Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 27 May 2017

Stakeholder activities under a $677.85-million European Union (EU) grant-funded programme to revitalize Jamaica’s banana sector, which had been seriously impacted by the weather in recent years, are far advanced. The Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures (JBAM) Programme, being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), aims to spur increased production and other key outcomes, following recent fallouts caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, among other weather-related events. Its implementation commenced in 2012 following the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav in 2008, which ravaged thousands of acres of banana, resulting in farmers incurring billions of dollars in losses, and industry activities scaling down over the ensuing three years. Agricultural Attaché with the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Stefano Cillí, said the JBAM allocation is part of approximately $6.7 billion in overall funding support extended to the industry over the last 10 years.

Friday, 10 March 2017

The sugarcane industry remains an important sector of the Fijian economy. The industry supports the livelihoods of almost 200,000 Fijians. The European Union (EU) is a key development partner for Fiji’s sugarcane industry and the people whose livelihoods depend on it. As part of its Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol programme (AMSP 2013), the EU is implementing 11 projects, with a total investment of around FJ$100 million, in partnership with a number of national and international agencies and relevant Fiji Government ministries. One such collaboration is with the Australian Government in the context of the Training Support to the Fiji Sugarcane Industry (FSI) project.The project focuses on training sugarcane industry workers across the sugar belt regions of Fiji to improve their productivity and efficiency by upgrading their technical and management skills.

Tuesday, 07 March 2017

Air France has disclosed of its commitment to facilitate the swift export of fresh agricultural produce from Ghana to Europe in the short to medium term. It follows the commencement of the airline’s operations along the Accra-Paris route. The assurance also follows the impressive cargo patronage recorded by the airline in its inaugural flight from Accra to Paris on Wednesday. “Cargo will be as well a key success factor for the economies and the development of the route. On Tuesday night the flight left with cargo full of pineapple from Ghana to France and to Europe,” the Chairman and CEO of AirFrance, Jean Marc Janaillac told Citi Business News. According to him, the cargo capacity for the Airline’s A330 and Boeing 2007 are 10 and 16 tonnes respectively. Mr. Marc Janaillac who was speaking at the official launch of Air France’s operations also highlighted plans to capitalize on Accra’s position as one of the top long haul routes to facilitate business transactions between Ghana and France.

Monday, 06 March 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

During a European Commission official visit to Burkina Faso a financing agreement of €117 million was signed to support the food security, agriculture and resilience sector. This «support programme for food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and resilience in Burkina Faso» forms part of the €800 million announced by the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, on 7 December 2016 at the International Conference organised by Burkina Faso in Paris.

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 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.