A new programme worth €33 million to improve land governance and help improve the food and nutrition security of family farmers and vulnerable communities in Sub Saharan Africa, was announced today by Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. This will be done, among other things, through the application, at country level, of some Voluntary Guidelines set up by the international community in 2012 to improve land governance.
The European Union and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have had a steadfast and generous partnership in promoting sustainable rural development to improve the lives of the poor for over ten years. The EU is the biggest donor to the FAO, contributing US$1.2 billion to FAO’s field programme from 2008-2013. New projects signed between the EU and FAO in 2013 alone amounted to nearly US$ 200 million, of which 87% are funded through the EU’s delegations.
FAO calls for action to accelerate economic transformation and development in Africa – Despite significant economic progress and agricultural successes, Africa remains the world’s most food-insecure continent, with relatively low levels of agricultural productivity, low rural incomes and high rates of malnutrition. FAO has urged African Ministers of Agriculture to take action in priority areas in order to encourage increased investment and broad-based transformation in support of smallholder farmers, including young people and women in rural areas.
Because of its alleged harmful effects, palm oil has become a topic for discussion in the West, but has now received a word of support from Catherine Procaccia, senator for Val-de-Marne, who is criticising the campaign to cast the oil in a bad light.In an interview with the Clinical Research Institute, the Senator declares that the crusade launched against this oil is likely in the long term to be to France’s detriment.
The European Parliament rejected on 12 March 2014 the European Commission's proposed definition of nanomaterials added to food products. Voting at the Assembly's plenary session in Strasbourg, lawmakers decided that the proposed definition would have exempted foods containing nanomaterial additives that are already on the market from being labelled as such. By allowing the word "nano" in brackets on the labels, this would confuse consumers and suggest that these additives are new, which would therefore make them “erroneous and irrelevant,” the MEPs said.
United Kingdom gave $13.7 million to FAO's emergency operations to help conflict-affected families in South Sudan restore their agriculture-based livelihoods.
The EU should 'think big' and face tomorrow’s challenge to feed the world sustainably, argue the presidents of the Dutch and Danish farm organisations. To do so, an EU business policy for the agro-food sector and common European standards for sustainable foods are very much needed, they write.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos wants to stop subsidies for agricultural exports to Africa. But that is unlikely to diminish the flood of cheap poultry that is demolishing Africa's domestic poultry industry. It is 30 degrees Celsius (86° Fahrenheit) in the shade in the Ghanaian capital Accra. Traders at the Kaneshie market are all sweating profusely. On open counters, the poultry meat is slowly thawing out, water trickles down the glass panes. Cardboard boxes in the nearby cold store are turning wet. In countries like Ghana, where refrigerated warehouses often break down, frozen imported meat poses a huge health risk.
On March 21, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the government of the Central African Republic signed $8 million agreement to prevent a full-scale food crisis in Central African Republic. This emergency project is part of a $20 million programme to support food aid and agriculture production in this country.
The president of the European Natural Soyfood Manufacturers Association (ENSA), Bernard Deryckere, has called on the EU to better direct consumers towards foods that are not genetically-modified, perhaps by introducing GM-free labels across the food industry. “Current EU policy does not sufficiently support the cultivation of GMO-free soy products, despite a clear demand for GMO-free food by the consumer,” Deryckere told EurActiv in an interview.