Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Monday, 25 June 2018

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.

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 .