Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

July 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 22 July 2017

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused the government of failing to account for food donations from international partners to support efforts to fight hunger. Mr Odinga said the Jubilee administration has refused to declare how much support it has received and how it has used it as requested by the Heads of Missions and the Development Partner Group. "Without this information, donor partners and agencies cannot channel more support to our people. "The President is in business as usual looking for votes and wishing the famine away while mourning just like all other Kenyans," the former Prime Minister said at a press conference in Nairobi.

Exporters in Togo have sold a quarter-million dollars' worth of soybeans to new customers in Vietnam and the Netherlands, after International Trade Centre advisory services helped them improve their trade-related corporate procedures and strike deals with buyers. Agriculture is critically important for incomes and food security in the West African country, where 41% of the population works in the sector. Diversification into soybean production helps to provide the country with a measure of insurance against yield and price volatility for traditional crops like cotton, cacao and coffee.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Post-Crisis Response to Food and Nutrition Insecurity Project was on Thursday launched in The Gambia at a hotel in Senegambia. The US$11.4 million project seeks to support the fight against malnutrition among children under two years in four administrative regions namely; North Bank Region, Lower River Region, Central River Region and Upper River Region through targeted interventions focusing on food insecure households. In her remarks, Saffie Lowe-Ceesay, the minister of Health and Social Welfare has stated that the under-nutrition is a major public health problem in The Gambia, exacerbated by increasing poverty levels and food insecurity, poor coverage of nutrition interventions, poor dietary habits, poor sanitation and hygiene and increased burden.

French dairy producer Danone is continuing its push into Africa with a $25m investment, together with private equity firm Abraaj Group, in west Africa-based Fan Milk, the companies said on Tuesday. The investment in Fan Milk’s Ghana business will help the company meet growing demand for yoghurt and other dairy products in west Africa’s second-biggest economy. In June, it will launch FanMaxx, a new vitamin-enriched yoghurt drink with a four-month shelf life. Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt maker, anticipates demand for dairy in sub-Saharan Africa will increase steadily in the coming decades. It has spent more than €1bn since 2013 building a production and distribution network across the continent through acquisitions in countries from Kenya and Nigeria to Ivory Coast.

Monday, 19 June 2017

The standards introduced by European Union (EU) countries were being achieved successfully by mango farmers and exporters by virtue of government's support that not only increased demand of Pakistani mango but also resulted in enhanced exports earnings. Agriculture Department spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday that fruit fly affects the quality of fruit, however, Punjab government had initiated a project to tackle fruit fly problem through non-traditional techniques. He said that huge funds had been allocated for training and advocacy of farmers to apprise them of techniques to kill fruit fly. He said that Punjab government had also initiated mango production contest 2017-18 under which high yielding farmers would get prizes of agriculture machinery at district and provincial level.

Friday, 16 June 2017

A “development assistance” initiative launched five years ago by the G8, an inter-governmental political forum of the world’s most industrialized nations that consider themselves democracies, is holding Tanzania hostage to the benefit of agribusiness and the detriment of small-scale Tanzanian farmers. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), founded by the G8 in 2012 to ostensibly end hunger and poverty for 50 million people, has forced the Tanzanian government to amend its laws to drastically favor agribusiness and seed companies if it wishes to continue receiving developmental assistance aid. Monsanto, one of the NAFSN’s partners in Tanzania, is set to benefit from these changes to Tanzania’s laws.

The Government's support to avocado producers of the Dominican Republic has generated a substantial increase in exports of fruit to international markets, with a volume of 20,000 metric tons per year, and a foreign exchange contribution that exceeds 30 million dollars. A report from the Department of Fruit of the Ministry of Agriculture indicates that the Dominican Republic has a stable production of avocado with a tendency to increase since, in 2012, 1,000 containers of 35 thousand units each were exported while, this year, more than 800 containers have already been exported. Avocado crops have great social importance: more than 15,000 families depend on this activity directly and more than 40,000 indirectly.

The European Commission has granted Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) a temporary waiver on the rules of preferential origin for prepared or preserved fillets of mackerel, bonito and albacore according to the implementing regulation published in the European Union’s Official Bulletin. The waiver will last for a year (June 2017 to June 2018) for bonito and albacore and two years for mackerel, with retroactive effect from 1 January 2017. Cabo Verde benefits from the Union’s generalised system of preferences for the rules of origin. The waiver covers annual amounts of 2,500 tonnes of prepared and preserved mackerel or mackerel fillets and 875 tonnes of processed or preserved bonito and albacore.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

New Holland Agriculture, part of the CNH Industrial Group, has decided to take a firmer hand in their South African business through opening a direct branch which will be based in Centurion, Tshwane. The reason was summed up by Federico Bellotto, business director of New Holland South Africa: “We are number one in Africa and the Middle East – we’re not number one here. I think we deserve to be number one here. We have the product offering, we have the service, we have the heritage, the credibility, the history.”

While there is acute interest in South African navels, particularly from the Far East, some exporters warn against pushing prices to artificial levels that cannot be maintained. In areas unaffected by navel splitting, like Mpumalanga and Limpopo, exporters tell FreshPlaza that their phones have been ringing off the hook for the past couple of weeks, as importers from the Far East look for alternatives to Eastern Cape navels. Exporters from the Western Cape, where navel damage is estimated at around 17 to 20% of the crop, similarly report that the Far East “is screaming for navels