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EDITO
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

More than 30,000 farmers in Western Kenya will benefit from a multi­million shilling training plan that seeks to boost milk and food production. Milk processor Brookside Dairy has partnered with Livelihoods Fund, a France­ based investment solutions provider and Vi Agroforestry, a development organisation, in a project that seeks to increase the average milk production in the Mt Elgon catchment from the current 5,000 litres per day to 135,000. Brookside Dairy will provide a guaranteed market for the raw milk produced in the project area of Trans Nzoia and Bungoma and train farmers in dairy husbandry.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and the CARIFORUM Foreign Ministers met in the margins of the First CELAC-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting in the Dominican Republic, on 26 October 2016, and reaffirmed the two regions’ commitment to strengthen their longstanding partnership. Miguel Vargas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, welcomed the CARIFORUM and EU representatives.

The European Union and the Pacific Community are combining resources to try and boost the productivity of small coconut farms around the Pacific. The Coconut Industry Development Project has initial funding of $US3.8 million dollars to focus on the issues common throughout the region and also building up production levels. The project is headed by Karen Mapusua of the Pacific Community and she explained their aims more fully to Don Wiseman.

The work being done by agencies tasked with rolling out the European Union's Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP) program must be sustained after the project comes to end. This was the view of EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs after last week's meeting in Lautoka of agencies tasked with implementing EU-funded projects in cane belt areas. The AMSP was established to assist sugar-producing countries The EU has invested $130 million in 11 programs implemented by agencies such as the Pacific Community (SPC), International Trade Centre, Sugar Research Institute of Fiji and Australia Pacific Training College.

The 2016 season will see the second commercial volumes of the Tawny red seedless grape from South Africa, which will be marketed by Core Fruit and other authorised distributors. "We expect volumes of in excess of 500,000 cartons," explains Nico van Staden from Core Fruit. "This is of course, weather permitting. We will send the Tawny red seedless grape to all our markets, Europe, the UK, Far and Middle East and Canada. It is a strong variety with good shelf-life and berry size, so we want to expose it to all the markets."