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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza




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EDITO
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Wednesday, 04 May 2016

Ethiopia is being hit hard by one the most severe El Niño phenomenon on record. Numbers speak for themselves – in the past year, the number of food insecure people has increased from 2.9 million to over 10 million at present, write Neven Mimica and Christos Stylianides.This is on top of the almost 8 million chronically food insecure people in the country (...) Since the winter of 2015, the EU has mobilised around €44 million of humanitarian aid to help the victims of El Niño in Ethiopia. In addition, we have just announced an additional €24 million to respond to emergency needs of over 730 000 refugees and some 400 000 Internally Displaced People.

Monday, 04 April 2016

The European Union (EU) will provide an initial FJ$ 10 million through the Pacific Community (SPC) to complement the Fijian Government's efforts in relief, recovery and rehabilitation following the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston. The funds will immediately be made available from EU-SPC projects for communities and businesses in the most severely affected regions of Fiji. "The FJ$10M is a direct, practical short term response to the needs of Fijian citizens in the affected areas", says EU Ambassador for the Pacific Andrew Jacobs. "The EU and SPC have joined forces to identify other resources, whether it is through an existing joint programme or a new source that could be expedited and channelled towards re-building peoples' lives".

About 43,000 fruit and vegetable seedlings have been made available by the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU). This is to assist with Government’s nationwide disaster relief and recovery effort following Tropical Cyclone Winston. The seedlings, including cabbage, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum and papaya, are being provided by SPC-EU joint initiative, ‘Improvement of Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA)’ project. The Lautoka-based initiative was established in 2013 to help alleviate poverty for the most vulnerable groups, mainly famers in the sugarcane areas.

Friday, 11 March 2016

The partnership between India and Africa is rapidly evolving. India and Africa have tieup as key partners for the global food security with the change of global landscape for agriculture and food. According to India Inc, India’s experience benefits Africa’s agriculture as Africa’s farm sector estimated to grow to $1 trillion by 2030. A Didar Singh, the secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said that India needs a renovation and look for consumers whereas the African continent offers one of the most unexploited markets, in a forward to a global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report on agricultural partnership between India and the 54­nation.

Monday, 07 March 2016

On January 27, 2016, the Parliamentarian Committee on the Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation gathered to discuss three policy letters from Minister Lilianne Ploumen on international food security and food wastage. A lively debate on the current Dutch policy on food security was held where the role of knowledge for impact was acknowledged. Exportation of Dutch knowledge to improve food security was pinpointed as an important action for the Minister by many parties. The Minister stated that the Dutch efforts to export knowledge are indeed a priority in the new governmental policy they are working on, and promised various additional efforts to improve Dutch impact on food security.

The Netherlands Academy on Land Governance (LANDac) / IDS Utrecht University has conducted a scoping study on Dutch flower farms, land governance and local food security in eastern Africa within the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP). While earlier research focused mainly on evaluating the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of floriculture investments, there is still a significant knowledge gap on the land governance arrangements around the investments, and how the investments impact local food security.

Friday, 04 March 2016

Driving through the western maize belt in the North West bordering Botswana, vast stretches of normally lush and green fields lie dry and brown. Farmers are battling the worst drought on record, which has transformed parts of agricultural lands into what looks like desert, says Wandile Sihlobo, grains economist at Grains SA. So far five out of the country’s nine provinces have been declared drought disaster zones, as crops fail and livestock perish. And it is not just SA. The whole Southern African region has been hit by an intense drought since early last year that was brought on by El Niño weather phenomenon. With SA being an important regional grain exporter, international food and aid agencies are fearing that millions of people will require humanitarian aid this year.

As many as 49-million people in Southern Africa could be affected by a drought that has been worsened by the most severe and longest El Nino weather pattern in 35 years, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Monday. The WFP, which has previously said 14-million people face hunger in the region, said the El Nino conditions had caused the lowest recorded rainfall between October and December since 1981. The forecast for January to March indicated a high probability of below-normal rainfall in Southern Africa, which would result in one of the worst droughts on record, it added.

Thursday, 03 March 2016

The European Union is set to give Zimbabwe an additional $4.5 million with a view of raising more funds to ease a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon and a crumbling economy. EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Phillepe Van Demme, told journalists in Harare on Thursday that the regional body confirmed the funding Wednesday. “We will obligate another $4.5 million for Zimbabwe for close monitoring of the challenges and quantification  … through the quick assessment being organized by ZIMVAC that will have more precise figures which will allow not only the EU but member states of the EU and other international partners to go back to their capitals and find out whether additional support can be mobilized.”

In addition to the 42 million Euros the German government committed for drought resilience programmes, a 959 million Br fund was extended for mitigating the impact of the current drought in the country. The fund is earmarked for programmes to be implemented through specific development institutions and development partners-not directly by the government. Joachim Schmidt, Germany's Ambassador to Ethiopia, in a release sent to media described the act as a "gesture of solidarity with the people of Ethiopia" and the government as the lead in mitigating the drought impact.

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