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December 2016
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Sunday, 04 December 2016

The sugar produced in Mozambique will continue to enter the market of the European Union (EU) free of tariffs and quotas, according to assurances given last week by the organisation, Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias reported. Mozambican sugar is exported to the EU under the “Everything but Arms” (EBA) trade agreement in place since 2011 and which allows products from less developed countries, such as Mozambique, access to the European market free of customs duties and quotas. Apart from sugar, under the EBA scheme, Mozambique exports other products to the EU market with the same benefits.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

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.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The sugar industry is widely recognised as making a significant socio-economic contribution to many African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, particularly in generating export earnings and creating employment in rural areas. Nevertheless, it is important to note that many ACP countries have been diversifying to reduce their reliance on the sugar industry. This means that, in some countries, sugar is not as important as it was in the past. The ACP sugar group is diverse. It includes some of the world’s lowest cost sugar producers where production has been growing over time (Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia).

The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Sugar Group says it welcomes the new study on the sugar industry undertaken by the European Union. The “Study on Current and Forecast Market Developments for ACP Sugar Suppliers to the EU Market” sets out a comprehensive assessment of the risks for ACP/EBA sugar producers as a result of changes to the EU sugar regime and it contains a series of helpful tips. The study was undertaken by United Kingdom-based Cardno/LMC International and funded by the European Union. Chairman of the ACP Sugar Group, Samuel Chandler, who is also the Barbados Ambassador to the EU, said the ACP will actively pursue the implementation of the recommendations.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

A new bilateral trade agreement should mean Scottish seed potatoes will soon be found growing on Kenyan farms. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who announced the trade deal at AgriScot, said the potential market demand for Scottish seed tatties in Kenya was significant. “Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares (395,360 acres) of potatoes annually but only 2% of this is grown from certified seed potatoes,” said Mr Ewing. “This agreement with the Kenyan Government will enable farmers to access high-quality Scottish seed potatoes that are free from disease, potentially improving Kenya’s potato crop health and yield.”

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has complained about the European Union's ban on the exportation of Nigerian beans. NEPC said the ban, announced early this year, has been extended to 2020, adding that the discovery of high residues of preservative chemicals led to the ban. Concerning the ban Director, Export Office, NEPC, Matthew Iranloye said “It has been extended for three years. It was supposed to be lifted in 2017 but they looked at what is still in the ground and said it does not seem that Nigeria is getting it right. We have to redouble our efforts. The next three years, it is still banned but it can still be lifted before the end of that time being 2020.''

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A new laboratory equipment donated to the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) now positions Rwanda as a regional hub for testing samples from countries in the region, an official said yesterday. During the official hand-over ceremony, yesterday, Raymond Murenzi, acting director-general of RSB, told guests that the event epitomises the importance of USAID’s contribution to Rwanda’s efforts to enhance the trade environment.

The so-called Spanish-French-Italian Citrus Contact Group, which has met in Valencia, agreed to ask the European Commission (EC) for the future implementation of some kind of compensatory measures to alleviate, even in part, the negative impact that the recent agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community will have.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The European Union says it will consult with sugar industry stakeholders its plans to support farmers who will be affected when preferential quota access of Fiji sugar to the European market ends in October next year. Responding to questions raised by the National Farmers Union about the involvement of sugarcane growers in the planning and implementing of aid projects, the EU said consultations with growers representative organisation was part of the process. The NFU was referring to an article which appeared in this newspaper on October 21 where EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs outlined plans to release $67.5 million in direct budget support to the Fijian Government to aid the agriculture and sugar sectors.

Monday, 07 November 2016

In 2015, Spain was still the EU country with the most acreage devoted to organic crops, with 1.9 million hectares; 22% more than in 2010, according to data released by the EU statistics office, Eurostat. Specifically, Spain went from 1.6 to 1.9 million hectares in five years. Next in the rankings are: Italy (about 1.5 million hectares), France (1.3 million) and Germany (1 million hectares), according to Eurostat data. In 2015, the EU had a total of 11.1 million hectares of such crops, which is 21.1% more than five years earlier. When compared to the total agricultural area, the largest acreage devoted to organic crops is that of Austria (where they account for 20.3% of the total cultivated area), Sweden (17%) and Estonia (16%).

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