The highly coveted Medal of Ukraine, which is awarded to the best honey in the world outside of the British Isles, was won this year by a boutique organic apiary from the Caribbean island of Grenada. The winning beekeepers are environmental scientist Dr. Valma Jessamy and attorney Gerry Edwin. They own and operate Eden Apiaries located at the Grenville Vale Tropical Botanic Garden. “I am stunned,” said Jessamy, when she learned that she had been awarded the prestigious 2015 Gold Medal from among the international competitors, including Mauritius, Oman, Cameroon, Morocco, Canada, Uganda, New Zealand, The Netherlands, the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The new joint report by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is entitled "Agricultural Growth in West Africa: Market and Policy Drivers" (AGWA). The report states clearly that West Africa has unprecedented opportunities for agricultural growth, but this critically needs to be harnessed by more effective regional integration. In order to boost competitivity, it suggests that West African agriculture needs economies of scale, in particular for fertilizers, seeds as well as in agricultural research and technology development.
Kenyan manufacturers want to be exempted from the 1% levy on imported raw material coming into the East African region, which was introduced in the EAC 2015/16 Budget. The request was made by the manufacturers’ lobby, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), during a meeting chaired by Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed Monday in Nairobi. During this Sectoral Council of Industry, Trade, Finance and Investment (SCITFI) meeting, KAM Chief Executive Phyllis Wakiaga recognized, “we realised a number of positive gains for local industry.
On the initiative of the Economic Community of Central African States and with the support of the European Union, this conference will address in particular the enhancement of forest ecosystems. On 27-30 October, the General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is organising the Conference of Ministers on the Green Economy Fund in Central Africa and the structural transformation of the economy of natural resources in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), in collaboration with the Congolese government. This conference on the theme of “Diplomacy-Integration-Governance and a new timber industry” is financed by the European Union (EU) with the technical support of the European Forestry Institute (EFI) and also falls within the scope of the activities of the ECOFAC V programme (fragile ecosystems of Central Africa) and those of the Regional FLEGT Unit and the System of the Green Economy in Central Africa (SEVAC), set up in 2010 by the ECCAS General Secretariat.
In a notice published on Friday 1st August 2014 and based on the assessment of the scientific documentation presented by France in support of its request for a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified corn MON 810 in the European Union, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that neither the scientific publications cited in the French documentation, nor the arguments presented by France constituted fresh information concerning the risk to human and animal health or the environment, which might invalidate the conclusions of the risk assessment and justify a ban on the cultivation of genetically modified MON 810 in the European Union.
Ghana company Surfline Communications launched the country's first 4G data network this week in partnership with French technology company Alcatel-Lucent, making Ghana the sixth nation in sub-Saharan Africa to get the high speed service. The wholly-owned company invested more than $100 million for the first phase of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network, which has 300 cell sites, according to Chairman John Taylor, who owns a string of oil-related businesses, and wholly owns Surfline. The pre-paid data-only service is available in the capital and the nearby port city of Tema, but Taylor said Surfline aimed to go nationwide within two years.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that cash payment schemes are obsolete in the 21st century. At the recent Fin4ag conference hosted by the Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation in Nairobi, GSMA, the apex organization for over 850 mobile network operators worldwide, declared its strategic business interest in transitioning cash payments to farmers by large commodity buyers to mobile payments. East Africa’s urban centers have become — or will soon be — saturated with mobile money, so mobile money providers are now beginning to pursue strategies for rural rollouts. Mobile payments to farmers can be economically viable for value chains with predictable and high volume transactional activity.
In the presence of Jean-Luc François, head of the Agriculture, Rural Development and Biodiversity Division of the Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency – AFD), Camille Pinet, project manager at IGN France International, officially presented a thousand satellite images to Craig Hanson, director of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) “Food, Forest & Waters” Programmes. IGN-AFD-CongoCes images from the SPOT (Satellite for Observation of the Earth) system show the state of the forest cover of the Congo Basin. They will be supplied to Global Forest Watch, the worldwide forest monitoring system created by the WRI.
Climate is changing and the most immediate impact is likely to be from extreme climate events such as droughts, floods, storms and cyclones. The 2012 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events (SREX) and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation provides clear evidence that climate change has already affected the magnitude and frequency of some climate extremes. The UK’s Humanitarian and Emergency Response Review (HERR) predicted that globally 375 million people a year will be affected by climate-related disasters by 2015, and recommended that DFID should integrate the threat from climate change and other potential hazards into disaster risk reduction. The BRACED programme is part of DFID’s response to this recommendation.
The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), has urged a scale-up of actions to tackle weak forest law compliance and enforcement. Dr Lamourdia Thiombiano, FAO’s Deputy Regional Representative to Africa, said this has become necessary to stop the severe forest degradation and deforestation, resulting in considerable environmental damage. The damage by way of soil degradation and loss of productivity, loss of habitats and respective biodiversity, as well as severe reduction in the quantity and quality of services rendered by forest ecosystems, he noted, had combined to significantly change the livelihoods of the rural population.