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May 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 29 May 2017

On Wednesday, 21 September 2016, Dr Theo de Jager, President of the Pan-African Farmers' Organization (PAFO), Ignace Coussement, Managing Director of AgriCord, and Michael Hailu, Director of CTA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Strategic partnership supporting capacity development of African farmer's organisations through improved policies, technologies and capabilities. The signing took place at a ceremony at the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), in Brussels.

Jack Vera succeeded Niek Schelling in August 2016 as agricultural council for South Africa and Angola at the Dutch embassy in Pretoria. Just a year before he moved to South Africa, he was part of the management team of the direction Agricultural and natural science at the ministry of Economics. “South Africa is a very interesting country. For years, there has been a close bond between the Netherlands and South Africa. As agricultural council, I facilitate agricultural businesses that see potential in this country. Another main task is the improvement of the market access for Dutch products.

According to World Bank, as of 2014, 47 per cent of the world's population lived in rural areas. The 70 per cent of the world’s poor who live in rural areas consider agriculture to be their main source of living. Agriculture has made a significant contribution to the economic prosperity of advanced nations and its role in the economic development of developing countries such as Kenya is significant. The history of countries such as England, confirms that the agricultural revolution preceded the industrial revolution. In the US and Japan, agricultural advancement has fed into industrialisation.

On 18 September, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) received GBP3 million (about $3.9 million) from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) for its cash and voucher assistance programme supporting conflict-affected communities in Sudan. WFP plans to use GBP2 million ($2.6 million) to support 220,000 displaced across Darfur with vouchers for four months, helping them to purchase a wide variety of food items from local shops.

Zambia Sugar Company is reducing its sugar exports into the European Union (EU) to the regional market in view of the sugar reforms in the bloc to be effected in September 2017. The agribusiness company will this year reduce sales to the EU from 22 percent to 14 percent as it explores Africa’s regional markets, both traditional and new markets. According to managing director, Rebecca Katowa, this follows the sugar reforms that have impacted on the sugar regime and resulted in prices in the EU converging into global prices. The prices are below the cost of production and reflect residual markets and key players, namely Brazil, Thailand and India, who put sugar on that market with India’s sugar being subsidized.