. He points out that, since 2000, the US has allowed tariff-free access for many products from Africa, thanks to the "African Growth and Opportunity Act " (AGOA) - and the WTO has never intervened.
    What is more, within the EU, even German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s advisor on African affairs, Günter Nooke has doubts: "I think we have to return to zero and start again,“ he is reported to have declared.

    Source: Deutsche Welle


    Link Read more
    Link  EU imposes deadline for signing EPAs
    Link EPA may prevent ‘real industrialisation’ in EAC


  13. Germany to play role in integration of African economies
    2013-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Germany wants to invest in Africa, German Foreign Affairs Minister Guido Westerwelle said at the end of last month, during a visit in South Africa, which was part of Germany’s strategic approach to seek opportunities on the continent (including in science and research).
    Westerwelle added that Germany is eager to play a role in driving the integration of Africa’s economies as well as ensuring that the continent resolves its leadership challenges on its own terms. He believes that investment was the "best and most sustainable answer" for the integration of African economies with each other and with Germany.
    Germany is South Africa’s third-largest trading partner and second-largest investor. It is also the third-largest tourism market for South Africa. Trade between the two nations currently stands at about €14bn.
    The two countries have engaged in cooperation in science and technology as well as the health, information and communications technology and energy sectors. They also launched the Year of Science partnership in South Africa last year.
    In his visit in Africa, Westerwelle visited also Ghana and Mozambique.

    Eurozone and other western countries are reported to looking to invest in Africa where returns are still high. For example, providing 6% interest last year, Zambia’s euro-denominated bond was higher than any debt issued by a western government in years.

    Source: Business Day (South Africa)


    Link Read more
    Link Trade deal between EU and Southern Africa expected
    Link European development aid drops 4.3% in 2012


  14. Fiji’s first sustainable tuna gets into EU
    2013-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Starting June, the first sustainable labeled tuna from Fiji – the Albacore tuna range – will be available on the European market. The tuna range has been accredited since December 2012 with the MSC certification - which gives retailers the certainty of the fishery’s sustainability credentials. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the world's leading certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable seafood.
    The Fiji albacore tuna longline fishery operates in the South Pacific Ocean in Fiji’s economic exclusion zone. For three years, members of the Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association worked to meet the MSC standard for sustainable fisheries. Among other, the Fiji Albacore Tuna longline fishery has reduced its environmental impact and generated employment for the people of Fiji, the Association explained.
    The tuna will be available both frozen and fresh.

    Source: islandsbusiness.com


    Link Read more
    Link Fiji's Fish, Sugar at risk after EU’s decisions
    Link  EP: Fisheries blacklist approved


  15. Cases of trade defence against EU
    2013-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    More than 130 cases of trade defence actions taken by non-EU countries against EU exports were registered on 2012, the European Commission’s latest Trade Defence annual report shows.
    Trade defence represents the protection of production against international trade distortions. Ways of defending trade are anti-dumping or anti-subsidy duties. The World Trade Organisation sets the global framework for anti-dumping and anti-subsidy rules.
    2012 saw the total number of cases levelling off compared to the previous two years, but there was a surge in new cases towards the year end. Hence, last year there were registered eight cases less than the year before, but still 15 more than in 2010.
    Last year, the Commission stepped up its monitoring of trade defence actions taken by non-EU countries. 2012 saw India, with 21 cases against the EU, as the biggest user of trade defence against EU or its Member States, overtaking the US, the historical leader, with 18. China came third with 16 cases, but it was Indonesia that launched the most new investigations.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on Trade defence


  16. NGOs concerned over CFP negotiations
    2013-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    NGOs are concerned about the threat of delays or the possible collapse of EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) negotiations. BirdLife Europe, BirdWatch Ireland, Greenpeace, NEF – the new economics foundation, Oceana, OCEAN2012, and WWF released a joint statement following the meeting with Irish fisheries minister and chair of the EU fisheries Council, Simon Coveney stating that countries including France, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Greece and Romania are resisting efforts to find common ground with the European Parliament on key issues such as fleet management and discards.
    The groups say that Mr Coveney must not give in to these “short-sighted positions but instead re-double his efforts to win agreement with all fisheries ministers for an ambitious reform”.
    They says that the only issue where the Council is currently showing willingness to compromise with the Parliament is on the subject of stock recovery to levels that can support maximum sustainable yield.
    An agreement on the EU fisheries reform is currently blocked because of a division between the European Parliament and the Council on the topic of discards. The Parliaments requires discards ban to start immediately, and require for provisions that stipulate a return of all fish stocks to sustainable levels by 2020,  while the Council of ministers (especially the southern states) prefer a much weaker alternative of a phased-in ban, with a 9% level of exemption permitted, and a return to sustainable levels "whenever possible".

    The last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on May 14-15 adopted a revised mandate to facilitate the next stage of negotiations between the Irish Presidency and the European Parliament on the reform of the Policy. Commissioner Damanaki said: "Council has made a good step forward and really tried to come closer to the EU parliament position in order to find a compromise. I think a deal is possible and I hope we can finalise a first reading agreement under the Irish Presidency.”

    Source: worldfishing.net


    Link Read more
    Link Fisheries Council: A step closer to the reform of CFP
    Link Solution needed for EU’s Fisheries Policy reform


  17. Value of global aid overstated
    2013-05-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy, Aid effectiveness

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has admitted it needs to comprehensively reassess how global aid figures are measured amid criticism that the value of assistance given is overstated by billions of dollars each year.
    Leaving out the interest repayments that donors receive from developing countries inflates the value of official development assistance (ODA) loans by $5 billion (€3.8 billion) each year, according to analysis from Development Initiatives (DI), an independent research group based in Bristol.
    Some donors, including Japan and Germany, receive hundreds of millions of dollars each year in interest repayments on the loans they give, DI reported.
    Net ODA figures subtract repayments made by recipients, but, according to current OECD rules, only account for principal repayments. Instead, interest repayments are recorded only as a memo item in OECD statistics.
    Japan, for example, actually receives more from developing countries than it gives when interest repayments – which totalled $2.6 billion in 2011 – are taken into account. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) points out that Japan in the past provided a lot of loans and therefore receives a lot of interest repayments.
    Not all donors give loans. However, since 2007 growth in ODA loans has outstripped growth in overall ODA. The UK deals in grants, although there is speculation that the government is thinking about setting up a bilateral development bank to move into loans as well.
    The issue of how to define concessionality will be the subject of a meeting in Paris in June, bringing together the IMF, World Bank, aid donors and recipients.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Archive: OECD- European development aid drops 4.3% in 2012
    Link International donor conference 'Together for a new Mali'


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Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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1000 Brussels - Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 513 74 36 (direct); Fax +32 (0) 2 511 38 68
E-mail: boto@cta.int
Website: http://www.cta.int/
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Brussels Briefings: http://brusselsbriefings.net/

Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
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CTA is an institution of the ACP Group of States (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) and the EU (European Union), in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is financed by the EU.
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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