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Agriculture

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Unilever Tea recently signed an agreement with Cross-Boundary Energy for the installation and operation of a 600kW solar power plant at the company’s Kericho tea plantation in Kenya. The plant is expected to start producing power in mid-2018 with Unilever to pay monthly power bills generated by Cross Boundary Energy who will finance and operate the plant for 15 years. The solar plant is the first commercial and industrial power purchase agreement for the company in Africa and is expected to deliver substantial savings on power costs and reduce its carbon emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the plant’s 30-year lifetime.

Unilever Ghana is teaming up with the Ministry for Food and Agriculture to commence activities in agro-processing. Products such as shea nuts, cashew and oil palm are among crops that would be considered in this initiative. Activities will span from the Northern part of Ghana to the forest areas and the southern savannah areas. Speaking at a roundtable meeting between officials of the consumer giant and the minister for food and agriculture, the Global CEO of Unilever, Paul Polman said the collaboration would go a long way to contribute to economic growth.

Foreign technology companies at the ongoing 4th international trade exhibition in Lagos have expressed high confidence in the viability of the Nigerian packaging industry, with most of them positive that transfer of improved technology, knowledge and skills could help achieve the country’s long desired efficiency in its agricultural value chain. About 140 international market leaders including 10 national participants with latest technologies from Austria, China, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa raised hopes for the packaging industry.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Ghana’s frozen chicken imports jumped from 13,000 metric tons in 2000 to over 155,000 metric tons in 2011 costing $169 million, Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, said on Wednesday. Figures showed that in 2017, a total of over 135,000Mt (about 112 million birds) of frozen chicken was imported from European Union (EU), which is 76 per cent increase over the 2016 EU import. The Netherlands Ambassador however, predicted a potential growth of the country’s local poultry industry in the next few years, due to an increase of six per cent consumption of chicken per year.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the European Union (EU), the Banana Growers’ Association (BGA) and the University of Belize (UB) launched a new project that will promote and foster social and economic development in the banana belt area of Belize, leading to the reduction of poverty by focussing on workers, their families and communities. The Banana Belt, which generates a significant number of jobs in the region, comprises 10 growers and 23 farms of relatively large holdings of plantation farms that are located in the southern Stann Creek and northern Toledo Districts. The BGA is the statutory body representing these growers.

Almost three years after the ban on export of Nigerian dried beans to European Union (EU), the United Nations industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) would next month commence a pilot export of Nigerian dried beans to EU. If successful, UNIDO will officially write to EU to inform it of the improved quality of dried Nigerian beans and that it is safe for consumption.

Kenyan and Germany researchers working under the Horticultural Innovation and Learning for Improved Nutrition and Livelihood in East Africa (HORTINLEA) project have made significant achievements in generating knowledge on African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs). This knowledge covers genetic diversity and seed systems, plant nutrition and fertilizer management, water management and irrigation, pest and disease management, harvesting and postharvest handling, value addition as well as health benefits of AIVs.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

A handbook for 300 leader sugarcane farmers designed to improve production and increase collaboration was launched in Nadi yesterday. The handbook, titled Establishing a Farmer Field School: A Handbook for Fiji's Sugar Industry, was launched as part of the EU funded Fairtrade Associations Capacity Building and Farm Advisory Services Support Project, which is being implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC). EU program manager Alejandro Matos Lopez said Farmer Field Schools established under the project had brought positive results to the Fijian sugar industry.

The European Union (EU) has released 30 per cent of €1.4 million to support Tanzania's efforts to achieve regional industrial competitiveness. The aims are to increase value addition and upgrade the sunflower value chain programme as tariffs and non-tariff barriers have been biting. "We operate in a difficult condition," Tanzania Sunflower Process Association chairman Ringo Iringo laments. He urged the government to intervene to have quality sunflowers.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A new expert group is to be created by the European Commission to provide expertise, advice and possible recommendations on enhancing the role of the EU agri-food and agro-industrial sector in the sustainable economic development of Africa. The first step in the creation of the Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA) is the call for applications for the selection of members, which will run until 23 March 2018. The group will consist of 11 members, all of whom should be experts with high level expertise and experience in agriculture, agri-business or agroindustry, trade, development policy or migration-related issues and with first-hand knowledge of the agri-food sector in Africa.