Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 18 August 2017

The EU wants to lead the food sector in a new direction with a huge scientific and economic stimulus program. The goal is education, research and 350 start-ups promoting new technologies, healthy food, less food waste and less greenhouse gas emissions during food production. Throughout Europe, 50 universities, companies and research institutions have joined forces to form a so-called "Knowledge and Innovation Community" (KIC), as reported by the University of Hohenheim. The European Institute for Technology and Innovation (EIT) has been financing the Innovation Community with 400 million euros under the name EIT Food for 10 years.

Papaya production in the Mpumalanga region of South Africa has just past the peak production period. The drought and high temperatures have had an influence on the volumes and quality. "We had a bit less volume due to the drought and a few quality issues," explains Lean van Schalkwyk from Neofresh, the main supplier of Papaya to the South African retail market. "We still had decent volumes though, on par with last year." The annual volume should be pretty much in line with the previous season, and if it hadn't been for the drought, the volumes would have been higher, according to Lean.

Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya says agriculture is the commercially untapped jewel of Fiji as the sector is brimming with opportunities. Koya says that in Fiji there are acres of arable land that can either be used for commercial agro-farming or organic farming in niche markets. The Minister says the prospects are enormous and the latest sectoral investment data suggests that a number of foreign have realized this and are seizing the opportunity. He adds the government has a vision to harness Fiji’s potential in the area of organic farming given Fiji’s environment, ideal climate and fertile volcanic soil.

A number of cocoa farms devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston will benefit from assistance provided by the European Union and Pacific Community in an effort to to boost the productivity of the agricultural sector after the cyclone struck early this year. The assistance is being made possible through the Increasing Agriculture Commodity Trade (IACT) project TC Winston Recovery Action; a FJD4.3 million initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). The first recipient, Tomohito Zukoshi, co-founder of Fijiana Cocoa and Adi Chocolate brands, has recently received equipment needed to clear cocoa plantations and improve cocoa productivity.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith, in highlighting the concerns of the Jamaica’s private sector about the challenges faced in accessing the European Union markets, said that Jamaica’s strength and advantages in its services sectors would be greatly unlocked if there was a special visa regime between CARIFORUM and European Union (EU) countries. The minister’s observation was made during a courtesy call by Diana Acconcia, head of the Economic Partnerships Agreements (EPA) Unit in European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade on Tuesday, at the ministry’s Dominica Drive offices.