Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017

The last Council on Agriculture and Fisheries which met in Brussels on 16 and 17 December 2013, adopted a decision on the signing on behalf of the EU, and on the provisional application of the protocol setting out fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for in the fisheries partnership agreement (FPA) between the EU and the Republic of Seychelles.

At the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 16 and 17 December 2013, the Italian delegation, supported by Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, France and Portugal, underlined the difficult situation that the EU rice sector is facing in particular with the increase of EU imports of this product. Italy noted that in some EU regions, rice cultivation represents the most important agricultural activity of the area but, over the past few years, this sector has gradually been losing profitability and the rice cultivated surfaces are progressively reduced.

Ministers took stock of a report on local farming presented by the Commission at the last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 16 and 17 December 2013. In this document on the case for a new local farming and direct sales labelling scheme to assist producers in marketing their produce locally (17572/13), the Commission has provided factual elements to facilitate a debate on whether a new EU label should be considered as well as on the broader issues of local farming and direct sales. The report considers that local farming and direct sales are a reality within the European Union and will continue to be part of European agriculture.

To tackle pollution and climate change, policy-makers, NGOs and industry alike support more vegetables in Europeans' diets, while insisting on better use of resources and waste-management, EurActiv informs. Vegetable-based foods such as potatoes, pulses and soy have a lower carbon footprint than animal products, which are responsible for about 33% of total greenhouse gas emissions for the food sector, according to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from September

The Commission briefed the member states at last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries (held in Brussels on 16 and 17 December 2013) on its proposal for a regulation on information provision and promotion measures for agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries (16591/13). Member states generally welcomed the proposal and took note of its ambition to better valorise the EU agri-food industry. However many of them expressed concerns about the suppression of the possibility to provide a national cofinancing support of the promotion measures.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

In this week’s CTA Brussels video interview, Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) tells us more about the agricultural growth recovery and economic transformation in Africa.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

As part of the decentralisation of the Brussels Development Briefings and support to most vulnerable countries, the 4th national Briefing on ‘Farmer-driven research to improve food and nutrition security in Haiti’ was held on Wednesday, 11th December 2013, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. More than 250 participants attended this event. The national briefings integrate the topics of  the Brussels Briefings, which are of interest for Haiti. They look at a particular topic through the lens of a national case, and raise awareness on topical issues related to agriculture in Haiti.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Bali Ministerial Conference of the (World Trade Organization) concluded a day later than scheduled on 7 December 2013 with agreement on a package of issues designed to streamline trade, allow developing countries more options for providing food security, boost least developed countries’ trade and help development more generally. In addition to the Bali Package, ministers formally adopted a number of more routine decisions at the end of a five-day meeting opened by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which also saw Yemen accepted as a new member.

Monday, 09 December 2013

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday 6 November that governments approve genetically modified crops for cultivation in Europe, for use in food and feed as well as for import. The proposal covers an insect-resistant maize developed jointly by DuPont and Dow Chemical which, if approved, would end Monsanto's current monopoly in Europe's tiny market for GMO crops. The Commission said it was "duty bound" to make the proposal after Europe's second-highest court in September censured the EU executive for lengthy delays in the approval process, first launched back in 2001.

A group of 23 countries* attacked the European Commission (EC) in an expert meeting, on 11 November, accusing it of ignoring the agreement on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) when drafting rules to implement the new measures. The member states have bandied together to try to make EFAs – Ecological Focus Areas – less ecologically focused. France, Spain, Poland and Italy were among those countries that backed the joint note to the Commission appealing it to “urgently correct” inconsistencies between the draft rules and the terms of the CAP agreement.