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EDITO
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A new bilateral trade agreement should mean Scottish seed potatoes will soon be found growing on Kenyan farms. Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing, who announced the trade deal at AgriScot, said the potential market demand for Scottish seed tatties in Kenya was significant. “Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares (395,360 acres) of potatoes annually but only 2% of this is grown from certified seed potatoes,” said Mr Ewing. “This agreement with the Kenyan Government will enable farmers to access high-quality Scottish seed potatoes that are free from disease, potentially improving Kenya’s potato crop health and yield.”

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has complained about the European Union's ban on the exportation of Nigerian beans. NEPC said the ban, announced early this year, has been extended to 2020, adding that the discovery of high residues of preservative chemicals led to the ban. Concerning the ban Director, Export Office, NEPC, Matthew Iranloye said “It has been extended for three years. It was supposed to be lifted in 2017 but they looked at what is still in the ground and said it does not seem that Nigeria is getting it right. We have to redouble our efforts. The next three years, it is still banned but it can still be lifted before the end of that time being 2020.''

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

A new laboratory equipment donated to the Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) now positions Rwanda as a regional hub for testing samples from countries in the region, an official said yesterday. During the official hand-over ceremony, yesterday, Raymond Murenzi, acting director-general of RSB, told guests that the event epitomises the importance of USAID’s contribution to Rwanda’s efforts to enhance the trade environment.

The so-called Spanish-French-Italian Citrus Contact Group, which has met in Valencia, agreed to ask the European Commission (EC) for the future implementation of some kind of compensatory measures to alleviate, even in part, the negative impact that the recent agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African Development Community will have.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The European Union says it will consult with sugar industry stakeholders its plans to support farmers who will be affected when preferential quota access of Fiji sugar to the European market ends in October next year. Responding to questions raised by the National Farmers Union about the involvement of sugarcane growers in the planning and implementing of aid projects, the EU said consultations with growers representative organisation was part of the process. The NFU was referring to an article which appeared in this newspaper on October 21 where EU Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs outlined plans to release $67.5 million in direct budget support to the Fijian Government to aid the agriculture and sugar sectors.

Monday, 07 November 2016

In 2015, Spain was still the EU country with the most acreage devoted to organic crops, with 1.9 million hectares; 22% more than in 2010, according to data released by the EU statistics office, Eurostat. Specifically, Spain went from 1.6 to 1.9 million hectares in five years. Next in the rankings are: Italy (about 1.5 million hectares), France (1.3 million) and Germany (1 million hectares), according to Eurostat data. In 2015, the EU had a total of 11.1 million hectares of such crops, which is 21.1% more than five years earlier. When compared to the total agricultural area, the largest acreage devoted to organic crops is that of Austria (where they account for 20.3% of the total cultivated area), Sweden (17%) and Estonia (16%).

While poultry farms are making serious efforts, including financial investments, to make the region self-sufficient, several issues such as illegal imports from Brazil and cheap ‘dump chicken’ from the US are harming the industry, local entrepreneurs say. According to Trevin Nairne, export manager with Jamaica Broilers, throughout the Caribbean B-grade chicken is being imported from the US “that clearly is being dumped”. Meanwhile, Brazilian, Mexican and Chilean chicken is also entering the regional market. Nairne wondered how it is possible that a large facility such as Jamaica Broilers, which produces high quality products, exists in the region and yet inferior quality chicken is allowed to enter the regional market.

Wednesday, 02 November 2016

The EU has provided 13 millions euros for the upgrade of cane accss roads around the country. This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary for Sugar, Yogesh Karan, following his meeting with EU officials, the Ministry of Sugar and the Pacific Community in Lautoka on Friday. Mr. Karan chaired the meeting which included talks on road and water projects for the cane farming areas. Mr. Karan said all cane access roads could not be completed this year under the EU aid but this should be done by next year. He said the roads being done would be done properly with professional companies being recruited to carry out this work. "We don't want to have roads that have to be repaired after every heavy rainfall".

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Improving the production of subtropical crops in Kenya and Ethiopia, promoting the local consumption of mangoes and avocados and researching the pests present in the area that could someday become a threat to the Spanish plantations. These are the goals and to help achieve them, Iñaki Hormaza and Eduardo de la Peña, researchers of the Subtropical and Mediterranean Fruit Horticulture Institute (IHSM) La Mayora, visited this summer different areas of south-western Kenya and southern Ethiopia, where there is some production of mangoes and avocados.

Wednesday, 05 October 2016

“By importing so much food, small island developing states - SIDS - are basically exporting jobs”. This was the message of CTA Director Michael Hailu at the recently held Brussels Briefing on “Agribusiness development in SIDS: the potential of tourism-related markets”. The Briefing delivered a strong impetus for the strengthening of linkages between local agri-food and tourism sectors, in order to support sustainable economic development and employment, and reduce the dependence on cheap imported foods which has led to dangerous rates of non-communicable diseases in many SIDS.