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EDITO
Sunday, 17 December 2017

Germany's Development Minister Gerd Müller has called for more German investment in Africa and argued that the investments could help reduce poverty. One such project he used as an example was Kevian. The filling plants were supplied by a German company and financed by a loan from development agencies in Germany. The company has grown from 60 employees to 600. The fruit suppliers also benefit. "That's how it should be. 300,000 farmers supply mangos for processing. The farmers have long-term contracts, get a fixed price and can live on it," Müller said. According to the 61-year-old minister, Africa needs ten thousand of such factories.

The Zambian government said Tuesday that the plan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to set up an office in the country was a clear endorsement by Europe that Zambia was one of the best investment destinations in Africa. Minister of Finance Felix Mutati, who has just returned from a tour of some European countries to strengthen economic cooperation, said the European bank promised to set up an office in Zambia by the third quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, 14 February 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.