Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 27 May 2017

Omidyar Network announced today that it has invested in Landmapp BV, an Amsterdam-based property rights company that enables smallholder farmers to document and protect their land holdings. The investment will help Landmapp to grow its customer base in Ghana, where the company is providing this unique service primarily to cocoa farmers. The transaction also involved participation by HERi Africa, an existing investor in the company. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. Landmapp was established in 2015 by two Amsterdam-based entrepreneurs, Simon Ulvund and Thomas Vaassen. Landmapp offers a mobile platform that provides smallholder farmer families with documentation of their land. Their first country of operation is Ghana, and Ulvund and Vaassen have plans to expand into other countries following this successful rollout.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Finland Ambassador to Ethiopia Helena Airaksinen said that Ethiopia has made good progress in terms of economic development."Finland is also keen on expanding economic cooperation with Ethiopia." In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Amb. Helena Airaksinen said Finland and Ethiopia have been working together in rural economic development particularly in Amhara state focusing on inland administration, agricultural value chain production improvement programs and the like. According to her, the rural economic development programs are aimed at improving rural farmers' productivity and income.

Time to breathe new life into the WTO process. Agriculture plays a critical role in climate change – it is both a cause and a victim of it. And it plays a key role in the implementation of most of the SDGs. "We must get the sustainable development goals right, but we must also get trade in agriculture right, and we look to the EU to lead the way here", says the EESC. The EU is well positioned positively to lead this process. It is the largest exporter and importer of agricultural products, it has a proven interest in trade and sustainable development and it has the credibility to play an effective bridging role between developed and developing countries.

20 Agronomists have been certified by GhanaVeg through Wageningen University & Research for successfully graduating from the first GhanaVeg Agronomy Training of Trainers. The Graduation ceremony took place at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on February 16, during the GhanaVeg Business Platform Meeting. Certificates were handed out to the graduates by the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Mr. Ron Strikker. The training assists the agronomists to train a at least 2.000 farmers in their localities; increasing their yields and incomes. The GhanaVeg Agronomy training has been designed to improve farmer productivity and post-harvest management. The 1-year in-depth Training Course focused on 6 key areas: seedling production, crop protection, spray techniques, irrigation and fertilization, production planning and adult learning.

Africa is ready to take its place on the world stage, as the poultry industry is evolving, from a national and regional basis to a more global platform, according to RaboResearch’s latest report ‘Time for Africa: Capturing the African Poultry Investment Opportunity’.The year-on-year growth in the global poultry markets is set to continue: a demand growth of more than 60% is expected over the next 20 years. This leads to significant global investment streams in an industry that is evolving, from a national and regional basis to a more global platform. Most recent investments have focused on Europe, the Americas and Asia, driven by bullish market circumstances. Africa has attracted relatively limited investor interest. But this is changing.

Kenyan farmers adopt conservation agriculture to double Kenya’s canola oil production in 2017. Unilever East Africa, Agventure Ltd. and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation have [on 22 February 2017] signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalising a venture that aims to double canola oil production in Kenya by the end of 2017 via contract farming arrangements. Ambassador Frans Makken of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was present during the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement. The Dutch Embassy is funding SNV’s five year HortIMPACT programme and considers the agreement an excellent example of the combination trade and development cooperation which forms the core of Dutch development cooperation policy.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Adentan Municipal Assembly has launched a 820,000 Euro mushroom project, dubbed the ‘Promush Project’, to create 5,500jobs for the youth and persons with disabilities. The three-year project is funded by the European Union(EU) with an amount of 660,000 Euros while the assembly, Centre for Local Governance Advocacy(CLGA) and Local Government Network (LOGNet), contributed a total of 160,000 Euros. Hajia Mahama said the project would use community sensitisation programmes to orient the crop and animal farmers, youth and the general public to see mushroom farming as a viable business venture.

The Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union will support the coconut industry in Samoa and Vanuatu as part of a new regional initiative to improve small producer’s business competitiveness. The €3.5 million Coconut Industry Development Project (CIDP) aims to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers in Samoa and Vanuatu, and to share lessons learned to support the development of the regional coconut industries. SPC Project Team Leader, Karen Mapusua, says the call for Expressions of Interest is now open for all involved in the coconut industry including the private sector, farmers’ organisations, and NGOs working with farmers.

Nigerian exporters have been encouraged by Agriculture and Rural Management Training Institute’s (ARMTI’s) Acting Executive Director Dr. Olufemi Oladunni to increase their vegetables exports take advantage of the current vegetable shortage currently being experienced in Europe. Consumers in northern Europe are seeing extremely limited availability of a number of vegetables. He advised them to address quality certification issues that have been a major hindrance food exporters have been facing in the European Union (EU) market.

Tobias Ellwood, the UK Minister for Africa and the Middle East, and Baroness Northover, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy visited Angola this week for calls with senior ministers covering the wide range of areas in which the UK and Angola work together.In his first visit to Angola, minister Ellwood met senior Angolan ministers. These important discussions were built on the progress made during the visit of his predecessor, James Duddridge, in 2016, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UK and Angola covering the political, economic and commercial bilateral relationship. As well as discussing bilateral relations, discussions focused on the region and the international agenda. Not only is Angola a valued UK partner in terms of trade, but we have the same objectives in terms of regional and international peace and security Ahead of his visit, Mr Ellwood said: I am delighted to be visiting Angola for the first time and look forward to discussing areas of mutual interest to our two countries.