Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 19 November 2017

Samoa's minister of agriculture, La'aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata'ivao Schmidt, confirmed in Parliament that negotiations with the World Bank to fund the project should be finalised in the near future. The minister said construction of the abattoir at Nu'u should start before the end of the year, with $US1.2 million from the World Bank allocated for the project. The government said the new abattoir would improve meat hygiene for domestic consumption and ultimately satisfy international regulations. The minister said the facility would take over the processing of all meat before it can be sold commercially and any products not processed through the abattoir will be banned from the commercial market.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Kenya is likely to lose her European Union (EU) market share of French beans to Morocco and Guatemala due to high cost of production, exporters have warned. Favoured by efficient production factors, the two countries are said to have grown their market share almost edging out Kenya, a situation that might be disastrous to local farmers. Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) new CEO Hosea Machuki said Kenya is grappling with high production and freight cost coupled with overpricing despite producing high quality beans. Morocco, he said, though produces mainly bobby beans that are considered of lower value as compared to Kenyan products that are usually premium class has expanded her market share in EU owing to aggressive marketing and its proximity.

The Agriculture Sector in OECS Member States is on the brink of a new era in collaborative production for regional and international trade. A comprehensive grouping of regional agriculture stakeholders, which include Ministers, Manufacturers, Traders, representatives from the Bureau of Standards and the OECS Commission, are working together to ensure the success of the initiative. The virtual OECS Agri-Export Working group began in June of 2016 and, only one year later, has seen many achievements due to the influence and reach of the agricultural stakeholders involved, paired with the technological nature of the ongoing online meeting, which facilitates speedy action and decision making. Main achievements of the Agri-Export Initiative to date include:

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Ghana is working with stakeholders to have the ban on vegetable exports to the European Union lifted in the next three months. That’s the assurance from the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto. The ban was imposed on some vegetables exported to the EU as a result of the failure of exporters to meet international quality standards. The ban was placed by the food and veterinary Office of the European Commission for some vegetables mainly pepper, egg plant, and gourds. This was attributed to several interceptions due to the presence of harmful organisms in exported produce.

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.