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CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Subject: CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter
Send date: 2013-06-28 13:15:18
Issue #: 182
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 : [28/06/2013]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week

  1. Main Events for the Week 01/07/2013 – 07/07/2013
  2. Video Guest: Miton Haughton
  3. Brussels Briefing:Fish-farming
  4. Haiti Briefing: adding value to local products
  5. Final agreement on new EU agricultural policy
  6. EU and Gates Foundation commit to disease research
  7. Recommendations for EU development aid
  8. ACP-EU Assembly: Call for rapid conclusion of EPA negotiations
  9. EPAs: Africa should negotiate as a united bloc
  10. Fight against Piracy off the East African coastline: EU Grants €37m
  11. EU, Côte d'Ivoire: negotiations on partnership to fight illegal logging
  12. EU announces €410 m for nutrition
  13. EU, among recipients of UN food agency awards
  14. CARICOM Single Market: superseded by EPA
  15. Pacific-EU trade relations on a knife edge
  16. Namibia: Grape farmers panic over EPA delay
  17. EU countries in deadlock over GM maize approvals
  18. Farm groups urge CAP deal by end of June
  19. South Africa discusses trade, investment with EU
  20. Roundtable on sustainable agriculture: Recommendations from West African farmers
  21. Newsletter SOS Faim – June 2013
  22. EU-Mauritania agreement: unviable?


  1. Main Events for the Week 01/07/2013 – 07/07/2013
    2013-06-28

    2nd July: Haiti Briefing: Local products

    3rd July: Brussels Briefing:Fish-farming


    European Parliament:
    1st - 4th July: European Parliament plenary session (Strasbourg)

    European Council:
    1st July: Croatia joins the EU
    2nd July: Meeting of the Political and Security Committee
    5th July: Opening ceremony of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU
    July 7th: Informal Climate Change Workshop of the EU Council Working Party on International Environmental Issues

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




  2. Video Guest: Miton Haughton
    2013-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries,

    The development of the aqua-culture sector is one of the key priorities for the fisheries sector in the Caribbean sector, Miton Haughton, executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), said in an interview with CTA Brussels.
    Besides aquaculture, the other priority areas for the fisheries sector in the Caribbean region, as underlined by Haughton are:
    •    information base for planning and for decision making
    •    strengthen fisheries governance and management
    •    climate change related Disaster risk management
    •    strengthening marketing and trade
    •    the issue of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

    The fisheries sector plays an important role in the Caribbean Region – as far as food and nutrition, but also employment is concerned.
    The level of per-capita consumption of fish is above the world average : 30 kg per person, compared to the world average of 18 kg per capita. In addition, the fisheries sector employs and supports well over 350.000 people, in the condition in which the Caribbean states are mostly small island with small populations.

    Haughton will delve more into the topic of aqua-culture, and the sector’s importance for the Caribbean region at the next Brussels Development Briefing on Fish-farming. The Director of CRFM will present then Opportunities for aquaculture development in the Caribbean. If you want to see his – and other sector experts’ presentation- register now for the conference, which will be held next Wednesday, 3rd July.  
    More on: http://brusselsbriefings.net/


    Link Watch the Video
    Link The next Brussels Briefing on Farm-fishing


  3. Brussels Briefing:Fish-farming
    2013-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries,

    ‘Is fish-farming the new driver of the blue economy?’ – this is the question the next Brussels Development Briefing – organized by the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA), together with the DG Development and Cooperation of the European Commission (EC/DEVCO), the ACP Secretariat and the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development, Concordwill tackle.
    Join us on Wednesday, 3rd July at the ACP Secretariat (in Brussels) to hear what experts such as Rohana Subasinghe of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and David Little from the University of Sterling, UK have to say on the matter. Fisheries experts including Sloans Chimatiro from The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Milton Haughton of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism will also examine successes and share lessons learned from the field.
    You can register for the conference here.

    If you cannot be in Brussels on 3rd July, you can still follow the Briefing live online via webstreaming. The link will be announced on the day of the event.

    You can download the detailed program of the event, as well as a brief research note on the topic here

    To stay updated with our activities follow our Facebook group and Twitter account.
    To find more about the Briefings click here; to consult the material produced at and after the last Briefing – Linking food, geography and people – click here.


    Link Read more
    Link Find out more about the Brussels Briefings


  4. Haiti Briefing: adding value to local products
    2013-06-28
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : , Agriculture, ACP-EU Trade

    As part of the decentralisation of the Brussels Development Briefings and support to most vulnerable countries, Haiti runs the 2nd national Briefing on “Valorisation of local products as an alternative for food security” on Tuesday, 2nd July 2013, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

    This follows the first briefing which took place in Haiti – “Building resilience in the face of crisis and shocks” on 27th February 2013.
    The national briefings integrate the topics of  the Brussels Briefings, which are of interest for Haiti. They look at a particular topic through the lens of a national case, and raise awareness on topical issues related to agriculture in Haiti.
    They are fully organized at the local level, by PROMODEV, the Ministry of Agriculture and other development partners. Farmer’s organisations from various regions of the country are represented in the discussion, and a special emphasis is put on involving the media in the discussions as a way to inform them on key priorities for rural development.

    The 2nd Haiti Briefing draws from the Brussels Briefing ‘Geography of food: reconnecting with origin in the food system’, which was held on 15 May, at the ACP Secretariat in Brussels. To read more about it go here.

    The Haiti Briefings can be followed on next Tuesday, 2nd July, starting at 9 a.m (3 p.m. Brussels time)  live by webstream. The address of the webstream will be announced on the day of the event.


    You can find more by visiting website of the national Briefings: http://promodevhaiti.wordpress.com/

    Download the background note and the programme here
    http://brusselsbriefings.net/2013/06/26/haiti-briefing-local-products/



    Link Read more
    Link Brussels Briefing: Geography of food


  5. Final agreement on new EU agricultural policy
    2013-06-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    On 26th June, the European Parliament, the EU Council of Ministers and the European Commission reached an agreement on the package of the reformed European common agricultural policy (CAP), to be applied post 2013.
    This is an historic deal, ending two years of negotiations between the three institutions. It was also the first time the European Parliament has had a direct say in shaping the farming policy under powers it acquired under the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. The deal now heads to the full Parliament and national governments for final approval.

    According to the convergence criteria, by 2019, no single Member State will receive less than 75% of the Community average. Moreover, within a given Member State or region, divergences in the levels of aid will be reduced from one holding to the next: aid per hectare may not be less than 60% of the average of the aid disbursed by 2019. This is due to change the unfair current situation, in which, 20% of farmers receive 80% of the direct payments.  Member States will be able to increase support for small and medium-sized farms by allocating higher levels of aid for the 'first hectares' of a holding.

    Another important change is that only active farmers may benefit from income-support schemes.
    In addition, young farmers will be strongly encouraged to set up business, with the introduction in all Member States of a 25% aid supplement during the first 5 years in addition to the existing investment measures aimed at young farmers.
    Young farmers were one of the elements of the reform which stayed particularly close to the European Commission’s original proposals, in practice amounting to a potential 800 million euros available to young farmers across the entire EU, CEJA - the European Council of Young Farmers – declared.

    With regard to the environmental aspect, it was agreed that 'greening' of 30% of direct payments will be linked to three environmentally-friendly farming practices: crop diversification, maintaining permanent grassland and conserving 5%, and later 7%, of areas of ecological interest as from 2018 or measures considered to have at least equivalent environmental benefits. At least 30% of the rural development programmes' budget will have to be allocated to agri-environmental measures, support for organic farming or projects associated with environmentally friendly investment or innovation measures.
    Environmental groups, meanwhile, saw little to celebrate in a deal that includes broad exemptions from mandatory greening measures first proposed by the Commission’s CAP reform in October 2011.
    On greening measures, the compromise package:
    •    Exempts farms of under 15 hectares from new requirements to create “ecological focus areas,” land that is to be set aside to promote biodiversity and help absorb farm runoff. Initially, the requirement will apply to 5% of farmland in 2015. Environmentalists, who wanted a 10% minimum, said the new standards mean little since the new CAP would exempt more than one-third of all farmland and 89% of farmers from the rules.
    •    Frees farms under 10 hectares - or one-third of EU farms - from new crop diversification rules that are aimed to improve soil quality. Farmers with 10 to 30 hectares would have to plant two crops, while those over 30% would be required to plant three.
    •    Exempts farmers from some EU environmental and water pollution laws, defeating efforts by the Commission and some MEPs to bring agriculture in line with other industries. Agricultural runoff is a leading source of nitrate contamination of fresh water supplies, environmentalists say.
    •    Takes a step back from Commission proposals for EU-wide environmental mandates by giving member states flexibility to apply standards, options that environmental groups say will lead to uneven enforcement.

    Other specifications of the agreement:
    •    Sugar quotas will be abolished by 2017, and the organisation of the sugar sector will be strengthened on the basis of contracts and mandatory interprofessional agreements.
    •    As from 2016, in the wine sector, the planting rights system will be replaced by a planting-authorisation management mechanism (applicable until 2030) in which professionals are expected to be involved to a greater extent.
    •    The Commission will be able to temporarily authorise producers to manage the volumes placed on the market.
    •    A simplified aid scheme for small farmers will be available to the Member States that so desire. Farmers with a few hectares of land could qualify for an additional payment of up to €1,250 per year, while national governments could use up to 2% of their CAP funds to encourage people under the age of 40 to become farmers.

    All aspects of the reform will be applicable as from 1 January 2014, except for the new direct payments structure ('green' payments, additional support for young people, etc.) which will apply as from 2015 in order to give Member States time to inform farmers about the new CAP and to adapt computer-based CAP management systems.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU farm policy voted in Parliament
    Link Euractiv: ‘Damn tough’ deal on CAP leaves little room for celebration


  6. EU and Gates Foundation commit to disease research
    2013-06-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    On 10th June,  the European Union and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to pool resources for research into HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and other poverty-related diseases.
    The two will partner to develop treatments for poverty-related diseases, which affect more than one billion people  worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
    The agreement with the Gates Foundation will come under the budget for Geoghegan-Quinn (Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European commissioner for research and innovation)’s research and innovation directorate and will form part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme - the financial instrument implementing an initiative (Europe 2020) aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.
    As part of the agreement, the foundation and the European Commission will launch a joint innovation prize to reward innovations that address global health challenges.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link More on teh Gates Foundation


  7. Recommendations for EU development aid
    2013-06-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The EU should better manage European development aid to reduce administrative costs, improve efficiency and deliver economies of scale, these are some of the recommendations made in a recently published research from the Centre for European Reform.
    The study points out that there are several advantages to Commission-administered aid. One large programme is more likely to be effective than several small ones, so Commission management can deliver economies of scale and cut administrative costs, the paper says.
    The Commission has 136 delegations working on development around the world. These reduce the need for member-states to have their own offices. Commission management also cuts the administrative burden on recipients: developing country governments often complain about having to report to large numbers of donors separately. Commission development aid is not perfect, but overall is well administered.
    On the other side, it is recommended that Commission development aid should be used primarily for maintaining progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) , not for strategic or foreign policy reasons. The European External Action Service should be also involved in development aid decisions, since aid is a powerful means of extending the EU’s ‘soft power’, the study says.
    Furthermore, it points out that much development aid should continue to go to sub-Saharan Africa. This part of the world already has several failed states, including Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Failed states provide a haven for terrorists and thus pose a risk to Europe, the paper shows. Moreover, over 400 million Africans – more than half the total population – live on less than $1.25 a day.

    The EU spent €53 billion on aid in 2011. The Commission administered €9.6 billion; the rest was given directly by national governments.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link Consult the paper


  8. ACP-EU Assembly: Call for rapid conclusion of EPA negotiations
    2013-06-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Development Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Setting up an Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) monitoring mechanism to asses the progress and the obstacles in the negotiation and implementation of the agreements – this was one of the recommendations made by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which met last week, between 17-19 June, in Brussels. Moreover, more flexibility from the part of the European Commission was requested.
    The joint body – which met for the 25th time – also called on the EU and ACP States to jointly develop a strategy to increase ACP agricultural competitiveness, that goes beyond market access, addressing rural development issues, supply-side constraints and access to micro-financing with a view to protecting the livelihoods of small farm-holders and to ensuring food security;

    The Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) brings together the MEPs and the MPs of the 79 ACP countries twice a year – once in Brussels, and once in an ACP city.

    Besides the joint decision on the "Next steps of the Economic Partnership Agreements", the 25th JPA adopted resolutions on other four topics, namely: “The threats posed again by military coups to democracy and political stability in the ACP countries, and the role of the international community”, the “Human resources for health in ACP countries”, “the situation in the Republic of Guinea”, and  “the situation in the Central African Republic”. On these matters, it was said that the Republic of Guinea and the Central African Republic must end the violence and promote conciliation. The Republic of Guinea was urged to respect the election timetable and ensure free and transparent elections.

    Source: ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) resolutions


    Link Read more
    Link Find all the resolutions of the JPA
    Link ACP-EU Assembly urges for democratization of African countries


  9. EPAs: Africa should negotiate as a united bloc
    2013-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has urged Africa to negotiate trade agreements (Economic Partnership Agreements - EPAs) with the European Union (EU) as a single bloc, UNECA Regional Integration and Trade Director, Stephen Karingi, is reported to have told a Kenyan local newspaper on June, 13.
    Karingi would have said that negotiating as separate entities will have a negative impact on regional integration: "If Africa wants to deepen intra-Africa trade then it has to agree on one single template that will be used for agreements with international partners," Karingi said. The declaration was made on the sidelines of the 20th African Union Conference of African Ministers of Industry, held in Kenya between 10-14 June 2013.
    Karingi added that only appropriate trade agreements will permit the continent to increase its exports of value added products.
    East, Southern Africa and West Africa are in the process of negotiating trade partnership with the EU. In an interview the EU Ambassador to the African Union, Gary Quince said he was optimistic that an agreement would be arrived at before October 2014.

    Source: CoastWeek


    Link Read more
    Link EPA: 2014 deadline concerns interim agreement
    Link ACP-EU trade talks to get fresh political edge


  10. Fight against Piracy off the East African coastline: EU Grants €37m
    2013-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The European Union has granted EUR 37 million to the eight member states of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) - Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda - to reinforce the fight against maritime piracy off the East African coastline.
    The agreement was signed on June, 13 in Djibouti, at the headquarters of the regional body.
    The grant was given under the auspices of the EU Regional Maritime Security Program (MASE), which was originally adopted in October 2010 in Mauritius. The programme seeks to reinforce –over a three years period - maritime security in waters off Africa's eastern and southern coastline, by: developing a strategy to tackle piracy on land in Somalia; enhancing judicial capabilities to arrest, transfer, detain and prosecute piracy suspects; addressing economic impact and financial flows related to piracy; and improving national and regional capacities in maritime security functions, including surveillance and coastguard functions.
    IGAD is endowed with the task of implementing, within the framework of the MASE Project, the strategy against piracy in Somalia it had drafted on the basis of a study previously conducted.
    MASE is financed as part of the current (10th) European Development Fund (EDF).

    Source: Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD)


    Link Read more
    Link More on IGAD
    Link More on the EU Critical Maritime Routes Programme [EN]


  11. EU, Côte d'Ivoire: negotiations on partnership to fight illegal logging
    2013-06-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Union and Côte d'Ivoire announced on 13th June that they will launch negotiations of a new trade agreement – a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) - to combat illegal logging.

    The VPA is a legally-binding agreement, designed to set up control and licencing systems to ensure that all timber imported to the EU from Côte d'Ivoire has been produced legally.
    The agreement is conceived as of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan; the FLEGT Program is a collaborative effort among the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the European Commission and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to address forest law enforcement, governance and trade issues in ACP member countries.

    The EU has so far concluded negotiations of VPAs with six countries: Ghana, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Liberia, Central African Republic and Indonesia (covering a total of 1.86 million km2 of forests.). These countries have undertaken significant reforms and are upgrading their traceability and control systems. Nine other agreements are under negotiation;

    A new EU Timber Regulation, that entered into application on March 3, 2013, makes it a an offence to place illegally sourced timber on the EU market and obliges EU operators to take measures to prevent illegal timber from entering their supply chain.

    Côte d'Ivoire has around 10,405,000 hectares of forest (more than three times the area of Belgium). However, in the last 50 years, the country has seen its forests reduced by 75%, due among other factors to pressures from the exploitation of timber and fuel wood.
    Côte d'Ivoire exports 80% of its forestry products to the EU.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More on the FLEGT programme
    Link New rules to combat illegal logging in the EU


  12. EU announces €410 m for nutrition
    2013-06-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Development Policy

    The European Union will commit EUR 410 million for nutrition specific interventions between 2014-2020, EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, announced at a donors' event on nutrition that took place in London on June 8.
    Out of this total sum,  EUR 340 million is additional to what would have been spent if 2009-2012 average levels of payment in nutrition specific interventions had been maintained between 2013-2020. Over the next ten years the EU intends to support some 50 countries, including 40 in Africa.
    The EU also announced that in the next seven years, it will commit to spend as much as EUR 3.1 billion for nutrition sensitive programmes. The money will be invested as part of programmes in other areas such as agriculture, education, water and social protection.
    The June, 8 event "Nutrition for Growth, Beating Hunger through Business and Science Event" brought together several Heads of State from Africa, including Cote d'Ivoire, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. The conference gathered a total of EUR 3.12 billion for fighting under-nutrition worldwide, the UK Development Secretary Justine Greening announced.

    Source: European Commission, DFID.


    Link Read more
    Link Historic pledge to end undernutrition
    Link List of commitments


  13. EU, among recipients of UN food agency awards
    2013-06-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security

    The European Union (EU) was honoured by the United Nations food agency (FAO) for the contributions to development issues.
    The EU was awarded for the ‘EU Food Facility,’ an initiative that has benefited people in 49 developing countries by improving agricultural production of small farmers in response to high food price.
    The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gave the “Jacques Diouf Award” to the EU for its ‘EU Food Facility,’ an initiative that has benefited more than 59 million people in 49 developing countries by improving agricultural production of small farmers in response to high food prices.
    The EU 'Food Facility' was launched in 2008 as a quick response to the acute food crises between late 2007 and early 2008, when global food prices had spiked dramatically, reaching their highest level in 30 years. Staple foods such as rice, wheat, and maize were especially affected.

    The prize of the award will be used to top up funding for EU projects on food resilience and nutrition, European Commission president Barroso declared at the acceptance of the FAO award.

    The British newspaper the Guardian, and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also been awarded for their activities and programmes.
    Jacques Diouf, in whose honor the award was named, was the Director-General of the FAO until 2011.

    At the beginning of June 2013, the Commission announced that between 2014 and 2020 €3.5 billion would be spent on improving nutrition in some of the world's poorest countries.

    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link Speech by President Barroso at the acceptance of the award
    Link More on the Facility


  14. CARICOM Single Market: superseded by EPA
    2013-06-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The CARICOM Single Market and Economy project – which aims to strengthen the regional economy - will be superseded by the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the EU, which involves a high degree of bilateral integration of individual Cariforum countries with Europe in trade, investment and regulatory policies. This is the conclusion of the paper published in 2008 by Norman Girvan, professor of the University of the West Indies.
    The paper assesses the compatibility of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA with the proposed CARICOM Single Market and Economy(CSME).
    It also suggests how the EPA could be modified to resolve this compatibility issues and to increase its effectiveness as an instrument of development and regional integration. Thus, the author suggests: the insertion of Caricom, as a juridical entity, as a Party to the EPA on behalf of its 14 independent member states; the incorporation of an evaluation, review and revision mechanism into the EPA in an operationally effective and legally binding manner; or an urgent urgently addressing of CARICOM’s  governance arrangements to ensure timely CSME implementation as well as greater coherence between the CSME project and its external negotiations.

    Source: http://normangirvan.info


    Link Read more
    Link More on the EPA-CARIFORUM EPA
    Link More on the CARIFORUM


  15. Pacific-EU trade relations on a knife edge
    2013-06-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy, Regional Fisheries

    The negotiations for the EU - Pacific islands Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) are likely to be terminated, if no tangible improvement is made in the quality of the relations between the two parties before September, it is stated in a letter sent at the beginning of June 2013 to the EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht by the Pacific’s lead spokesperson on the Economic Partnership Agreement talks, Tonga’s Minister for Commerce, Viliame Uasike Latu.
    "All the member countries are very disappointed with the European Union, especially the failure to respond to some of the outstanding issues that the Pacific trade ministers have raised in the past ten years," Latu told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat. "As a member country, we think we have been mistreated by the EC, especially when it comes to fisheries issues," he added.
    Minister Latu has accused Europe of pursing its own interests and trying to turn the Economic Partnership Agreement into a Fisheries Treaty which would rewrite Pacific laws and undermine country’s sovereignty.

    In 2009, Papua New Guinea (PNG) broke with its neighbours to sign an interim Economic Partnership Agreement. It gives fish caught in PNG waters duty free and quota free access to the European market ."What the Pacific want to safeguard is what was granted [in] the interim agreement, where both Fiji and PNG have signed," Latu claimed. Another key Pacific demand is to extend the provisions allowed for PNG tuna to other species such as sword fish and crustaceans.

    Pacific Trade ministers are so disappointed with Europe’s failure respond to their requests that they are ready to take the extraordinary step of walking away from the talks. "All the neighbouring countries are serious about pulling out. We have been trying for a long time. Ten years is a long time for us and we are serious about that," minister Latu concluded.

    Source: bilaterals.org


    Link Read more
    Link Fiji wants 'Global sourcing' for fish


  16. Namibia: Grape farmers panic over EPA delay
    2013-06-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Grape farmers from the Karas Region of Namibia have expressed concern over the inconclusive European Union (EU) economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations for Namibia.
    Their position paper on the EPA was presented at the national consultation meeting on the EPA negotiations.
    The farmers warned that if the EPA is not signed, the grape industry would “die a sudden death,” as they will not be able to compete against zero-rated tax status producers such as Chile, South Africa and Peru, and would subsequently lose the EU market to them. “There are no alternative market opportunities to compensate for that,” the farmers added.
    The representatives explained that the bulk of the grapes - equivalent to 89,83% - is exported to the EU markets, compared to only 5,3% to African countries,  Russia (2,3%), Far East (1,47%) and Middle East (1,1%). Both the US and Far East markets were said to be  un-accessible to Namibian grape farmers.
    “Strict SPS regulations are prohibitive for Namibian grape products. There are long-standing bilateral negotiations on this issue with US, and there is no indication that they will succeed in the near future,” the farmers said.
    A deadline of 1 October 2014 applies to ACP countries that have not yet signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the EU. The representative of the sector foresee an average loss of 28% , in case customs tariffs are imposed.
    It  is not within Namibia’s power alone to conclude the negotiations as the country is negotiating as part of an economic bloc under the legal obligations of the SACU treaty.

    Source: The Namibian


    Link Read more
    Link SADC scrambles to meet EU trade deadline
    Link EU imposes deadline for signing EPAs


  17. EU countries in deadlock over GM maize approvals
    2013-06-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, ACP-EU Trade

    EU member states failed on 10 June to agree on whether to approve three genetically modified maize varieties for use in food and feed.
    As the bloc's standing committee on food chain and animal health failed to reach a majority either for or against, the decisions will pass to an appeal committee over the coming weeks, a Commission spokesman said. Should the appeal committee also be unable to reach an agreement, the Commission will be free to grant EU marketing approval.
    Two of the applications are for maize varieties containing multiple or "stacked" gene traits. These are designed to protect the growing plants from multiple insect pests and both products are developed jointly by Monsanto Co and Dow Chemical Co. The authorisation would cover the use of imports in food and feed products sold in Europe.
    The third approval covers the pollen of Monsanto's insect-resistant MON810 maize. This is the only genetically modified crop which is currently grown commercially in Europe. Five out of 27 EU member states grew MON810 maize. Spain was the top producer, followed by Portugal, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania. Seven EU countries have introduced national "safeguard" bans on growing it: Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.

    The bid for approval followed a ruling by the Europe's highest court in 2011 that even small traces of the pollen in honey must receive EU authorisation before the product can be sold.

    In 2010, the European Commission allowed national cultivation bans for GMOs, in a bid to break a deadlock in EU GM crop approvals which has seen only two varieties approved for cultivation in more than 12 years.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link GMOs – implications for trade and developing countries
    Link EFSA refuses to pronounce itself on the safety of GM maize


  18. Farm groups urge CAP deal by end of June
    2013-06-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Agriculture

    Farmers’ organisations are pressing EU negotiators to finalise a deal on the future agricultural policy amid growing concern that an agreement will not be reached before the end of June, further delaying implementation of Europe’s biggest programme. Negotiators were hoping to conclude talks on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) this month, before Ireland hands over the presidency of the EU Council to Lithuania and ahead of a Parliamentary plenary session in July.
    But several members of the European Parliament’s agricultural committee have expressed doubts that dozens of policy differences can be resolved by then.
    Already, full implementation of the new CAP is unlikely until 2015 - one year after the 2014-2020 policy is due to go into effect. Delays could be expected to create uncertainty for farmers amid growing concerns about global market volatility and rising production costs.
    Negotiations have now entered their third month following the Parliament’s approval on 13 March of a sweeping package of legislation that includes new environmental standards for farmers, a plan to gradually harmonise direct payments to farmers whether they are in new or older member states, and a timeline for phasing out support schemes for sugar and grape growers.
    Also, negotiators must come up with final figures for the EU’s 2014-2020 budget. The budget for agriculture and rural development is expected to be around €380 billion, with some €280 billion set aside for direct payments to farmers and around €80 billion for rural development.

    Source: Euractiv


    Link Read more
    Link EU: Council wants compromise on CAP until June
    Link MEPs back a less green, more 'flexible' CAP


  19. South Africa discusses trade, investment with EU
    2013-06-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Trade and investment relations between the EU and South Africa were discussed by South Africa International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the European Commission vice president Baroness Catherine Ashton on June, 10 in Brussels.
    EU represents one of the biggest partners of South Africa, mainly as a result of the trade, development and co-operation agreement (TDCA), signed in 1999, Nkoana-Mashabane remarked.
    Since the agreement was signed, there had been a 128% increase in trade between South Africa and the EU.
    However, South Africa’s classification as a high- to middle-income state signified a possible decrease in development assistance from the EU, Nkoana-Mashabane stated.
    The meeting was also meant to prepare the annual South Africa-EU Summit, which will take place in South Africa next month.

    Source: Fin24


    Link Read more
    Link Delayed EU trade accord hurts SA fishing


  20. Roundtable on sustainable agriculture: Recommendations from West African farmers
    2013-06-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Food Security

    Farmers and agricultural producers from West African, in collaboration with the European Commission, the Technical Centre for Agriculture (CTA), and SOS Faim participated in a Roundtable conference on "Sustainable Agriculture as a means to increase resilience: the vision of West African farmers and producers" last Thursday, June 13, in Brussels.
    The debate aimed to bring into discussion the experiences and recommendations of the farmers' organizations from the region, and will feed into the design of the national roadmaps for the implementation of the EU-led Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR).
    The initiative - launched in December 2012 – is a long term strategy for building resilience in Sahel, in response to the chronic food insecurity in the region.

    The representatives of the farmers' organizations presented several initiatives and experiences in sustainable intensification of production in Senegal, Niger and Burkina Faso, aspects of rice marketing in Benin and Gambia, along with examples of financing in Togo and Mali.

    Moreover, the meeting brought about several recommendations for the AGIR initiative:
    •    Using the  agricultural policy developed by ECOWAS (Economic  Community Of West African States) –  the ECOWAP -, as well as the agricultural policy of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as the cornerstone of all activities meant to sustainably increase agricultural production in the region.
    •    Supporting  family farming at regional and national level to be made the focal point of the next European Developemnt Fund (EDF) - corresponding to the period 2014-2020.
    •    Reinforcing the support – with resources from the next EDF -  for the National Indicative Programmes and the Regional Indicative Programme, which are to be designed as part of the AGIR initiative. This is to be made on the basis of three key intervention areas:
    i) strengthening the integration of national and regional markets, by taking into account risks such as climate change and price volatility;
    ii) financing of the agricultural sector with the development of innovative and sustainable financing instruments tailored to the needs of the family farm;
    iii) strengthening the capacity of farmers' organizations to support the modernization of family farms.  


    Source: CTA Brussels


    Link More about AGIR
    Link Roundtable on sustainable agriculture
    Link Brussels Briefings: Agricultural Resilience


  21. Newsletter SOS Faim – June 2013
    2013-06-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Development Policy

    SOS Faim’ June 2013 newsletter has been published. With a focus on the global fight against hunger and rural poverty, the newsletter includes articles covering current issues of interest, such as: the vote in the Belgian Parliament on the resolution on financial food speculation (read here); the role of the Belgian government in global land grabbing (here); and the FAIR (Support Fund for Rural Initiative), which facilitates access to credit for rice farmers in Mali (here).

    SOS Faim is a development NGO striving against hunger and rural poverty, based in Belgium and Luxembourg. It was established in 1964 following an appeal from FAO (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

    Source: SOS Faim


    Link Read more


  22. EU-Mauritania agreement: unviable?
    2013-06-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The new protocol to the fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) between the EU and Mauritania, signed at the end of 2012, is unviable both technically and economically, as well as unprofitable, a letter by the European fisheries industry, Europeche, to the President of the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament points out.
    The industry disagrees especially with the terms agreed for the shrimp, demersal-longliner, pelagic and cephalopod categories. Specifically,  asks for several changes, such as: a lowering of the licence fees for the vessels catching shrimps, an increase in bycatch rate of cephalopods of 15 per cent, as well as modification in the fishing zone. The new agreed zone is seen as insufficient by the EU fishermen, Europeche reports. Moreover, the group believes that Mauritania is unable to fish even 50 per cent of the potential stock caught by EU vessels in recent years.
    This comes after, at the beginning of this year, a scientific committee was established - as part of the EU-Mauritania Fisheries Partnership Protocol - with the purpose of researching upon and updating the status of all fish stocks- including cephalopods. The move aims to address the current situation in which the FPA excludes the European cephalopod fleet, due to a supposed too limited stock.
    Source: Fish Info & Services (fis.com)


    Link Read more
    Link EU fishery protocols: Morocco and Mauritania
    Link Cephalopods stocks investigation



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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
39 rue Montoyer
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/
Brussels weblog: http://brussels.cta.int/
Brussels Briefings: http://brusselsbriefings.net/

Editor: Cristina Dobos (dobos@cta.int)

NOTE
If you have questions or suggestions, please write to us at : boto@cta.int
For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
More information on CTA activities in Brussels at : http://brussels.cta.int/
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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