Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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Sunday, 24 September 2017

The European Union, through its increasing agricultural commodities trade (IACT) project, has assisted Bula Coffee with the acquisition of a mobile coffee processing machine, nursery structures and irrigation equipment worth $72,000. EU political, trade, press and information section's press and information officer Mohammed Nazeem Kasim said the EU was proud to support the coffee value chain in Fiji and confirmed that the new nurseries would provide coffee seedlings for farmers on both Vili Levu and Vanua Levu. In response to questions on the potential for the local coffee industry, Mr Kasim said the mobile wet coffee processor would provide tangible benefits to both Bula Coffee and to farmers on Vanua Levu.

The new EU regulations regarding false codling moth won’t only be applicable to citrus, but will affect peach, nectarine, pomegranate and capsicum exports from South Africa as well. The stone fruit industry has finalised its draft protocols to manage the new FCM regulations and orchards have already been registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) for EU exports. The start of the stone fruit season isn’t far off, although the regulation only kicks in on 1 January 2018, so they’ve had to move quickly, says Mariëtte Kotze, group operations manager at HORTGRO.

A French drone company is teaming up with a major European inspection service to improve agricultural yields in West Africa. Delta Drone and Bureau Veritas Afrique announced plans last week to consolidate Bureau Vertitas’ soil analysis data with aerial data harvested by Delta drones to optimize precision farming for poverty-stricken areas in Côte d’Ivoire and nearby nations. “As a pioneer in the burgeoning sector of civilian drones for professional use, Delta Drone built a complete value chain in order to provide its clients with business solutions that consider the safety or people and property, and acquires aerial data and then processes and delivers it in a format adapted to client needs,” Delta Drone CEO Christian Viguié said.

Through this partnership, the two organisations are engaging to provide jointly and in a complimentary way advice, introductions and e-learning tools for French SMEs seeking to develop in African markets. The two organisations will also participate together to projects leading to the growth of key sectors such as green energies or the agricultural industry in Africa.

A three-member team of auditors from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Union (EU) is in Ghana to assess the quality of Ghana’s vegetables. The audit will enable the EU office on food safety to reconsider a three-year-old embargo on vegetables export from Ghana to the EU Market. The auditors who are expected to end their duty tour by Saturday, September 21, 2017, will among other things thoroughly assess the sanitary and phytosanitary systems in Ghana required for ensuring the safety of food items and fresh produce.

Friday, 22 September 2017

In a pioneering partnership between global fresh produce business, Halls, an entrepreneurial farmer from Hill Estate and LCL Logistics, the first ever door-to-door export container of avocados out of rural Swaziland has arrived safely at its destination in the United Kingdom. Halls and grower partner, Hill Estate, worked together to overcome the challenges of accessing Hill Estate’s recently relocated pack house, now situated on the farm in a very remote area of the southern district of Shiselweni, one of the most underdeveloped regions of Swaziland. Dedicated supply chain partners, LCL Logistics, were called in to assist with advising on road upgrade and repairs to facilitate the navigation and safe manoeuvring of a fully loaded reefer shipping container over Swaziland’s most mountainous topography.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A major gathering of ministers and senior government officials from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands will take place in the Bahamas on 18-21 September. With up to USD 5.3 billion worth of fish exports entering the international market each year from these regions, the meeting seeks to reinforce shared commitments to improve governance and boost development of fisheries and aquaculture resources. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Dr. The Hon. Hubert A. Minnis is scheduled to open the two-day 5th Meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture on 20 September, preceded by the Meeting of Senior Fisheries Officials on 18-19 September. The event is especially important for the ACP Group of States, whose 79 member states include more than 60 that export fisheries products, both from maritime and inland fisheries and from aquaculture.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The new fund will focus on investments in infrastructure in Africa to support sustainable economic growth in the region while delivering an attractive return to its investors A.P. Moller Holding has together with PKA, PensionDanmark and Lægernes Pension launched a new infrastructure fund with a focus on Africa. The fund has received commitments of US$550mn from anchor investors. The fund will be managed by A.P. Moller Capital, which is an affiliate of A.P. Moller Holding, and consists of a team lead by four partners, Kim Fejfer, Lars Reno Jakobsen, Jens Thomassen and Joe Nicklaus Nielsen. The partners all have extensive industrial and investment experience combined with a substantial network in Africa. The new fund will focus on investments in infrastructure in Africa to support sustainable economic growth in the region while delivering an attractive return to its investors.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted authority to French multinational banking institution Société Générale (SG) to open a representative office in Kenya following the fulfilment of stipulated authorisation requirements. The move comes as eight other multinational banks eye the Kenyan market. Headquartered in Paris, Société Générale (SG) is one of the leading financial services group in Europe and focuses on segments that include French Retail Banking, International Retail Banking and Financial Services, Global Banking and Investor Solutions.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A little-known fact about Dutch beer-brewing company Heineken is that it sources half of its raw materials from local, small-scale farmers for its African operations. By sourcing locally, multinationals can save on import costs, preserve foreign exchange and contribute to the economic development of the continent. Yet, buying raw materials from smallholder farmers is not done overnight. Rather, it is the end-result of a multi-faceted commitment that can span up to 10 years. Throughout the continent, the company sources about 50% of its agricultural needs locally, including from approximately 150,000 smallholder farmers. The brewer aims to increase that to 60% by 2020, according to Paul Stanger, Heineken’s local sourcing director for Africa and the Middle East. Beer is typically made from malted barley, hops, yeast, and water (for most lagers), but other ingredients could include sorghum, rice and maize or even cassava. All these crops, with the exception of some varieties of barley and hops, are grown in Africa by smallholder farmers.

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