September 2015
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EDITO
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Friday, 04 September 2015

A new initiative aimed at boosting horticulture production, quality and exports has been launched by the National Agricultural Export Board (NAEB) and sector stakeholders. The Rwanda Horticulture Working Group also seeks to attract more private investments into horticulture industry, as well as stimulate dialogue among stakeholders, George William Kayonga, the NAEB chief executive officer, said. According to Kayonga, the group will provide a platform to promote more public-private sector partnerships in the sector to help expand the country's horticultural sector. The initiative is also expected to play a key role in provision of advisory services, especially on best agricultural practices, post harvest handling of fresh produce, and marketing.

"The market for cut roses has been quite down for the last three weeks," says Arfhan Mughal of Fontana, a rose farm based in Nakuru, Kenya. According to him, the season from mid-June to mid-August is usually quite low for the Kenyan rose farmers due to the fact that rose demand drops during summer time in Europe. This causes a price drop of approximately 25%. This has led the rose farm has to look for other export markets, especially in the in the Southern hemisphere e.g. Australia, South Africa and the Middle East. According to Mughal, the prices will not reach the old levels immediately, but they will rise gradually. "Next week, the prices will probably increase by 10%, then 15% and will be 25% higher in about two weeks."

In Namibia, foreign producers now face tougher restrictions following the decision to regulate import permits more stringently. The aim of the new measure intends to ensure that Namibian fresh produce has a secure local market. The country's green schemes previously suffered from a lack of regulations to protect local fresh produce from competition by cheaper imports. Managing director of the agricultural business development company Agribusdev, Petrus Uugwanga, says that under the regulations the local market is now shielded against competition from cheap mass produced fruit and vegetables, particularly from South Africa.

Fishing operators from Cape Verde are now obliged to obtain a health certificate to export their products to the European Union. The ordinance replaces one dated March 2009 and introduces the mandatory health certificate for export products as a single and inseparable document. Its application will be overseen by the official inspector authorised by the Authority for Fisheries Products (Acopesca). The respective preamble indicates that the change is meant to adjust the sector to European Union rules for the import/export of products for human consumption and to improve the business environment between the two markets. Cabo Verde has been included for years on the list of countries authorised to export to the European Union, which is the leading recipient of fish from the island nation.

Supply surpluses have pushed down milk and meat prices in France and French farming unions are demanding higher prices for pork and milk. However, the European Commission is instead exploring new markets to compensate for declining consumption in the EU.  In March this year, the European Commission reopened intervention stocks for butter and milk powder, the two mechanisms for aiding struggling dairy markets. These systems help to limit the squeeze on prices by temporarily limiting supply. The Commission pays for butter, milk or pork to be kept off the market in private stockpiles, or buys stocks on a country by country basis. In Brussels, the European Commission is counting on exports to secure the future of European agriculture.

The European Commission (EU) has said only dried beans is affected by the recent ban for export to the member countries from Nigeria. In a reaction to Daily Trust's inquiry on the development, Head of Trade and Economic Section, EU Delegation in Nigeria, Mr. Filippo Amato, reiterated that a temporary suspension of import of dried beans from Nigeria has been adopted by the European Commission last June. He said the information circulated in a number of national newspaper that the temporary ban would affect the import of several other agricultural products is wrong. "The measure only concerns dried beans, because this is the product that was most frequently rejected for health reasons (too high presence of pesticides) at the EU border over the last couple of years," he clarified.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to open an office in Mozambique’s capital in 2016 and before the end of this year in Yaoundé (Cameroon), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), and Lusaka (Zambia), said the institution’s vice-president, Pim van Ballekom. The EIB annually expends about €2.5 billion euros in Africa, a figure that could increase if the European Union member states so decide, as they are the shareholders of the bank created to support EU development policies in Africa and elsewhere. “We could reach 10 billion euros, but we depend on the shareholders’ will,” van Ballekom said in comments to Bloomberg financial agency. The EIB has applied more than 18 billion euros in the last 50 years in more than 1,300 projects in 92 countries and regional groups in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), most of them in countries on the African continent.

The European Commission has commended the regional social dialogue project, aimed at strengthening cooperation among Caribbean governments, labour, and business. The three-year €1,715,000 (US$ 2 million) project aims to build capacity in the 15 member states of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) to ensure that the voice of business and labour is heard in all fora where policy-related, social and economic issues are on the agenda.  The objective is to contribute to the effective implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in 2008.

Thursday, 03 September 2015

Portuguese chocolate company, Avianense, was in talks with Angolan investors to install a factory unit in Luanda, as part of an investment of €5 million. The factory’s managing director, Luciano Costa, said that the plant will produce Avianese chocolate and take advantage of the close proximity of São Tomé and Príncipe to import raw materials for production. The company also hopes to boost export sales to the rest of Africa. The company’s produces 60 tons and employs 15 people. Its annual turnover is around €1.5 million. Currently, Angola annually imports about €80,000 worth of chocolate from Avianense.

Representatives of the EU met with officials from the Seychelles to discuss economic, social and political issues, especially concerning good governance, democracy, the rule of law and human rights. During the visit, the EU approved an envelope of €760,000, or around 11 million Seychelles rupees, to help = the public and private sectors in the small island developing state (SIDS) meet the EU's requirements to effectively benefit from trade liberalisation and free market access. Seychelles comprises of 115-islands based in the Indian Ocean archipelago and has a population of 90,000 inhabitants. Its economy relies almost exclusively on tourism and the export of canned tuna. The EU is the Seychelles' largest trading partner - accounting for 66 % of its exports and 33 % of its imports.

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