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Food Security

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

August 2018
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Friday, 17 August 2018

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.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released a report presenting the potential uses of geothermal energy for food production and processing in developing countries. The report, titled 'Uses of Geothermal Energy in Food and Agriculture: Opportunities for Developing Countries,' explains that heat generated from geothermal energy can be used in many activities, such as drying foods, pasteurizing milk, sterilizing produce, as well as heating greenhouses, soils, and water for fish farming.  Many developing economies lose as much as half their harvest, and this is also beacuse of affordable energy for food processing. Developing countries could increase their food security by using their abundant geothermal resources to process foods for a longer shelf life.

The International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed is willing to promote insects as a source for animal protein for both human consumption and animal feed. Given that the global population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, the world by then would have to increase its food production by 70% in order to feed the population, meaning that the global demand for animal-based protein sources would double between 2000 and 2050. As the animal feed production is already competing for resources such as water, land and fertilizers, insects could play a crucial role.

Friday, 17 April 2015

7 April was the World Health Day and European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and European Commissioner for International Cooperation & Development , Neven Mimica, took this opportunity to emphasize the importance of food safety, malnutrition, and fighting health threats both in the Union and in developing countries. The EU leads the way in promoting the development of internationally agreed standards in food safety and health protection in international trade and cooperation agreements. The European Union needs to ensure that people living in developing countries have enough to eat and sufficient nutrients for their proper development.

While the European commission and all 28 EU member states are signatories to the international treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, Marie Haga, the executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust questions the commitment to agrobiodiversity. Population growth is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050 and necessarily, such rapid population growth will correlate with an increase in global food demand, currently estimated at 50%. But there are many crucial challenges including climate change, crop pests and diseases, and pressure on agricultural land. As a result of globalisation and industrialisation of agriculture, the planet currently rely on only 150 crops for nearly all its nutrition.