September 2015
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EDITO
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Tuesday, 01 September 2015

In recent years, Aflatoxin contamination in food grain and feed in Kenya has become a major health concern. However, Kenya recently approved the use of Aflasafe - a product that combats aflatoxin poisoning - by farmers. This decision is expected to have a major impact in the agricultural, public health and trade sectors. This builds on ongoing work by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, which already dedicated Ksh1.5 billion ($15 million) for aflatoxin mitigation in the country. The Pest Control Board approved the registration of Aflasafe, which was developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock research Organisation.

Julius Garvey, son of pioneering black rights activist Marcus Garvey, called for a greater emphasis on agriculture as the key to restructure the colonial economy and to strive for sustainable development. Using the example of breadfruit, Garvey noted how rich an diverse the local vegetable was: it is gluten-free, has a lower glycaemic index and it is nutritionally superior to wheat and with other measures will combat obesity and its derivative non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart-attacks and stroke. He noted that it could be a catalyst in reducing the regions high import bills and for diversifying exports.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015

European dairy farmers have been protesting in light of the challenges facing milk producers at risk from falling milk prices. While oversupply in the EU market means cheaper milk for consumers, there is also concern that this would lead to more aggressive export policies towards developing and emerging countries. Sieta van Keimpema, Vice-President of the European Milk Board (EMB) noted, “the current system and the current policy have failed, plunging European dairy farmers into the abyss. (…) It is the same in every EU country. Putting the blame on individual countries or farmers is wrong, because they are all struggling with the same problem.” In the current situation where the volume produced in the market exceeds demand produces a negative effect on prices, many stakeholders strongly believe that  EU production must be adapted to counter the threat to dairy farmers’ livelihoods throughout Europe.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Guyana’s National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) Tissue Culture has received 3 banana and 9 plantain Black Sigatoka Disease (BSD) tolerant varieties from Bioversity International, Belgium and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria. NAREI shall analyse the varieties, of which the materials are currently being multiplied in vitro.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The European Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have launched a new partnership agreement to boost food and nutrition security, sustainable agriculture and resilience in at least 35 countries. The new initiative consists of two linked five-year programmes: (i) The Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) facility, which will enhance the capacities of governments and regional administrations to improve food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture policies and better implement them. This will be done by providing policy assistance and capacity development support. (ii)  The Information for Nutrition Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making (INFORMED) programme will contribute to strengthening resilience to withstand food crises as a result of human-induced and natural disasters.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis delivered a keynote address to the open a high level conference in the EU Pavilion at EXPO Milan on food safety and nutrition in 2050. The first results of a two-phase foresight project were announced and they provided insight and guidance on future policymaking to preserve high standards of safe, nutritious, high quality and affordable food for EU consumers in the face of emerging challenges. The study identified the critical challenges to the EU food legislation and gave broad indications of potential impacts on food safety and nutrition policy areas towards 2050. It was underlined that the future of the global food chain will be largely determined by five major drivers: (i) population growth, demography, (ii)  availability and management of resources and the environment, (iii) innovation & technology, (iv) social attitudes and (v) public policy.

Monday, 20 July 2015

French and UK supermarkets are amongst the first in Europe to lead the example by giving unsold food from supermarkets to non-profit organisations. The French government recently voted to stop supermarkets wasting food, as they will now have to give the food to charities or farms. In the UK, the largest supermarket chain, Tesco will be giving away food it otherwise would dispose of to women's refuge centers and children breakfast clubs. The move will help address the massive amount of food wasted globally each year, while also tackling problem of hunger. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published the following fact in October 2014: If the amount of food wasted each year -1.3 billion tons- was just cut in half, everyone would be fed.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Roberto Ridolfi, Director for sustainable growth and development at the European commission's DG DevCo – EuropeAid explains the new flagship 'EU biodiversity for life' (B4LIFE) initiative, which brings together all EU cooperation activities in the area of biodiversity and ecosystems under the same umbrella framework. The B4LIFE programme aims to contribute to socioeconomic development and the eradication of poverty. Currently, 70% of the world's poor live in rural areas, depending directly on biodiversity and ecosystems for their subsistence.  These ecosystem services provide livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, enable access to water and to health and contribute significantly to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The European Commission shall partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and establish a new fund to tackle the global challenge of undernutrition in six countries: Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos and Niger. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, confirmed the EU’s commitment in supporting partner countries to reduce the number of children who are chronically undernourished by at least seven million by 2025 and its commitment of  €23.5 million for the new initiative: the National Information Platforms on Nutrition (NIPN). The initiative will provide partner countries with the tools to better monitor progress in the reduction of undernutrition, improve information and analysis about nutrition, and enable partner countries to develop well-informed and effective national nutrition policies as a result.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

CTA’s Director, Michael Hailu spoke on the panel by the EC, German Development Inistitute BMZ and the International Food Policy research Institute (IFPRI) on ‘Improving food systems for better lives’. Millions of people are living in poverty around the world, but making our food systems more nutritious, resilient, and inclusive can significantly improve their lives within the next ten years. A concluding multi-disciplinary panel discussed ‘Moving from Research to Action’ drawing on wide ranging expertise on ideas, recommendations and priorities for improving food systems with the goal of ending hunger and undernutrition in the coming decade.

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