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EDITO
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

THE conference on revolutionising finance for agriculture value chains held recently in Nairobi has come to an end. Providing finance in agriculture was described as “putting the flesh on the skeleton.” Speaking during the closing ceremony, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU Director, Mr Michael Hailu said the resolutions made by participants is a clear indicator that the conference was a huge success. “The time for pilot and demonstration farms is over, it is time to replicate the success stories that we heard and scale up,” he said.

With the South African Valencia exports just getting into full flow, the threat of an export ban into Europe is back in the news. It has been rumoured that four interceptions of Citrus Black Spot have now been made, but this has not been confirmed. Despite all the best efforts and rigorous controls by South African growers and authorities, CBS is still being found. Back in May the European Standing Committee on Plant Health in Brussels ruled that after 5 interceptions "additional measures" could be implemented, what these would be is not clear.

In terms of the flaws of the current food system, each geographical area faces different problems ascribable to processes of food production and distribution. This is why Slow Food takes on an area-based approach with its educational activities and projects. While in the industrialized countries Slow Food focuses, for instance, on reducing wasteful consumer behavior, introducing healthier ways of eating, raising awareness about the environmental and social benefits of local food and promoting and safeguarding traditional products, the main issues for the African continent differ considerably; reflecting the consequences of an unequal food system. In many cases, communities are fighting for freedom from hunger and the right to food.

The European Union (EU) and Guinea Bissau have agreed to resume the ratification process for a fisheries partnership agreement (FPA), which has been suspended sine die following the military coup in Guinea Bissau in April 2012. There is currently no protocol in force and EU vessels are not allowed to fish in the EEZ of Guinea Bissau. EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki yesterday met with the newly appointed Prime Minister from Guinea Bissau, Domingos Simões Pereira, and the country's Secretary of State for Fisheries, Idelfonso de Barros.

This report covers a wide range of subjects: the economic situation in agriculture, structures, trade, markets, financial aspects and rural development. An introductory chapter gives an overview of the 2013 agricultural year.