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Wednesday, 26 August 2009

EU's bet on organic farming: R&D to boost yields

East Africa’s trade with Europe has come under renewed threat after talks to sign a new agreement failed to beat the last deadline. Negotiators said the talks, meant to craft new rules of engagement following the expiry of the earlier agreements, collapsed following East African Community (EAC) member states’ strong objections to Europe’s introduction of new trade-related issues. Mary Nagu, Tanzania’s Trade minister, said her country, with the support of other EAC member states, was opposed to any attempts by the European Union to include government procurement, environment and sustainable development in the agenda. “Negotiations were meant to conclude on July 31, but that will not happen because the EU has introduced other voluntary trade-related issues,” she said. Ms Nagu said the three issues have been classified as contentious even at the World Trade Organisation and could not be included in the EPAs that are being negotiated under the WTO framework. Delay in signing a new EPA is particularly risky for Kenya, whose key exports to Europe such as flowers and vegetables now risk losing the concessionary terms under which they enter EU markets.
Source: greenplanet.net