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EDITO
Tuesday, 17 October 2017

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.

U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening recently stated that the U.K. Department for International Development (DfID) could play an increasing role in trade in the future and that the department was progressively looking to enhance economies in developing countries.This reflects changes that have already taken place in the Australian and Canadian administrations, where trade and foreign aid departments were merged. This could see more interplay between the U.K. Trade & Investment and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. In Greening’s view, the private sector should be a natural part of foreign aid work.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Cassavas is currently one of the world's fastest-growing crops, and is holdingup better to the rising temperatures caused by climate change, as pointed outby experts. Since the 80s, the global production of cassava has increased by52% due, among other reasons, to the doubling of its production in Africa. Itadapts better to higher temperatures compared to other crops, such as beans orcorn, as it is less sensitive to climatechanges.

A new pan-African project has been launched to strengthen thecontinent’s great potential for increased trade in fish. Africa, despite beingendowed with plentiful fish resources only accounts for 4.9% of global fishtrade. It seems logical that more efficient trade could significantly improveincome and nutrition for millions of Africans, particularly those 12.3 millionthat are directly employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. ‘FishTrade for a Better Future’, a EuropeanCommission funded project implemented by WorldFish,

Thursday, 02 April 2015

Twenty days after the signing of the new law on growing genetically modified (GM) crops in the European Union by the European Parliament, (11 March) and it’s publication in the Official Journal of the EU, the new law shall enter into force. The first crop likely to get European Commission endorsement is to be an insect-resistant maize known as 1507, whose developers DuPont and Dow Chemical have been lobbying 14 years for the EU to authorise cultivation. It is widely-grown in the Americas and Asia. It still remains a very divisive issue in the EU: Britain is in favour, while France is opposed.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report has found that more than 97% of foods contain pesticide levels that fall within legal limits: 55% of the samples evaluated by EFSA were free of detectable traces, while strawberries and lettuce are the most likely to exceed safe limits. The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA), a trade group representing the pesticides industry, hailed the EFSA report, saying it "confirms once again that Europe’s food supply is among the safest in the world." ECPA added that traces of pesticides exceeding the maximum residue levels (MRLs) were found more often in imported food (5.7%) than in samples originating from the EU and the European Economic Area (1.4%).

South Africa’s citrus producers, with support from the country’s Citrus Growers Association (CGA) recommended that the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) do not issue phytosanitary certificates for citrus exports to Spain during 2015. Shipping to Spain is deemed to be an unreasonable risks for the industry: the processes and procedures applied upon entry into Spain are risky, and potentially endanger supplies to the rest of Europe. The EU currently represents around 85% of the South Africa’s citrus shipments.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Tonga will become the 134th contracting party of The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which prioritises the continued availability of plant genetic resources that countries rely on to feed their people. This shall allow future generations to access the genetic diversity that is essential for food and agriculture. Papua New Guinea received technical support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Other contracting parties from the southwest Pacific include Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau and Samoa. The Treaty Secretariat of FAO, SPC and Pacific Island countries and territories work together in assisting other non-contracting parties in the region - which include Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu - to join the Treaty.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Cassavas is currently one of the world's fastest-growing crops, and is holding up better to the rising temperatures caused by climate change, as pointed out by experts. Since the 80s, the global production of cassava has increased by 52% due, among other reasons, to the doubling of its production in Africa. It adapts better to higher temperatures compared to other crops, such as beans or corn, as it is less sensitive to climate changes.

Africa’s future billionaires and millionaires will make their money from agriculture, says Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who was named Forbes African of the Year in December 2013 for his reforms to Nigeria’s farming sector. African Development Bank is financing $170 million for a Nigerian project that aims to transform agriculture, which aims to create agricultural entrepreneurs and producers by providing about 120,000 jobs along the value chain of priority commodities. An additional 20 million tons of key food crops including cassava, rice, and sorghum will be added to the domestic food supply each year, if all goes according to plan.