Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2018
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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Baobab was licensed for the European food market just six years ago, and the white, floury pulp contained in its yellow-green pods is quickly gaining ‘superfood’ status in this market. The tree’s pulp has more protein than breast milk, more vitamin C than oranges, more magnesium than spinach, more iron than red meat and more potassium than a banana. It has become a popular additive in reinforced foods. Further, baobab seeds contain a stable oil that the cosmetic industry is adopting in body lotions and creams. The tree’s leaves have medicinal value and are used to fight infectious diseases. The trunk stores water, which can be harvested by thirsty travellers. Though sweetened baobab seeds are found in kiosks and along street corners across the country, the potential the whole tree holds for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutrition industries has largely been overlooked.

In order to help pineapple producers and exporters generate an offer potential export with greater international quality standards, the Dominican Republic Export and Investment Center (CEI-RD), the Agriculture Ministry and the Pineapple Growers Association in Cevicos (APROPIC) presented Friday their support to the quality and food handling system for pineapple producers with export potential. The initiative, supported by the Delegation of the European Union in the country, is part of the "Overcoming Technical Barriers to Trade" program, which provides technical assistance to the commercial sector with funding from the European Union (15 million euros), and benefits all the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, including the Dominican Republic.

Last week’s promise by members of the European Union (EU) that they would allow genetically modified foods from Kenya into their region may have been premature, with the European Parliament taking a new vote on Tuesday. The new vote will give EU individual states the power to limit cultivation or importation of the controversial GM crops into their territory even if they have been approved by the 28-nation bloc. Last Friday, Dominique Davoux on behalf of the head of the European delegation to Kenya Briet Lodewijk, had said such crops would be welcome in the EU region provided they met the necessary requirements.

JSE-listed poultry producer, Astral Foods, on Monday said it had submitted an anti-dumping application to the International Trade and Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) against the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. As a result, ITAC effected provisional anti-dumping duties against poultry imports from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany until January 2 next year. “It is of paramount importance that these measures are sanctioned on a more permanent basis by the Minister of Trade and Industry in order to stem the tide of dumped poultry products into South Africa,” Astral said.This emerged as the company released annual results for the year ended September this year.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed two contributions from the government of Germany totalling €2.6 million. Part of the donation, €395,900 (about 240 million MWK), is for nutrition assistance, and the remaining €2,250,000 (about 1.4 billion MWK) will help build resilience over a four-year period in some of Malawi’s most food insecure districts. Despite a good harvest in most areas, the July report of the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) found that 640,000 people in 19 districts would not meet their food needs during the lean season (December 2014 to March 2015).

Monday, 17 November 2014

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food go to waste globally every year. Meanwhile, 805 million of the world’s people are still experiencing chronic undernourishment or hunger, Ren Wang, Assistant Director General of FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, told the 11th International Media Forum on the Protection of Nature.

Friday, 10 October 2014

The government has ordered exporters of fresh produce to Europe to either adhere to the laid down health standards or close shop as the country fights to save the multi-billion shilling horticulture sector from collapse. A year has passed since the EU raised safety concerns that saw Kenya placed on the list of countries flouting the levels allowed in beans and peas exported to Europe. Kenya has been given up to the end of this month to reduce the amount of pesticides traceable in horticulture products or face possible trade restrictions.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Consumer confidence in food is at low levels. Displaying origin information can boost transparency and help reverse the tide, says Pauline Constant. Pauline Constant is communications officer for food and health issues at the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC). She spoke to EurActiv's Henriette Jacobsen.In response to the question about the deficits of food labelling legislation in the EU, Ms Constrant responded that today, when you go meat shopping in the EU, you can only know where fresh beef comes from. This is because Country of Origin Labelling ('COOL') is only compulsory for this type of meat, which must display the animal’s country of birth, rearing and slaughter.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Work on the world's largest fly farm has begun in South Africa after the European firm behind the project won much-needed funding from investors, propelling the use of insects as livestock feed beyond academic theory to a commercial venture. The project near Cape Town was conceived by a group of scientists and environmentalists racing to find protein alternatives as rising production of livestock feed such as soy gobbles up more and more valuable agricultural land. The farm, being built by Gibraltar-based AgriProtein, will house 8.5 billion of flies that will produce tons of protein-rich larvae as they feed on organic waste. The tallest barrier to such startups has been the availability of capital, with potential investors deterred by legislative hurdles.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

We need fundamental change in the food system that has developed in the rich world, particularly in the last 75 years or so. It is dysfunctional and unjust — and it fails to deliver a safe, secure, sufficient, nutritious diet sustainably for everyone with equity. As Amartya Sen noted more than three decades ago, if people go hungry, that is about them not having enough food to eat, not a characteristic of there not being enough food to eat. The majority of the world's chronically hungry people are rural, most living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.