Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 28 April 2017

A coconut oil company co-founded by a Northern Ireland man is aiming to help people on a Fijian island become more self-sufficient. Coconut oil has become one of the latest health food crazes to hit the UK, despite a relatively high calorie content. Now Tim McKee from Hillsborough has joined with two friends to set up social enterprise Bula Batiki. And they are using a campaign on crowd-funding website Kickstarter to attract the funds to increase the production of coconut oil in Batiki. Through the company they hope to be able to help residents of the remote South Pacific island Batiki to make a better income by marketing their coconut oil in the UK and Ireland.

The Banana Board is targeting further increase in exports by year-end, says the entity’s General Manager, Janet Conie. She said the prospects are positive, as Jamaica has received queries from several countries, particularly in Europe, regarding potential export arrangements. She was speaking with JIS News following a tour of farms and facilities in Portland and St. Mary on February 22 that are benefiting under the European Union (EU) Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures (JBAM) programme. Mrs. Conie noted that exports have been increasing steadily since being resumed in 2011 after a three-year break consequent to the sector’s devastation by Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

Trade agreements can help increase sales and support jobs in the EU agri-food sector, a new study shows. Trade agreements have helped to boost EU agricultural exports and have supported jobs in the agri-food sector and other sectors of the economy, according to a new independent study carried out on behalf of the European Commission. Trade agreements with three countries – Mexico, South Korea and Switzerland – were studied in detail. Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan said: "These three agreements alone have increased EU agri-food exports by more than €1 billion and have raised value-added in the agri-food sector by €600 million.

The company Westfalia Fruto Moçambique has announced that it will export avocados produced in the central province of Manica to the international market and especially France. Westfalia consultant Manuel Roriz said that the first consignment of 400 tons could be ready for export to France this coming March. Westfalia Fruto Moçambique is an agricultural subsidiary of the South African group of the same name. It has been operating in Manica province for two years and occupies an area of about 250 hectares.

Thursday, 02 March 2017

The European Commission has lifted on Wednesday 22 February the 'yellow cards' for Curaçao and Solomon Islands, recognising the significant progress both countries have made in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Speaking on the margins of the Economist's World Ocean Summit in Bali, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, said: “This is a good day for Curaçao and Solomon Islands, and good news for sustainable fisheries around the globe. Countries worldwide have a shared duty to fight illegal fishing, protect law-abiding fishermen, and keep our oceans healthy. I encourage others to join the European Union in this fight and contribute to better ocean governance."

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Anambra State government has announced plans to export one million tubers of yam, as well as other vegetables to the United Kingdom. Governor Willie Obiano, who made the disclosure in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, also said the state would soon produce 550,000, eggs per day to meet the needs of the people. He said his administration had invested heavily on agriculture in the past three years aimed at cushioning the effect of the current economic recession on the citizenry.

The new Southern African Development Community (SADC)–European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to bolster South Africa’s muted fisheries sector and open up value-addition in a sector that holds much promise. The new SADC-EU EPA framework, which became effective in October last year, replaced the trade provisions of the existing bilateral Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between South Africa and the EU and will maintain the external tariffs of, and harmonise, the trading regime between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) as a whole and the EU.

The European Union achieved record food exports in 2016, with the USA and China being its main markets. Food imports, however, slumped in the period, contributing significantly to the bloc's growing trade surplus.The European Union's 28 countries produce a lot of food - so much so that the region exports more food than it imports, as measured by financial value. The European Commission (EC) reported on Thursday that the EU achieved a new all-time record of 130.7 billion euros ($138.4 billion) in 'agri-food exports' in 2016. That's 1.7 billion euros, or 1.3 percent, above the 2015 number - and 29.4 billion euros, or 29 percent, above the 2011 number.

Tanzania wants a study conducted on the impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union on the East African Community, ahead of the Summit of Heads of State scheduled for next month. The demand reiterates Tanzania's position that Kenya and Rwanda should not have signed the EPA last year and, given the inadequate time before the summit, there won't be much progress on the matter before April 1, when the EU expects the EAC to sign up to the accord.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Time to breathe new life into the WTO process. Agriculture plays a critical role in climate change – it is both a cause and a victim of it. And it plays a key role in the implementation of most of the SDGs. "We must get the sustainable development goals right, but we must also get trade in agriculture right, and we look to the EU to lead the way here", says the EESC. The EU is well positioned positively to lead this process. It is the largest exporter and importer of agricultural products, it has a proven interest in trade and sustainable development and it has the credibility to play an effective bridging role between developed and developing countries.