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Food Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Saturday, 22 September 2018

The further you travel from Brussels, the likelier people are to see Brexit as an opportunity. I’m in Kampala, discussing post-EU commercial prospects with business and political leaders from across East Africa. While not everyone here started as a Leaver, there is now a widespread hope that Brexit will lead to more open trade arrangements, above all in farming, which employs two thirds of Africa’s workforce. The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy treats Africa as an economic colony. Brussels applies tariffs to tomato sauce, but not to tomatoes; to chocolate, but not to cocoa beans; to roasted coffee, but not to green coffee.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

For a developing country exporter, for example, of fresh bananas from the Philippines seeking market access to the EU, it is necessary to comply with at least seven categories of sustainability standards, from food safety controls to labelling standards, with each category of compliance carrying with it a range of production guidelines and documentation – a somewhat daunting prospect for a semi-literate farming producer in rural Mindanao. As such, one of the major contemporary challenges facing developing country firms, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) today, is the ever-increasing number of regulations and sustainability standards they are required to conform to if they are to integrate into global value chains (GVCs).

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and chief executive officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) Rodinald Soomer have signed a grant agreement aimed at enhancing export capacity and value-added in the island’s spices sector. The immediate beneficiary company, West India Spices, has been awarded a grant of US$244,000. The grant, according to Soomer, will help to increase drying and grinding capacity based on the use of renewable power sources that will facilitate all weather production of value-added nutmeg-based products for export. “It is expected that the project will have the impact of increasing West India Spices’ purchases of raw inputs for producing essential oils on average by 10 percent per year until 2025,” Sommer said at the signing ceremony.

The costs of ingredients of poultry feed highly depend on the country’s production. As a result these costs highly determine the competitive power of the national poultry chains in East Africa. This is concluded in a study conducted by WLR in collaboration with the Netherlands Africa Business Council (NABC). The study shows how poultry chains in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania increasingly depend on developments in their neighbouring countries. The results of the project ‘Poultry Development in Africa, a regional perspective’ have been presented in the Africa Event of the Dutch Poultry Centre. Feed prices are lowest in the countries that are able to locally produce the main feed ingredients (mainly maize).

Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries will benefit from the 50 million-euro European Union (EU) fund set up to ensure sustainable fisheries development and marine security, an EU official says. Mrs Stefania Marrone, Head of Regional Cooperation Section in the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday. Marrone spoke on the sidelines of the meeting on “Regional Policy Process for the Development of ECOWAS Fisheries and Aquaculture Regional Policy and Strategy Frame Work of ECOWAP’’. She said that the programme would be implemented in various West African countries within a six-year period

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Intraregional seed trade is set for a boost following the introduction of seed labels and certificates to be utilized by seed companies for large consignment crossing the borders. The move is intended to spur regional trade through improved seed varieties across the region. The COMESA Seed Labels and Certificates will be used by member States to identity seeds in the market that meets the COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations of 2014. This development is line with the COMESA Seed Harmonization and Implementation Plan (COMSHIP) that provides a framework for the 19 COMESA Member States to trade, facilitate seed industry and support local seed companies.

Thursday, 06 July 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.