Finnish manufacturing firms have expressed interest to invest in Rwanda’s agriculture sector. The investors explored investment opportunities and strategies to forge business ties with local investors last week. While receiving the investors at her office in Kigali, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, pledged government support, adding that there are investment opportunities in agro-processing, packaging, fruit canning, floriculture and coffee processing, among others. The minister said government is seeking more investors in agriculture to help accelerate the sector’s growth, stimulate Rwanda’s economic transformation, and enhance and diversify agro-exports.
Last Tuesday, the European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture (COMAGRI) approved a resolution, submitted by Socialist MEP Clara Aguilera, rejecting the amendments that the European Commission intends to make to the current EU Plant Protection Law, which would entail changes in the controls on citrus fruit imports from third countries.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will disburse $6.6 billion through the African Development Fund (ADF) to African countries in 2016. Speaking at the Final Pledging Session for the ADF 14th Replenishment meeting in Luxemburg November 28, 2016, the President of the Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said four of the five High Five strategies of the Bank were developed and approved by the Board within a period of six months.
The EU wants to lead the food sector in a new direction with a huge scientific and economic stimulus program. The goal is education, research and 350 start-ups promoting new technologies, healthy food, less food waste and less greenhouse gas emissions during food production. Throughout Europe, 50 universities, companies and research institutions have joined forces to form a so-called "Knowledge and Innovation Community" (KIC), as reported by the University of Hohenheim. The European Institute for Technology and Innovation (EIT) has been financing the Innovation Community with 400 million euros under the name EIT Food for 10 years.
Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya says agriculture is the commercially untapped jewel of Fiji as the sector is brimming with opportunities. Koya says that in Fiji there are acres of arable land that can either be used for commercial agro-farming or organic farming in niche markets. The Minister says the prospects are enormous and the latest sectoral investment data suggests that a number of foreign have realized this and are seizing the opportunity. He adds the government has a vision to harness Fiji’s potential in the area of organic farming given Fiji’s environment, ideal climate and fertile volcanic soil.
Vanuatu hosted its first ever Agritourism Festival from 9-11th November at the Agriculture Complex- Tagabe, in the capital city of Port Vila. Agriculture and food production are critical to Vanuatu’s prosperity and welfare: for food security and job creation. Given that animal, vegetable and other food products equate to over 82% of the island’s economy, Vanuatu boasts rich agricultural resources. Yet, the country is still heavily reliant on imports, which in 2011 amounted to over 280 million USD (more than four times the amount of exports). Vanuatu, like many other Pacific Island nations, relies on cheap, calorific and low nutritional food imports from the USA and Australasia.
Boost Africa Initiative, a unique partnership in support of innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa has been launched today in Abidjan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with the European Commission. The launch ceremony took place at the Headquarters of the AfDB in Abidjan in presence of EIB President Werner Hoyer, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina, EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle and Stefano Manservisi, Director-General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has been called upon to adopt the Netherland’s agricultural model to increase its food security. Marc van der Sterren, Managing Director/CEO Farming Africa, made the call in Lagos at a workshop on ‘Sustainable Agriculture under Economic Recession.’ Van der Sterrn said “I would appeal to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, in the biggest African country, who is not only the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, but also a farmer, to focus on the empowerment of smallholder family farmers by providing them access to independent information, knowledge and education.”
Kenya's earnings from horticulture exports rose 20 percent to 77.81 billion shillings ($766 million) in the first nine months of this year from a year earlier, the country's statistics office said on Monday. The data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed flower exports contributed 53.88 billion shillings, or 69 percent of the earnings, with the rest coming from the export of fruits and vegetables. Horticulture is a key foreign exchange earner alongside tea, remittances from Kenyans living abroad and tourism. Exports of flowers, fruits and vegetables earned Kenya a total of 90.44 billion shillings in the whole of last year.
Government needs to have a clear sectoral strategy before the disbursement of forty-five million dollars by the European Union. EU Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs says there were certain conditions that needed to be worked out in partnership with the Government before the financial assistance program could be rolled out. Jacobs has confirmed they are working very closely with the Sugar Ministry and Agriculture Ministry on defining benchmarks that will trigger disbursement of the support.