Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

March 2018
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Thursday, 22 March 2018

The costs of ingredients of poultry feed highly depend on the country’s production. As a result these costs highly determine the competitive power of the national poultry chains in East Africa. This is concluded in a study conducted by WLR in collaboration with the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC). The study shows how poultry chains in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania increasingly depend on developments in their neighbouring countries. The results of the project ‘Poultry Development in Africa, a regional perspective’ have been presented in the Africa Event of the Dutch Poultry Centre. Feed prices are lowest in the countries that are able to locally produce the main feed ingredients (mainly maize).

Sahel Capital, fund manager for the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (“FAFIN”), is pleased to announce the successful $65.9 million final close of its debut fund. As part of this close, the African Development Bank, CDC Group, and the Dutch Good Growth Fund have jointly committed $31 million to FAFIN, joining existing co‐sponsors of the fund to drive agricultural transformation in Nigeria. As part of this round, KfW Development Bank has also offered to increase its commitments to FAFIN by an additional $10 million, subject to final approvals, which if provided would increase the fund size to $76 million by December 2017.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Intraregional seed trade is set for a boost following the introduction of seed labels and certificates to be utilized by seed companies for large consignment crossing the borders. The move is intended to spur regional trade through improved seed varieties across the region. The COMESA Seed Labels and Certificates will be used by member States to identity seeds in the market that meets the COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations of 2014. This development is line with the COMESA Seed Harmonization and Implementation Plan (COMSHIP) that provides a framework for the 19 COMESA Member States to trade, facilitate seed industry and support local seed companies.

Thursday, 06 July 2017

A paltry eight African have so far ratified the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) more than two years after it was launched in Egypt, raising fears of a failed continental effort to create an expanded trade barrier free market. On 10 June 2015 African leaders launched and signed the TFTA during a summit in the resort town of Sharma El Sheikh. Countries that signed the TFTA included Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Swaziland while Zimbabwe and Zambia signed a week later. The TFTA is espoused to enhance the harmonisation of infrastructure programmes and the development of common programmes for industrial and economic development among the 26 countries in Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the East African Community (EAC).

Youth employment should be at the centre of any strategy to face economic and demographic challenges in Africa, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization José Graziano da Silva told a joint African Union-European Union meeting, hosted at FAO headquarters in Rome. In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour market. But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas. "Fostering sustainable agriculture and rural development is essential to absorb these millions of youth looking for a job," Graziano da Silva said.

Zambia signed trade contracts worth US $100 million with grain traders from eastern Africa on Thursday for the export of 382,640 metric tonnes white maize, soyabeans and other grains. The deals were sealed in Lusaka during a regional Trade Facilitation Forum organised by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in collaboration with Zambia Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE), with support of USAID’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and USAID’s Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. The forum brought together over 195 sellers and buyers of maize, soya beans, common beans, millet and other grain commodities from, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Tuesday, 04 July 2017

Kenyan food is set to be safer than ever after the European Union made available state-of-the art equipment that will enable national food control authorities to test the quality and safety of a wide range of food products. The food testing laboratory equipment was launched by The Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Co-operatives, Adan Mohamed and the EU Ambassador, Stefano Dejak at the Kenya Bureau of Standards headquarters. CS Mohamed said the equipment now available in laboratories at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), the Directorate of Veterinary Services (DVS) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), gives the institutions the necessary tools to enforce and certify compliance with consumer food safety requirements.

Government and Unilever today announced a Joint Vision to transform the Twifo Oil Palm Plantation (TOPP) into a state-of-the-art sustainable palm oil plantation. Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Unilever Global CEO, Paul Polman, agreed on a Joint Vision, outlining their support for the development of a sustainable palm oil industry in Ghana. Under this Joint Vision, Unilever and the Government of Ghana will work together to develop the plantation, support smallholder farmers, and help ensure a positive impact on the local economy.Dr Bawumia commended Unilever for the support it has offered the Ghanaian economy over the years through its continuous presence and operations in Ghana.

Efforts by the federal government to diversify the economy is beginning to yield results, as the federal government is set to export 72 metric tonnes of yam to Europe and the United States today. In a major diversification breakthrough, the minister Of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, announced yesterday that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the exportation of yams to the United States and United Kingdom. Ogbeh disclosed this to State House correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja. The minister was joined at the FEC briefing by his science and technology as well as Health counterparts, Ogbonaya Onu and Isaac Adewole respectively, and Special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.

Farmers are set to benefit from the Africa Improved Foods (AIF), a food processing factory that was unveiled Wednesday. Speaking at the official unveiling of the plant, various officials said the Kigali Special Economic Zone-based factory will be fed by raw materials produced locally. Officials said sourcing raw materials from local farmers is a key element that will benefit not only the producers but the country as well as the manufacturer. However, it was noted that local farmers still lack the capacity to satisfy the needs of the factory. AIF Rwanda is a joint venture between the Government of Rwanda and a consortium of four international partners; Royal DSM, Dutch development bank-FMO, CDC Group plc (the UK government’s Development Finance Institution) and IFC.