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Food Policy

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

The maximum volume of rice that private traders can ship in annually will remain at 805,200 tons until 2020, with the tariff also kept at 35%, the order signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on April 27 showed. The Philippines, one of the world’s top rice importers, is supposed to lift the import restriction by July 1 this year under an agreement with the World Trade Organization (WTO). It was not immediately clear if Manila needs to seek another waiver from the trade body from its obligation to open up the domestic rice market. In 2014, Manila won WTO approval for a waiver but, as part of the agreement, it pledged to increase the annual import volume from 350,000 tons and reduce the rice tariff from 40%. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, who believes the Philippines could be self-sufficient in rice production by 2020, had been pushing for a two-year extension of the restriction, saying local farmers are not ready to compete with cheap imports.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Uganda's potential in fruits and vegetable exports will be showcased this week in Italy's biggest International fair called Macfruit which will take place from May 10 to 12. At least 10 exporting companies all members of the Uganda Fruits and Vegetables Exporters and Producers Association (UFVEPA), are scheduled to participate in the fair. Ms Brenda Opus, Uganda Export Promotion Board's marketing executive said. "It is the only vertical trade fair in Europe representing the entire sector. This trade fair is a platform of business meetings and conferences that will provide Ugandan companies the opportunity to learn more about international quality requirements and new initiatives in the organic sector geared towards a fast growing segment."

Monday, 15 May 2017

Nigeria has commenced exports of vegetables to the United Kingdom, Coordinating Director, National Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Vincent Isegbe has disclosed. He also stated the country is expected to earn about $100 billion from the export of pigeon peas to India following an offer received from the Indian government. Abuja, Isegbe said: “Currently, we have been able to introduce vegetable exports. Initially, it was done in a disorganised manner."Explaining how to do successful exports, he said interested exporters must first register with the NAQS and indicate the commodity to export. He added the Service will then conduct pest crop surveys on the farm to ensure that whatever is being exported from the farm is licensed and acceptable abroad.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The European Commission (EU), confirmed that the EU-Africa Business Forum held a consultation with African business leaders. The EU announced its €4.1 billion External Investment Plan (EIP) ahead of the 2017 Africa-EU Heads of State Summit, at a Dialogue co-hosted by Africa investor (Ai) in Durban, South Africa on 3 May 2017.The EIP was announced for the first time in Africa and will exist to encourage investment in Africa and to strengthen partnerships that contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The facility is expected to leverage more than €44 billion of investments between now and 2020 and it will also facilitate blended finance instruments that catalyse EU and African private sector development.

Monday, 08 May 2017

For too long, neoliberal ideas have dominated issues in development economics, and it is easy to see why. When richer countries put their success down to increased trade openness and capital mobility, it is understandable that developing countries would want a taste too. The most famous argument for this line of thinking is that as countries move goods more easily between each other, it encourages the flow of ideas and innovation. The question of how regional trade can promote development in Nigeria is an important one. Over time, regional trade blocs have cropped up across Africa – a response to the argument that Africa's underdevelopment is due to low intraregional trade.

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.