Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

January 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Beans exported from the country to the European Union (EU) market will not be subjected to 10% checks at the point of entry. This announcement comes after European Union member states met in Brussels early this week and gave exported beans a clean of bill of health after being satisfied with the progress the Government and farmers have made in efforts to tame produce with Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs). EU member countries acknowledged the positive measures Kenya has put in place to ensure beans exported do not exceed the recommended pesticide residue levels. The steps included encouragement of farmers to observe post-harvest handling and use of recommended and approved pesticides.

The Permanent Representation of the EU held a workshop, in collaboration with the ACP Secretariat on the 2015 Milan Expo. The theme chosen for the 2015 Milan Universal Exposition is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”. Additionally, the seven proposed sub-themes of the Milan Expo 2015 - Science for Food Safety, Security and Quality; Innovation in the Agro Food Supply Chain; Technology for Agriculture and Biodiversity; Dietary Education; Solidarity and Cooperation on Food; Food for Better Lifestyles; and Food in the World’s Cultures and Ethnic Groups. These are important themes which  embraces technology, innovation, culture, traditions and creativity;

The EDES, the €30 million EU funded development programme, conducted a support mission in The Gambia aiming to strengthen the national food safety control system and to secure the flow of food products of animal and plant origin, both regionally and internationally.  The last EDES mission provided the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) with a new management tool to strengthen the performance of sanitary audits/inspections in conformity with the relevant international standards; to monitor official controls to protect the health of consumers. The EDES mission also intends to launch of the prototype of the Inspection database, which will be tailor-made to adapted to local needs. Thereafter,  be made available to other ACP countries benefiting from the EDES Programme.

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) – also called “The Purple Book” is the first step in a international effort to attain a sound global management system for chemical. Chemicals are often a vital part of industries, and are shipped globally in a number of products in hazardous and non-hazardous forms. Currently, it is estimated that in the EU alone  15 % of workers handle hazardous chemicals on a daily basis, and 19 % of workers report being exposed to toxic vapours for a quarter or more of their working time.

Wednesday, 06 May 2015

Next Brussels Briefing – Improving nutrition through accountability, ownership and partnershipsThe next Brussels Development Briefing n.41 on the subject of “Improving nutrition through accountability, ownership and partnerships” will be held in Brussels on 20th May 2015 at 09.00-13.00 (followed by lunch from 13.00) at the ACP Secretariat (451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Bruxelles, Room C). Key speakers include the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, the European Commission, succesfull African cases, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and more to be confirmed shortly. Online registration required : http://brusselsbriefing.net/ 

According to the recent report 'Fytosanitaire signaleringen 2014', the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) found significantly fewer quarantine organisms during import inspections of plants and plant products from countries outside the European Union (EU) in 2014. Quarantine organisms include organisms that are harmful to plants, which are not native to either the Netherlands or  the EU. Approximately 350,000 shipments of potatoes, vegetables, fruit, flowers, plants and seeds inspected upon import into the Netherlands annually. In 2013, the NVWA found 438 harmful organisms in inspections. In 2014, this number was 370. Findings of the Spodoptera littoralis, a moth from Africa and Asia that can cause significant damage to fruit, vegetable and flower cultivation, halved.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Global Seeds Market shall be boosted by the increased adoption of genetically modified seeds, says the Global Sees Market Report 2015-2019. This correlated with an increase in demand for food production and rise of agricultural challenges whih has led to the supply of high-quality, high-performing geneticlally engineered and hybrid seeds. It notes that while traditional seeds still occupy a sizeable share of the market, biotech seeds are increasingly important.The report uses case studies and is based on four segments of the market: cotton, maize, vegetables and others.

Top agricultural development scholar, Sir Gordan Conway recently made three bold recommendations for Africa leaders to tackle hunger on the continent. Speaking at the “Closing the Gender Gap in Farming Under Climate Change” conference sponsored by a coalition of groups spearheaded byCGIAR, an international consortium of agricultural research organizations, Sir Conway made the following recommendations:, i) learn how to better deliver their messages to stakeholders and the general public; ii) shed some institutional ego to create more effective partnerships in the field, and iii) rethink the role of gender in rural development.

 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The availability of 70 new varieties of potato and sweet potato will improve food security concerns for Pacific Island countries and territories. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC’s) Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePACT) received 42 new potato varieties as tissue cultures that are sub-tropical, heat-tolerant and resistant to some potato viruses. It is one of the most consumed crops in the region and Fiji currently imports FJD 17 million of potatoes ever year. In Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa these orange and purple varieties are very popular for the tourist market and they will support smallholder farmers supplying this market.

 

 

Agriculture Colleges and Universities in West Africa recently met at a Workshop to discuss strengthening of their capacity in the ECOWAS sub-region. The Agricultural Colleges and Universities want a stronger role in proposing and implementing Agriculture Policies to support the regional and national governments. In their view, this would enable the region to achieve Food Security and also promote the growth and development of commercial agriculture. Discussions recommended the development of new academic curriculum and training courses to support government officials, private sector and civil society in the development of skills to enhance trade policy and negotiation skills which supports the growth of the agriculture sector within the ECOWAS sub-region.