Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 18 November 2017

Peter Sotamaruti’s 2-acre farm near Bungoma, a village in western Kenya, is minuscule by the standards of the developed world. But it’s double the acreage he tended five years ago. Sales of surplus corn have allowed the 49-year-old farmer and his family to trade up from a mud hut to a three-room brick house with solar-powered lights. His modest profits also cover school fees for his four high school-age children and pay for health insurance, a luxury among farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. “We now treat our farm as a business,” says Sotamaruti, who plans to expand to 4 acres in the next year.

The Agriculture Export Council (AEC) is working on the preparation of marketing and consumer studies for the African markets and is expected to finish them in May. The AEC also intends to raise exports of the sector to $2.26bn in 2017, up from $2.146bn in 2016, with an expected growth of 5%. Head of the AEC, Abdel Hamid Demerdash, said that the African market is important and promising for the future of Egyptian crops, where there are many potential large markets. He added that the studies are based on exploiting the joint trade agreements between Egypt and the rest of the African countries, which will contribute to entering these markets with the help of intact economic trade plans.

Wednesday, 03 May 2017

The first South African avocados have started arriving in Europe to find quite empty markets because recent floods have disrupted the Peruvian avocado industry, causing a delay in ripening and loading their fruit. “We normally receive good prices this time of the year due to an empty market. Because of the lack of supply from Peru, prices might even be higher than in previous years,” says Rouxan Jansen van Rensburg of Corefruit. Their first consignment of Fuerte and Maluma Hass arrived late last week in the EU. “At opening levels of €15 to €16 for 4kg Hass it looks very promising.”

Ireland will further intensify market access efforts for its food and drink exporters, according to a cabinet minister on Monday. At a seminar on Brexit's impact, Irish Agriculture Minister Michael Creed outlined a seven-point plan to increase international market access for Irish food and drink exports. The plan will be implemented by the Department of Agriculture with significant input from Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) and Irish embassies around the world, to help increase the footprint of Irish food and drink exports. "The potential effects of a UK withdrawal from the EU mean that we must intensify our efforts further and diversify to as many international markets as we can. This is a government priority in response to the particular threat which Brexit poses to our agri-food sector," Creed said at the seminar sponsored by the Irish Farmers Association.

The Gambia and the European Union on Wednesday handed over their funded women’s garden project in Kumbaney village, Niamina West in the Central River Region. The project, which cost two million dalasi, was part of EU project to promote women’s socio-economic rights. The 2 hectare site was fenced and housed a shed, 2 toilets and has 8 concrete lined wells. Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Pansaw Nyassi, Project Manager at Actionaid International-The Gambia, explained that they conducted various assessments across a number of villages in the district and Kumnaney merited its naming as beneficiary of the project. He said, apart from the garden project, they have also supported the women of the region with poultry and tie and dye projects.

The EU currently has nine Outermost Regions (ORs), which are an integral part of its territory: the Canary Islands (Spain), the Azores and Madeira (Portugal), and Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Ma rtinique, Saint Martin, Réunion and Mayotte (France). While t he rights and obligations of the EU Treati es apply fully to these regions, Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) recognises that the y have particular features which constrain their development, and allows the adoption of specific measures adapted to the situation of the ORs. Under the current common fisheries policy (CFP) , OR fishing fleets are subject to the same management measures as all EU fleets . A s the CFP sets maximum limits of total tonnage and engine power, the capacity of the OR fleets cannot increase (though Mayotte, which became an OR more recently, benefits from a derogation) OR fleets ' capacity limits are set for each fleet segment of each OR.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ethiopia and Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) launched Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (DRSLP) in Semera, Afar State with 12 million Euro fund secured from the latter. The Programme, supported by the technical of the Agency and Italian soft loan, is in line with IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) assisted by the African Development Bank, GiZ, the World Bank and the European Union in the lowlands of the country. The Federal Coordination Unit within the State, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and State's Coordination Unit within the Bureau of Agricultural and Pastoral Development are in charge of coordinating the activities.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

On Tuesday, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, outlined a new tomato policy, conceived in collaboration with the federal ministry of agriculture, which he said will create 60,000 jobs in the country. The new policy is expected to increase domestic production and processing of fresh tomatoes in order to reduce post-harvest losses. This policy will “stop the importation of tomatoes, preserved or otherwise by vinegar or acetic acid; increase the tariff on tomato concentrate to 50% with an additional levy of $1,500/MT…, accelerate the growth of the manufacturing industry and deepen diversification,” he said

With competition for the use of forest resources ever increasing, the EU-funded project DIABOLO sets out to track disturbances and degradation more effectively. Seeing the wood for the trees with advanced sensing technology © Traveller Martin, Shutterstock As part of what has been called the ‘green infrastructure’, Europe’s forests are at the forefront of competing drives. They fulfil various functions including: the supply of raw materials for energy production, carbon sequestration to offset greenhouse gas emissions, provision of sanctuary for biodiversity conservation, and water protection, as well as offering recreation opportunities. As demands for each use increase so EU policies, regulatory frameworks and reporting requirements strive to keep up.

To satisfy competition concerns, DuPont will its swap crop protection R&D assets for FMC’s nutrition business The European commission has conditionally approved the mega-merger of Dow and DuPont, though DuPont has been told to sell off its pesticides business to avoid competition concerns. Scientist examines oilseed rape (canola) trials Source: © iStock Despite DuPont being compelled to sell off significant parts of its crop protection research, the merger could still give rise to US competition concerns in crops like oilseed rape The commission worried that the merger would reduce competition on price and choice for existing pesticides and retard innovation. Just three other companies are globally active throughout the entire R&D process, from discovery to sales – BASF, Bayer, Syngenta.