Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Caribbean leaders met to discuss strategies to strengthen regional integration. “The objectives of the 15 member states that make up the Caribbean Community are well known to us and this geopolitical alliance has served the Caribbean well over the years, especially through the principle of functional cooperation,” Prime Minister of the Bahamas and Caricom Chairman Perry Christie stated.  A variety of issues were on the agenda including the creation of a marijuana commission, regional food security initiatives, and the recent controversial court ruling by the Dominican Republic that denies the children of foreign nationals born in the country the automatic right to claim citizenship.

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Friday, 27 February 2015

The government ofJamaica shall invest J$25 million to increase local food production; provide asource of fruits to boost agro-processing; provide employment and culturechange in schools and communities; reduce the country’s carbon footprint;increase the country’s stock of lumber trees; protect water sheds; and supportthe national climate change initiative. This has been heralded as“groundbreaking” initiative in the region. There was a symbolic tree plantingexercise at the ceremony, where a total of seven fruit trees, inclusive ofmango and jack fruit, were planted.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

This week the Institute of Development Studies launched their new resource on Gender and Food Security. According to the BRIDGES team, “the Gender and Food Security Cutting Edge Pack makes the case for a new, gender-aware understanding of food security, arguing that partial, apolitical and gender-blind diagnoses of the problem of food and nutrition insecurity are leading to insufficient policy responses and the failure to realise the right to food for all people.”

The European Union (EU) will contribute €1.5 million to “improve the income of small cashew producers,” in Guinea-Bissau. €700,000 is earmarked for projects supporting small producers who want to improve the yield and quality of production; € 700,000 for the integration of activities of small producers in the value chain, promoting local cashew processing and improving the management skills of the sector’s organizations; €100,000 shall be invested in improving the legal framework of the cashew sector. This financial support is part of the programme for Nutrition and Agricultural Development (EU-AINDA). Guinea-Bissau is considered to have “high levels of poverty alongside food and nutrition insecurity.”

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

In Kenya, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has teamed up with GIZ, the German development organisation to give agriculture training classes to more than 600 youth in agriculture, between the ages of 18 and 23. The training aims to improve agricultural activities and enhance food security. GIZ is also developing a curriculum in horticulture, poultry and dairy-cow rearing and fish farming.

The Dominion Farms, a project which forms part of the UK-backed New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Africa and the Nigerian government's Agricultural Transformation Agenda, are establishing a 30,000 ha rice plantation located in Nigeria's north eastern state of Taraba. However, there has been an outcry as local farmers are being forced from their land. Dominion aims to enhance food security and livelihoods for small farmers in Nigeria but the local population together with British MPs (Diane Abbott MP) question the project.

Chicoa, the Mozambican tilapia fish farm company that farms has secured funding of US$4 million from Aqua-Spark, a Dutch investment company. Chicoa was selected to receive funding from Aqua-Spark “for their good practices and available potential for future expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.” Aqua-Spark, established in 2013, hopes to tackle an annual deficit of protein of 1.6 million tons in Africa. It is the first global investment fund exclusively dedicated to the promotion of aquaculture.

Uganda’s smallholder Irish potato growers shallreceive a new donor-funded project to increase root and tuber crop production in the region. “StrengtheningLinkages between Small Actors and Buyers in the Root and Tubers Sector ofAfrica” is a four year project worth 5million Euros, funded jointly by theEuropean Union (EU) and implemented by UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO). The project shall target Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Ghana, Cameroon andIvory Coast. While strengthening market linkages along the value chain theproject shall also boost food security.

In a bid to fight of the disease which is harming banana crops in th Eastern Caribbean, Dominica is planning to import Black Sigatoka-resistant banana plants from the French Caribbean. The Minister of Agriculture Minister Johnson Drigo said that the government plans to purchase 40,000 banana plants from France. The European Development Fund National Authorizing Officer is in Barbados meeting with EU officials and putting up a case for Dominica to ensure that the EU Office speeds up the process of making the necessary funds available.

Thursday, 05 February 2015

Pre-cooked beans will soonbe available in Uganda and Kenya. While beans have been a popular smallholderfarm crop, rich in protein and common on school menus, they have somewhat lostpopularity in more urban areas. Experts have put this down to the amount ofenergy required to cook the bean. In response to this, scientists together withother stakeholders in the bean value-chain have developed pre-cooked andpre-packaged beans. This innovation, resulting from a public-privatepartnership responds to food security concerns, raises farmers’ incomes byguaranteeing demand and saves on energy.