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EDITO
Tuesday, 24 April 2018

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.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

A new pan-African project has been launched to strengthen the continent’s great potential for increased trade in fish. Africa, despite being endowed with plentiful fish resources only accounts for 4.9% of global fish trade. It seems logical that more efficient trade could significantly improve income and nutrition for millions of Africans, particularly those 12.3 million that are directly employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. ‘FishTrade for a Better Future’, a European Commission funded project implemented by WorldFish, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) will strengthen value chains

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The Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority (NFA) will initiate full-scale trials of an innovative catch documentation system (eCDS) for on-board fisheries observers. The new system uses near real-time data through Android tablets and satellite transmitters shall "enhance the quality, reliability, and timeliness of critical fisheries information, and will considerably improve the management of tuna stocks”. The system includes electronic forms that can be used to cross reference and validate catch and effort, especially with respect to the vessel day scheme where vessel owners can purchase and trade days fishing at sea in places subject to Nauru Agreement (PNA).

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Scientists for the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) are developing a super breadfruit (Mae) that will be more productive and climate resistant. The joint research by the SPC’s Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) aims to improve food security in the Pacific Islands. According to the SPC “Pacific Island governments want varieties of breadfruit that fruit all year round so that there is a continuous supply, which is vitally important for food security and also for commercial farmers and businesses based on breadfruit products.”

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Despite efforts to reduce imports of agricultural products, commodity imports - vegetables, fruits, poultry and its products, rice, wheat and its products, turkey, maize and its products and oils such - increased by E180 million to E634.3 million from E453.5 in 2013. The report by the Minister of Agriculture Moses Vilakati in parliament states that the total value of imports received rose from E453.5million in 2013 to E634.3million in 2014.

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The Brazilian government has received confirmation from the South African health authorities that it is to reopen the market for exports of boneless beef. This announcement comes after the South African government banned the import of these products in 2005, following the outbreak of the foot and mouth disease, and the atypical case of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Brazil.

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