Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 17 December 2017

Could the coming century belong to Africa instead of Asia? The idea of “Africa Rising” has taken off in recent years based on Africa’s fast-growing economies, young population, natural resource wealth, and expanding consumer class. Despite these advantages, Africa must grapple with a number of problems that could hinder its economic, political, and social progress. Its population is projected to double to 2.4 billion people by 2050, and could double again by 2100. Africa has the fastest urban population growth rate in the world, but its cities lack the basic infrastructure to adequately manage influxes of people. Security concerns, such as the threat of terrorism, also present significant risks to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In an increasingly interconnected world, these problems will not remain Africa’s alone.

The Competition Commission has referred a Netherlands-based seed potato breeder and its exclusive South African distributor to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, for alleged abuse of dominance in relation to the exclusive supply of Mondial seed potatoes varietal in the country. Wesgrow Potatoes, a local potato seed grower, has an exclusive agreement with HZPC Holland to sell the Mondial seed potato varietal to commercial farmers. In turn, commercial farmers grow the potatoes for sale to consumers as table potatoes. HZPC is the developer and breeder of the Mondial seed potato varietal. Its business is the cultivation and marketing of certain seed potato varieties across the world.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Danone has agreed to acquire all of Brookside Dairy’s Tanzanian dairy business, less than three years after investing in a 40% stake. The buyout will be completed through Brookside Holdings – the wholly owned subsidiary that acted as a vessel for the French company’s acquisition of a minority stake in 2014.At the time, FoodBev reported that Brookside Dairy had annual revenues of €130 million and was East Africa’s leading dairy products group. Tanzania’s competition commission confirmed: “The FCC has received a merger notification to the effect that Brookside Holdings intends to acquire 100% of the issued share capital in Brookside Dairy Tanzania. FCC is currently investigating the intended acquisition in line with the provisions of the FCA and the FCC procedure rules.”

Tuesday, 04 April 2017

Despite international efforts to address food insecurity, around 108 million people in the world were severely food insecure in 2016, a dramatic increase compared with 80 million in 2015, according to a new global report on food crises released in Brussels today.The report, whose compilation required integrating several measurement methodologies, represents a new and politically innovative collaboration between the European Union and USAID, regional food security institutions together with UN agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and Unicef. The dramatic increase reflects the trouble people have in producing and accessing food due to conflict, record-high food prices in local markets and extreme weather conditions such drought and erratic rainfall caused by El Niño.

Professor Alastair Sutton, a former European adviser to the Crown Dependencies, recently warned the House of Lords of a EU “blacklisting” of the Crown Dependencies’ financial sectors as part of a drive to deal with tax havens.He told the committee the EU was undertaking a “so-called blacklisting process where serious damage to the economies of Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man… could be done if the EU blacklist these territories despite the fact that they have ticked all the boxes internationally in the OECD for compliance with tax, anti-money laundering legislation and financial regulation”.

A continued disagreement among governments over who should chair the WTO’s farm trade negotiations overshadowed talks in the global trade body’s regular committee on agriculture this week, sources said

Monday, 03 April 2017

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.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Government has pumped more than $18 million into the establishment of an in vitro propagation of Irish potato seeds programme in a bid to reduce the country’s dependence on imported seeds. The Government is also hoping that the programme will increase the yields of Irish potato farmers across the island. The project, which is a component of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries’ National Irish Potato Development Programme, will be implemented with the assistance of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), the Scientific Research Council (SRC), and the Northern Caribbean University (NCU)

Saturday, 28 January 2017

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.