Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

February 2018
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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Agco senior vice president and general manager forEurope, Africa and Middle East, Rob Smith pointed to the successful example setby the Zambian government’s effort to prioritise food security. Dr Smith explained how a shift in policies bymost African governments coupled with donor countries rightly targeted foodsafety, and in turn, stimulated growth in the agriculture sector. Committing to US$100 million investment in Africa, Dr Smith said “Agco’s growth is focused onimplementing its strategy as a win-win situation for the African farmers. Thecompany has expertise and our brand history combined represents 226 years ofaccumulated agricultural knowledge. We are now bringing knowledge closer to theAfrican farmer”.

480MEPs voted in favourof approving the controversial rules permitting EU member states to decidewhether to allow the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) .For some theagreement undermines the single market, but rapporteur of the agreement, BelgianMEP Frédérique Ries, said that there was no credible alternative: “We have a legal jungle and a recalcitrant council,” she added. Thismeans, even if Brussels does allow GM cultivation, individual member states canrestrict it on environmental, agricultural, social and economic grounds.Adopted by a very large majority, the agreement will give more freedom,more flexibility to Member States as well as greater legal certainty, sheinsisted.

AGCO- global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural machinery and solutions - held thefourth annual AGCO Africa Summit in Berlin, Germany. The Summit is a jointinitiative of AGCO, Bayer CropScience, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- undEntwicklungsgesellschaft and Rabobank. ‘Becoming better partners for Africa’was the theme of the conference, which also highlighted agriculturaladvancements driven by the private sector, and promoting the idea ofagriculture as a business and not just a development agenda in the Africancontext.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The annual summit of the Central and Western Pacific Fisheries Commission closed on Saturday in  Samoa with resounding failure, similarly to the Copenhagen summit’s loss on the fight against climate change, according to Radio Australia. The NGOs have expressed a lot of bitterness. Some Pacific countries, such as Samoa and Palau are also very disappointed. Both countries have attempted to obtain a limitation of ‘big eye’ catch, which is a favorite in sushi restaurants. Big eye tuna stocks are at their lowest - only 16% of the population is currently recorded in comparison to the 1950s records. However, no agreement has been reached on quotas for bigeye, no more than albacore tuna and yellowfin tuna .

According to Jean Marc Anga, the executive director of the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), the sale of cocoa beans in the world during the 2013-2014 campaign, generated revenues totaling 13.2 billion US dollars. Africa, a continent which has ensured 73% of world production of the beans could capture approximately $ 6.9 billion. However, said Mr. Anga during an international conference on cocoa processing in Yaounde, when leaving the stage of the production and marketing of beans, Africa lost the ranking of beneficiaries in the cocoa industry, due to its place on the value chain.

The initiative comes from three ministerial departments in France (the Ministry of Agriculture, Agri-foodstuffs and Forestry MAAF; the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy MEDDE; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development MAEDI). The call for projects is in response to the "mobilization of French overseas countries and territories, key players in the day-to-day of the environment..." The financing is open toFrench overseas countries and territories and those in countries benefitting from Public Development Aid. Priority will be given to subsaharan Africa and to Haiti, and to the Mediterranean basin outside the European Union.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

On Friday 9th January, the DEVCO InfoPoint held the first lunch time conference of the European Year for Development on "Research and Innovation: For Sustainable Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security".  Mr. Jean Pierre Halkin Head of Unit for - Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Security (DEVCO C1) opened the conference and Mr. David Radcliffe Policy Office for Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Security (, DEVCO C1) presented the key themes of the DEVCO paper on  "Research and Innovation: For Sustainable Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security". 

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Thursday, 15 January 2015

Nigeria, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have become important and growing markets for Irish dairy exports. But Fergal McGarry of the Irish Dairy Board (IDB) admitted that these markets were under some pressure at the moment. Mr McGarry said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had disrupted trade in the region. He also conceded that falling oil prices would hit demand for dairy produce. However, he was optimistic that prices would bounce back in the third quarter of 2015.

Monday, 08 December 2014

On Thursday 4th December, the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the work of the European Union-African Union research programme to increase food production in irrigated farming systems in Africa (EAU4Food).  Mr. Massimo Burino, the Project Officer for the Use of Natural Resources for Crop Production in DG RTD welcomed Mr. Jochen Froebrich, the EAU4Food Project Coordinator, who presented the result of his work with Dr. Philippe Ker Rault, Researcher on water management at Wageningen University. Mr. Efstathios Dalamangas, Team leader for Water, Energy and Infrastructures in DevCO(C5) presented the work of the Commission in this area.

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On Wednesday, 3rd December , the European Commission’s DG DevCo Info Point organised a lunchtime conference to present the EUROPHYT - EU Notification System for Plant Health Interceptions. Mr. Jean Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit for Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition in DG DevCo (C1) welcomed the EUROPHYT colleagues who came from DG Health & Consumers (DG SANCO), based in Ireland.  Having underlined the inter-related priorities of food security and agriculture, Mr. Andrew Owen- Griffiths, Head of Unit for Plant Health and genetically modified organisms (SANCO, F4)  and Mr. Nandor Pete, EUROPHYT, (SANCO, F4) outlined the increasing relevance of EUROPHYT as a response to cross-cutting requests for information on plant health from multiple stakeholders.


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