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July 2017
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EDITO
Thursday, 20 July 2017

EHPEA, the Ethiopian association for growers and exporters, has 140 members who produce and export fruit, vegetables and flowers. Yemishrach Berhanu, responsible for the promotion of the association, indicates they are present at various fresh produce fairs to promote their members’ products. They also participated in the Macfrut in Rimini. “We promote strawberries, avocados, mangoes, pineapple, herbs, beans and various other fruits and vegetables.”She continues: “Besides, we want to emphasise that Ethiopia is an attractive country for investors. There are various interesting projects, and the government supports those financially as well. Interest rates are low, so there are plenty of reasons to ask for some information. An area of 1,000 hectares has been set apart for investors.”

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Holland Agriculture, part of the CNH Industrial Group, has decided to take a firmer hand in their South African business through opening a direct branch which will be based in Centurion, Tshwane. The reason was summed up by Federico Bellotto, business director of New Holland South Africa: “We are number one in Africa and the Middle East – we’re not number one here. I think we deserve to be number one here. We have the product offering, we have the service, we have the heritage, the credibility, the history.”

While there is acute interest in South African navels, particularly from the Far East, some exporters warn against pushing prices to artificial levels that cannot be maintained. In areas unaffected by navel splitting, like Mpumalanga and Limpopo, exporters tell FreshPlaza that their phones have been ringing off the hook for the past couple of weeks, as importers from the Far East look for alternatives to Eastern Cape navels. Exporters from the Western Cape, where navel damage is estimated at around 17 to 20% of the crop, similarly report that the Far East “is screaming for navels

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underscored the importance of combating poverty in Africa as a way to stem the mass migrant flow to Europe. Merkel has made ties with Africa the focus of Germany's G20 presidency. Reducing poverty and conflict in Africa were the main topics raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday as she met with African leaders ahead of next month's Group of 20 (G20) summit.The leaders of the African Union from Guinea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, Rwanda and other nations met in Berlin to discuss a so-called "compact with Africa." The initiative seeks to team up African nations which have committed to economic reforms with private investors who would then bring jobs and businesses.

The Gambia government has launched a US$11.4 million project, funded by the European Union, to improve food security and reduce stunting growth among children in North Bank, Lower River, Central River and Upper River regions. The 30-month project, to be jointly implemented by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), was launched at Kairaba Beach Hotel on Thursday. It would be implemented in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (and its specialised units), the National Nutrition Agency, the Ministry of Health, the National Disaster Management Agency, the Gambia Red Cross Society, Farmer Based Organisations, and the Women’s Health, Productivity and the Environment NGO (BAFROW).

South Africa's strategy of pursuing a “developmental trade” policy, in which trade agreements with other countries and regions specifically promote growth, employment and the industrial upgrade of the country, are undermined by unequal global trade rules, markets and power which favours industrial countries. However, South Africa's “developmental trade” policy is often torpedoed by self-destructive compromises to trading partners, wrong strategies and corrupt behaviour by leaders. South Africa's export growth for the past two decades has been at least 11% slower than its peers, India, Brazil and China. Most of South Africa's exports remain raw materials.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

When it fully takes off, the newly-approved Nigeria Office for Trade Negotiation (NOTN) is to advise the federal government on how best to go about resolving the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has said. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the establishment of NOTN to act as the pivot for the negotiation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements between Nigeria and other countries and agencies. The EPA, which is a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the European Union (EU) are incompatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) to rules, is a scheme to create a free trade area (FTA) between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), but has been mired in controversy.

AFRICAN, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) have defended their trade with China dismissing claims that the Asian country wants to exploit the continent of its resources. The ACP was responding to criticisms by representatives of the European Union at the 45th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific Parliamentary Assembly (ACP) and Inter-sessional meetings of the ACP — EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held in Brussels in Belgium in March. According to a report on the meetings presented in Parliament last week by Masvingo Central legislator Dr Daniel Shumba, the ACP countries maintained that trade with the Asian economic giant was more sustainable contrary to the EU aid which involves cumbersome drawdown procedures.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is to be applauded for placing a new G20 Partnership with Africa on the agenda of the upcoming G20 Summit. The conference she is hosting this week in Berlin with several African leaders should be its first building block. As Africans and investors, we share her view of the potential of Africa’s many emerging economies. But there is great risk if we do not seize this potential positively. The continent’s population has doubled since 1985 and will double again to 2.5bn by 2050. Twenty-two and a half million new jobs are required each year. By 2050, two in five of the world’s youth will be African, outnumbering the youth of the European Union by 10 to one.

Monday, 12 June 2017

EU farm and food businesses may pay a big price for Brexit if new trade barriers pop up and dim the British appetite for products like Irish cheddar, French wine and Danish bacon, experts and advocates warn. Sounding the alarm is the main European farmers' union, Copa-Cogeca, which released a preliminary 156-page report one month after Britain formally told Brussels in late March it will withdraw from the bloc. "Farmers should not have to pay the price of a political decision," Cogeca President Thomas Magnusson warned, referring to the risk of post-Brexit trade barriers like tariffs. Farmers in the remaining 27 European Union states could find it particularly hard to export to such an important market as Britain, a net importer, if London and Brussels fail to strike a post-Brexit free-trade deal. Prices could increase sharply if Britain leaves the customs union under a "hard" Brexit, something British Prime Minister Theresa May has not ruled out if she does not get the new trade terms she wants. British consumers would then likely buy fewer of the EU agriculture products they have become used to in the last four decades.