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EDITO
Sunday, 22 October 2017

South Africa's Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana recently met with the Ambassador for the EU Marcus Cornaro to discuss bilateral trade relations, amid increasing concern about the state of the poultry industry in South Africa. The meeting took place in the context of the entry into force of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA group in October 2016.

Food security in South Africa remains a challenge, with just 30 000 commercial farmers being responsible for most of the country’s food production. Over 200 000 smallholder farmers and an estimated 2 million subsistence farmers have an important role to play in food security and poverty reduction, yet their access to markets, information and finance is limited or non-existent. There is also a lack of available data on smallholder farmers and their supply chains, which is a barrier to informed decision-making by agribusinesses and policy makers. Mobile ICT solutions such as Vodacom’s Connected Farmer platform will help to address this by providing farmers with the services they need.

Mr Albert Atuah Amponsah, the Managing Proprietor of Albe Farms, producers of pineapples and vegetables, has called on the Government to formulate a policy to encourage investment into Non Traditional Exports (NTEs) to feed the local and international markets.He said an increase in the production of NTE crops and items would result in food sufficiency to ensure economic growth, create jobs for the youth and improve the standard of living. Ghana exports yam, cassava, gari, bananas, plantain, pineapples, citrus, beans, shea nuts, textiles, and handicrafts among other things under the Non-Traditional Export drive that started in 1994. Mr Amponsah was speaking to the Ghana News Agency after participating in a three-day fruit and vegetable fair in Berlin, Germany, from February 8-10.

The Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) is striving to get the European Union to lift its ban on the exportation of beans from Nigeria to member countries. The Coordinating Director of the agency, Dr. Vincent Isegbe, said all hands are on deck to ensure that the EU lifts the ban before 2019. Noting that the EU ban on Nigerian beans has severely affected the economy, Isegbe said there was a need to avoid future rejection of Nigeria’s agricultural commodities. According to him, the EU had promised to reverse the ban if necessary measures were put in place before 2019.

This budget support report covers an important year for development. The debates in 2015 around the third Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Agenda 2030 and the related sustainable development goals have highlighted the global challenges around inclusive growth, inequality and poverty. A key message that emerged from the Addis Ababa conference is that domestic public finance — revenue mobilisation and effective use of resources — provides by far the largest and most stable source available for financing sustainable development.