Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

According to an African Development Bank (ADB) report produced in concert with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Africa is interested in adopting Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to meet the food security challenges facing the continent, and with a view to achieving better positioning in world agriculture markets. Presenting a summary of the agricultural situation within the continent, ABD Vice-President Ali Abou-Sabaa stated that: “In order to meet food and nutritional needs, African countries import some 25 billion dollars-worth of foodstuffs every year.”

It is to be easier to gain authorisation for the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) within the European Union. Representatives responsible for environmental matters have adopted a draft text which will permit a Member State which disagrees with GMOs to ban them on its territory even though they have been authorised at European level. Paradoxically, it is this very power to ban at the national level which will stimulate the cultivation of GMOs. The current situation is that Member States have failed to reach an agreement on whether to permit or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on European soil.

In Dakar on Wednesday, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Ramatoulaye Dieng Ndiaye stated that Senegal is banking on developing aquaculture “as a response to the serious challenges arising from youth employment and food security”, stressing the fact that this would call for “a managed dynamic”. “An aquaculture investment plan has been developed to support the sector,” she said, “with a map of aquaculture sites and a draft bill covering the field now on its passage through Parliament.”

Ghanaian President John Mahama’s recent visit to Rome on Tuesday provided an opportunity for a reaffirmation of the resolute involvement of his country in the world “Zero Hunger” campaign. Along with the President of the Italian National Assembly, Mrs Laura Boldrini, John Dramani Mahama was a guest of the World Food Programme (WFP), at the Rome headquarters of this United Nations institution. It was an occasion for Italy and Ghana, two economic partners with a very close relationship, to once again declare their full commitment to the battle to eradicate hunger from the world.

The Cameroon government has just launched a call for expressions of interest to select a private investor “to establish and run an agricultural-industrial sugar complex” in the east in the “inter Bertoua-Batoria zone”. The invitation, signed on November 17 by Minister for Mines, Industry and Technological Development (Minimidt) Emmanuel Bonde, was published in the press this Thursday, the Minister stating that “the main goal of this project is to supplement the current shortfall in the national sugar market on a yearly basis and to look to the future growth of the markets in the sub-Region and beyond”.

Three NGOs, the Youth Without Borders Association (Association Jeunesse Sans Frontières – A.J.S.F), S.O.S Consumers and Time, backed by the Counsel Bhongo-Mavoungou, are seeking to expedite the cancellation of the agreement reached in 2007 between the State of Gabon and the French Logistique Bolloré Group which is responsible for the high cost of living in Gabon. These NGOs claim that this partnership has been more profitable for the Bolloré Group than for Gabon. Just two weeks ago, Minister for the Economy, Investment Promotion and Future Prospects Régis Immongault paid a visit to the markets in the Gabon capital to check on the implementation of the agreement signed in 2012 between the State of Gabon and the key figures in the trade sector.

Monday, 01 December 2014

 St Lucia has slapped a temporary ban on the importation of all poultry and poultry products from the United Kingdom, as a result of an outbreak of bird flu there. The Ministry of Agriculture said the ban was imposed in light of information received from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom confirming that the country recently experienced an outbreak of a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). “The start date of the outbreak event is November 14, 2014 and pertains to the entire country,” the Ministry statement said. It said the importation ban is imposed with immediate effect and applies to all poultry, poultry meat products and processed internal organs of poultry raised, slaughtered or processed in the United Kingdom from 21 days prior to the start date of the outbreak.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

FruitWorld has been importing strawberries from Ethiopia for around five years. On Thursday the 18th of November the first volumes arrived, a few days later than last year. According to Wout van Es there is an increase compared to last year. "The area was extended and if the harvest is good and the weather goes our way, we expect larger volumes." Until the end of MarchThe strawberries from Ethiopia are available until the end of March. Wout indicates that they are arriving at just the right time. "The Dutch season is almost finished and there are still few imported strawberries. The Ethiopian ones are nicely positioned between the Dutch strawberries and the strawberries from Egypt, Morocco and Israel."

The Governments of Spain and Guinea-Bissau signed an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries to enhance the cooperation in fisheries and aquiculture issues. This document dating back to 2008 had been extended in 2010, and the deadline would expire on 31 December this year. The main objective of this MoU is to strengthen relations between sector fisheries and aquaculture institutions of the two countries to contribute to the sustainable development and improve the efficiency of producers. The parties agreed to promote cooperation to develop the fisheries-aquaculture sector in Guinea-Bissau, with special emphasis on the promotion of food security and the fight against poverty.

The EU's export growth was boosted by demand for certain commodities in China as well as in other emerging economies, according to a European Commission report on the global farming market. Exports of cereals such as wheat and barley to Middle East and North African countries alone accounted for over two thirds of the total export gain. China continued to be one of the fastest-growing exports markets for the EU, which saw its exports share to the Asian country jump to 9.1 percent in 2013, supported mainly by the sales of malt extract for beer brewing, and pork. At the same time, EU sales to the US, its top trade partner, witnessed only slight growth, although imports from the US increased sharply.