Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

February 2018
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EDITO
Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The very last agricultural quota system in place, managing sugar production in the EU, were scrapped on 30 September, after nearly 50 years, part of a major CAP reform and restructuring process. The sugar quota system was introduced with the first Common Agricultural Policy rules on sugar in 1968, along with a support price for producers set at a level significantly above the world market price. The decision to end the quota system for sugar was taken by EU Member States in 2006. The end of the quota system follows significant reform of the sector from The very last agricultural quota system in place, managing sugar production in the European Union, were scrapped on 30 September 2017, after nearly 50 years

Monday, 09 October 2017

In Zambia, the 2016/17 crop year will end with a 6% drop in sugar production. According to the forecasts of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Zambia will produce about 388,405 tonnes of sugar compared to 411,279 tonnes last year. This slight contraction in volume is due to a deterioration in the quality of sugar cane, as well as a reduction in the quantity of sugar cane transported to refineries, due to energy restrictions which have impacted on irrigation, and to the drought which affected the growing season. Zambia’s sugar industry is dominated by Zambia Sugar PLC, a subsidiary of Illovo Sugar, a South African company that produces around 92.5% of the country’s sugar production. The country exports about half of its production, mainly to other countries in Africa and to the European Union.

The 96th session of the International Cocoa Council coupled with the joint annual meeting of the International Cocoa Organisation-European Union and the ACP, has been taking place since Monday in Abidjan, with the sustainable cocoa economy on the agenda, the APA reported on Tuesday from the economic capital of Côte d’Ivoire. The second day of the meeting was devoted to the world cocoa economy, which has been suffering for several years. Delegates at the meeting will work on the drafting and adoption of an agenda for a sustainable cocoa economy, as well as the development of a global strategic action plan with specific measures.

The European Union has banned beef imports from Swaziland following a suspected foot-and-mouth disease outbreak allegedly caused by three buffaloes donated to the country by Zambian President Edgar Lungu early this month.Agriculture Minister Moses Vilakati confirmed the suspension in a statement on Tuesday. “When the buffalos arrived into the country they were accompanied by documents certifying that they had tested negative for the disease,” Vilakati said.

Friday, 06 October 2017

Grape growers were given new hope of exporting their produce through the Port of Lüderitz in the near future. The proposition was tabled by NileDutch's commercial director Leo Huisman during a tablegrape pre-harvest season meeting at Aussenkehr, as he outlined that NileDutch can be the solution to using the Lüderitz port. Namibian grapes are currently exported to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands via Cape Town in South Africa, with the produce moved from Namibia to South Africa by truck. Huisman indicated that NileDutch was ready to provide a reliable and quality service that will ensure the grapes are no longer transported to South Africa before shipment, but shipped to Europe straight from Namibia through Lüderitz Port.

A multi-million-dollar European Union (EU) irrigation infrastructure support to smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe has started to pay dividends, with farmers in Mutema Irrigation Scheme, Chipinge district, harvesting their first banana crop with a ready market. The EU is disbursing the six million euro fund through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and so far, $200 000 has been invested in the Mutema scheme, which is now helping over 100 farmers who have a quarter-hectare plot each. Themba Mundidini is excited about the prospect of his first harvest from the scheme after four failed attempts, as they did not have efficient irrigation infrastructure.

Monday, 02 October 2017

Fiji could still enjoy a good price for its sugar by focusing on the Asia-Pacific market when duty-free access to the European Union ends this month, says Fiji Sugar Corporation CEO Graham Clark. Speaking at a press conference on Monday in Lautoka, he said while this month brings an end to a lucrative deal with the European Union, it would open up opportunities for other markets. "To date we have sold 93,096 of the 140,000 tonnes of sugar produced so far this year," he said. "The EU protocol ends on September 30 and new marketing era will emerge whereby all of our interaction with our European customers will basically be conducted on commercial terms that are linked to the world raw sugar price. “So we need to think how we can best operate to our own advantage and I think to capitalise on Fiji's geographic advantage."

Two new online information systems launched recently is aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in Fiji and the Pacific. According to the Pacific Community (SPC) the Agricultural Policy Bank and the Pacific Agricultural Information System (PAIS), are set to make a major contribution towards the collection and use of data in the agriculture sector. European Union Delegation for the Pacific's Head of Cooperation, Christoph Wagner launched the two new online portals with APB representatives from 15 Pacific ACP countries (Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu).

The German International Co-operation (GIZ) has kicked started its first series of training aimed at building the capacities of regional and district staff of agriculture as well as Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs) on pests and disease control. Pests and diseases have been identified as one of the biggest threats to the success of the Market Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP); a 160 million Euros project that is co-financed by the European Union (EU) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the German Government. MOAP is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) with support from GIZ, hence the essence of the series of capacity building trainings for all MoFA staff within the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Zone Six

For the first seven months of 2017, sugar recorded the highest export earnings. Sugar accounted for one hundred and nine point one million dollars or a third of the total merchandise exports which stood at three hundred and four point seven million dollars. This is mainly due to the preferential rate that Belize has enjoyed over the years from its biggest importer, European Union (EU); however, all that is expected to change come October, when the European Union changes its sugar regime. The change will cause EU to lift the limitations that it had in place on beet sugar production. This means that Belize along with the other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will have to compete directly with the beet sugar industry which is a cheaper alternative to cane sugar.