Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 28 April 2017

To harmonize the country-oriented Dutch development and economic diplomacy policies with increasing regional influences in poultry value chain developments, better insight is needed in the interdependency of the poultry sectors of different countries. Therefore, the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) has decided to support a study and learning project that will look into the various aspects of this interdependency in Eastern Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda). The objective of the study and learning project is to gather relevant information on poultry developments in the Eastern African region with the aim of collecting and sharing this information with relevant stakeholders and advise the Netherlands Government on more regional-economic responsive policies for sector/value chain development.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Stakeholder activities under a $677.85-million European Union (EU) grant-funded programme to revitalize Jamaica’s banana sector, which had been seriously impacted by the weather in recent years, are far advanced. The Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures (JBAM) Programme, being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), aims to spur increased production and other key outcomes, following recent fallouts caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, among other weather-related events. Its implementation commenced in 2012 following the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008, which ravaged thousands of acres of banana, resulting in farmers incurring billions of dollars in losses, and industry activities scaling down over the ensuing three years. Agricultural Attaché with the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Stefano Cillí, said the JBAM allocation is part of approximately $6.7 billion in overall funding support extended to the industry over the last 10 years.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Ghana will be able to access €43 million to support its youth employment programme expected to halve the nation's unemployment rate beginning next year, the European Union (EU) has said. EU Ambassador to Ghana, William Hanna who made the announcement said it is to help the country wean itself off foreign aid as declared by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last week. The EU Chief Diplomat in Ghana told Joy Business Tuesday that he is optimistic the initiative would help Ghana stem the tide of growing unemployment of its vibrant youth. The President has said he is committed to ensuring that Ghana does not continue to depend on foreign aids to run its economy and address difficulties in the country.

Five tilapia farmers and 18 aquaculture hatchery and farm development staff from Fiji's Ministry of Fisheries, completed a four-day training on brood stock management at the Naduruloulou Freshwater Research Station and Pacific Community's (SPC) campus in Nabua. The training, provided by the European Union-funded Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) project, was facilitated by brood stock expert and Director of Aquaculture Development at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) Dr Ram Bhujel, and SPC Aquaculture officers Dr Tim Pickering and Avinash Singh.

The European Commission needs to take measures to promote the responsible cultivation of palm oil and phase out its use for biofuels, Czech MEP Kateřina Konečná said. The environment committee votes on her report on 9 March. Palm oil is extensively used in food, cosmetics and biofuels, however the unsustainable production of the cheap vegetable oil leads to deforestation, loss of nature habitats and greenhouse gas emissions, the European Parliament said in a press release. The production of palm oil leads to deforestation as jungle is removed to be replaced by palm plantations. In her report Konečná said the European Parliament should be very ambitious. “There should not be any palm oil in biofuels,” she said.

Earlier today the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank approved new financing for small and medium companies (SMEs), education, energy and social housing, as well as water, transport and healthcare schemes across Europe and around the world. Funding approved today totalled EUR 3.4 billion.

Lead beekeepers from Vanua Levu went through a weeklong training (Feb. 20-24) in an effort to revive Fiji’s honey industry, which was devastated by Tropical Cyclone Winston. This training was one of the recovery activities of the European Union-funded “Increasing Agricultural Commodities Trade” project, implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. The IACT project provided approximately FJD 4 million in recovery support, mainly focused on rebuilding and strengthening key value chains in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors.

The European Union has pledged more support to help Palau improve social and economic development, increase resilience to climate change and reduce poverty. EU's Ambassador to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs has this week been in Palau where he had talks with the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau and his Government. A release out of the EU Pacific office says there were fruitful discussions on the EU-Palau cooperation, regional economic integration, sustainable management of natural resources and climate change. Palau and the EU have a bilateral programme for funding of $US1.7 million between 2014 and 2020 under the 11th European Development Fund.

Thursday, 09 March 2017

Last week the EU’s Africa Renewable Energy Initiative announced 14 new renewable energy projects across the continent, representing 1.7GW, with a total potential investment of almost €4 billion (US$4.2 billion). “With these 14 new projects, potentially worth up to €4 billion of investments, the European Union is delivering on its promises,” said commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica at the announcement in Conakry, Guinea. “We are turning our pledges into real projects with true impact on the ground. The EU hereby reaffirms its leading role in supporting the African continent in the promotion of renewable energies for the improvement of energy access for African citizens.”

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Republic of Palau and the Pacific, H. E Andrew Jacobs had fruitful discussions on the EU-Palau cooperation, regional economic integration, sustainable management of natural resources and climate change with the President of Palau, H.E Tommy Remengesau Jr. and H.E Vice President Raynold Oilouch in the Palauan capital today. Ambassador Jacobs congratulated H.E Remengesau Jr. on his re-election as the President of Palau in November 2016 and had discussions on the 2014 - 2020 11th European Union Development (EDF11) bilateral programming of EUR 1.6 million.