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EDITO
Monday, 29 May 2017

At Anno Walivaka’s two-acre family farm in a valley below Mount Elgon in western Kenya, daily milk production from its handful of cows has increased from less than 5 litres per animal to more than 15 within a decade. And Mr Walivaka is confident that soon “it could get to 20 or even 25 litres”. Milk consumption in Africa is among the lowest in the world but, like the yield from Mr Walivaka’s cows, it is on the rise. Among those betting on the expansion of the African dairy sector are Arla Foods, the Danish dairy co-operative and French group Danone, as they look to the continent to spur growth.

With the U.K.'s membership of the single market looking increasingly precarious, the country's trade relationships outside of the European Union are shifting into focus. For Priti Patel, the U.K.'s international development secretary, the country's aid budget is one area which could enhance international trading ties. Speaking to the BBC in Kenya earlier this week, Patel said that: "British soft power is exactly where DfID (the Department for International Development) … our aid and other relationships around the world come together to deliver in our national interest … when it comes to free trade agreements (and) life post-Brexit."

Guyana is to receive more than Euro 24.4 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) from the European Union. The funds are being made available in relation to the Action Programme adopted by Guyana in the context of the Accompanying Measures Programme (AMP) for Sugar established by the European Union. The EU had suspended disbursements to Guyana following the Prorogation of Parliament by former President Donald Ramotar.

Some supermarkets in Denmark have removed South African wines off their shelves. The move follows the screening of a documentary which focused on the working conditions of farm workers in South Africa. The short film also included the destitute livelihood farm workers in South Africa are exposed to. Bitter Grapes - Slavery in the Vineyards was produced by Danish filmmaker Tom Heinemann and was broadcast in Denmark and Sweden this past week. Department of Labour spokesperson Sithembele Tshete urges farmers to treat their workers fairly so as not to compromise their exports.

There is a worrying level of beef being imported from Botswana in Africa, which is unlikely to meet Northern Irish farm standards, according to Ulster Farmers’ Union Beef and Lamb Chairman, Crosby Cleland. The level of Botswana beef imports coming through Belfast port has already reached 333t this year, he said. “Since this trade was first highlighted last year it has continued to grow, while domestic producers remain under pressure. For beef producers hit by poor market prices for much of this year, this is a worrying level of beef coming from a source unlikely to have farm standards equivalent to those in Northern Ireland.